Horse jumping leaping back to life

Ainsley Edwards with horse, Maverick, clear a jump during the The Campbell River Trail Riders Association jumper competition on July 10. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.Ainsley Edwards with horse, Maverick, clear a jump during the The Campbell River Trail Riders Association jumper competition on July 10. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.
A rider and horse compete during the The Campbell River Trail Riders Association jumper competition on July 10. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.A rider and horse compete during the The Campbell River Trail Riders Association jumper competition on July 10. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.
A rider and horse compete during the The Campbell River Trail Riders Association jumper competition on July 10. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.A rider and horse compete during the The Campbell River Trail Riders Association jumper competition on July 10. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.
A rider and horse compete during the The Campbell River Trail Riders Association jumper competition on July 10. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.A rider and horse compete during the The Campbell River Trail Riders Association jumper competition on July 10. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.

The Campbell River Trail Riders Association is holding a horse jumping competition this weekend (July 10 -11), in what is the organization’s first large event since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The first day of the event featured a ‘jumper’ competition, where about 30 riders completed timed runs across 16 classes. Sunday is featuring a ‘hunter’ competition, with more emphasis placed on the appearance and control of the rider and horse.

“It’s great to be back,” said show manager Kathy Tipper, who has volunteered with the organization for over 40 years. “We were shut down other than our tiny shows, which had not even 10 people, but now we can have up to 50 spectators.”

However, the trail riders association is in need of volunteers to help run these events, said Tipper, who hopes to return to holding an event per month as was done before the pandemic.

The sport requires each rider to build a close relationship with their horse, explained Ainsley Edwards, who competed in the jumpers competition with her horse Maverick, with which she has been working with for five years.

“You and your horse are a team,” said Edwards.

Edwards has been competing in jumping competitions since she was seven, after starting with riding lead.

Edwards dreams of competing in the Olympics — and will be looking to the equestrian competitions at Tokyo 2020 in a few weeks for inspiration. But in the meantime, she will continuing her training, which includes about two lessons and four rides a week.

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