Competitive Clubs

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Gee-Gees win East Ontario University Equestrian championship

Photo courtesy: uOttawa equestrian club

For the first time in history, the Gee-Gees equestrian team won the Ontario University Equestrian Association (OUEA) championship in the East zone, as well as in Ontario.

The University of Ottawa conquered this year with a fine finish during the finals March 21–22 at Meadowlarke Stables in Mississauga. The team took home the East Zone High Point Team trophy—the award given to the team with the most points accumulated throughout the final from their events—and many individual ribbons during the finals March 21.

The OUEA year-end winners included Maura Tse, who placed fifth in the open under saddle, and Tori Turner, fifth in the intermediate over fences. Pippa Heinlein came in second and Christine Bolik in fourth during the novice over fences. Bolik also finished fourth in the novice under saddle.

First-year political science student Alexa Kirkey took home gold in the entry-level over fences category and first in the entry level under saddle.

The weekend continued during the gala when the Gee-Gees were awarded with Heinlein winning the Reserve High Point Rider award. This achievement is given out to the rider who garnered the most points throughout the finals in her event.

Riley Boyes was presented with the Fall of the Year, also known as the “unplanned dismount.”

Boyes rode a pony during competition that didn’t always like to jump all the jumps. The pony stopped at the first jump and Boyes slid up out of the saddle. After getting back in the saddle, she made the pony jump the jump, and turned to the second hurdle. Again, the pony stopped. Boyes went flying sideways and landed on a flower box, leaving bruising on her ribs and arms.

“Riley was nominated for the award because of her terrible time on the pony that did not want to play that day, and for being a good sport about the situation,” said Turner, the team’s president. “Unfortunately horses don’t always want to behave for us, and taking it all in with a grain of salt is extremely important on our circuits.”

Turner says the team was together throughout the entire year to win their title. “I think it comes down to the members we have. This year every single member was 100 per cent committed to the team and the team’s success,” said Turner.

The equestrian team’s new goal for next season will be to work toward a national championship in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). Getting to this level requires the squad to defeat two teams in their region who are already national champions.

“We will have our work cut out for us, having to compete against two reigning national champion teams during the regular season,” said Turner.

The team also wants to defend their Ontario High Point Team title during the 2015-2016 season. Two capable goals for the strong Gee-Gees next year.