The horse show industry has seen a decline in interest over the past years, according to industry judges, and is looking to local clubs such as 4-H, and small town horse clubs and shows to renew participation.
The Northern Saddle Club (NSC) will be hosting a two-day Schooling Show — one in which the competition is geared toward inexperienced riders and horses — Sept. 24-25 to help regenerate interest.
The show will include English, western, hunter and jumper classes.
English riding classes include basic pleasure, huntseat, jumping, eventing and dressage. For western riding, the clinics are all about the western style of riding.
There is the opportunity to learn western horse training tips and how to improve your western riding skills and position. Western horse training tips will be led by renowned trainers, clinicians and coaches, according to the NSC website.
The weekend will host other events including cutting, reining, hunter, driving, gymkhana and more, starting at 9 am both days.
“This is a showcase event, although a small unsanctioned show. But it is Smithers pulling together to do their part to preserve this sport,” said judge Susan Bassett.
“It’s an amazing exhibit of the depth in Smithers towards creating venues for us to show our horses, instead of traveling south all the time for shows.”
There is a new generation of riders in all disciplines waiting for opportunities to show their horses, so the show in Smithers is encouraging, according to members of the NSC.
“Sponsorship for our event is outstanding, we will have a food truck for this event, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone,” Bassett said.