Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Sasquatch Scurry—submitted by Karen Eigler

The Sasquatch Scurry Competitive Trail Ride was recently held at John and Karen Eigler’s farm in the Dove Creek area.  On October 1st and 2nd, twenty three riders participated in this event, many travelling up from Nanaimo and Victoria, and several riders from the Comox Valley.  The trails selected, were easy, well-groomed and well marked making this CTR a welcome competition for the end of the season and for those who are just beginning to learn about the sport of competitive trail.  The ride, Sasquatch Scurry is named after their rides mascot, a small stuffy Sasquatch, that likes to hide somewhere on the trail during the competition.  Not only does the rider need to concentrate on the marked trail they are following, but they must keep their eyes peeled to find the elusive little Yeti and report back to the Eigler’s on his whereabouts and other specific details.  Adding some fun and humour into this event is a great way to enhance the already popular sport of competitive trail riding.
The competitive trail ride is a sanctioned event of BC Competitive Trail Riders’ Association, and is a non-profit equine sport.  At each BC ride, the top six riders in each level and weight division receive a beautiful rosette ribbon.  In addition to ribbons, CTR Ride Managers, generally try to have special prizes for all their riders and this is why they appreciate the support of local business’ that donate items for the prize table, or help by giving store discounts towards quantities of specific items.  The Sasquatch Scurry is no different, and the Eigler’s are very thankful for their sponsor’s at South Country Feed, Brazen Sportswear/Hitec Printing, The Dollar Store, Shar-Kare, Curves For Women, Christy’s Saddlebags Consignment, and Zellers’.  Thanks to the many volunteers and especially our vets for their time, Dr. Peter Parke, Dr. Yaela Gluesteen and Dr. Caroline Horsley.  Thanks also to the neighbouring landowners and CV Regional District for allowing the riders to use specific trails for this event. For more information on competitive trail rides and events planned for 2012, riders should keep checking the BCCTRA website at www.bcctra.ca or contact their BCCTRA Area Director for more details.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Unsung Heros by Lynn de Vries

Trails are the main stay of our very existence as trail riders. If you are luck like I am, you will have a dedicated trail volunteer in your area. If you ride the areas of Grace Road in Chemainus, Spruston Road in Nanaimo, or Copper Canyon, more than likely you are riding on trails that have been kept open by Bruce Christison. I first met Bruce way back in the early 90’s  where we both competed in competitive trail.  I fell I love with the riding areas of Grace Road/Chemainus River and I would marvel at the dedication Bruce put into trail maintenance - all volunteer.
A couple of years ago, when Bruce no longer had a horse, he would still dedicate his time to ensuring the trails were open. It pretty well broke my heart to see some of the trails get bushier and some vanish all together. So, two years ago,  with two good horses of my own, I offered Bruce to ride Sweet Georgia. Now with purpose and pleasure, over the past two years I am grateful for the time and effort Bruce puts into trail maintenance. He has a serious pair of loppers he carries on the back of the saddle - and nothing stands in this man’s way when it comes to trails. There were a couple of special trails I asked him to open up, and he did. If you rode the BCCTRA Chemainus Ride this year, you would have been on several of his re-established trails. One day I asked him to walk a trail with me up at Spruston Road. It was an old bike trail that had little use due to a couple of big windfalls. It was time to cut them out this year and so off we went, him packing the power saw and me packing the axe. Sure enough, we came to the big fir that was hung up high and as luck would have it, the saw got pinched. Undaunted by that, the fir tree was beaten to death with the axe and the power saw finally fell out. I smile when I ride by and see the tree with the axe and saw cuts. If not working on the trails from horseback, Bruce ventures out with his friends on ATV’s and ensures they are clear. My hat goes off to this quiet hard working dedicated man - I hope you are as luck as I am. Thanks Bruce.

A post note - congratulations to Bruce on his 1000 mile award this year!!!