Huntsville teen cleans up at provincial riding event
Casandra Gee of Huntsville and her horse Practically Perfect pose with the ribbons they won at a provincial event in Mount Albert in late June. SUBMITTED PHOTO
HUNTSVILLE - Taking part in a provincial riding event could be nerve-racking for even the most experienced competitor.
So when 17-year-old Casandra Gee of Huntsville competed in her first provincial equestrian competition on Friday, June 29 at Blue Star Farm in Mount Albert aboard her pony Practically Perfect, winning anything was far from her mind.
“I just went in the expectation that it was my first show and I didn’t expect to get a ribbon. If I got a ribbon throughout the whole summer I would be the happiest girl alive.”
Cue the happiness.
Gee and Practically Perfect competed in the pony hunter division, and brought home high point champion honours by finishing first in two classes of hunter over fences followed by three second-place finishes in hunter over fences, under saddle and pony medal, respectively.
“I am pretty sure in the video (taken at the awards ceremony) that when I walked out to get my first award, I said that I couldn’t believe it and I had a big smile on my face. After that I didn’t expect any more ribbons. But when they kept calling my name I kept standing there, just smiling.”
It has been eight years since Gee took up competitive riding, an endeavour that was heavily influenced by a close member of her family.
“At first I refused to ride, but my aunt, Sandra George, who used to ride, taught me everything. I have always loved animals and her always talking about (riding) influenced me. I have always looked up to her since I was a little kid,” she said.
Not only has her aunt played a big part in her riding success, Gee has relied on the teachings of other riding professionals, and is presently under the tutelage of Sue Craig of Huntsville.
This is the last summer that Gee will be able to ride competitively. She is planning on working full-time next year after she completes her Grade 12 classes at Huntsville High School so she can save up to go to university and study in the medical field, possibly nursing.
Where her competitive career goes from here is anyone’s guess. But one thing is for sure … Gee’s love for riding will not go away anytime soon.
“I will always love riding and I will always ride. It will always be part of my life but I am not sure how serious it will become.”
She has three more competitions planned this summer, the next coming July 13 in Newmarket.