Spruce Meadows was once again host to the Telus Battle of the Breeds equestrian competition. Ten teams of four competitors represented their respective breeds in a competition known as “a friendly fight for bragging rights” to call their breed the champion, all-around type of horse.
Members of Team Appaloosa were Laura-Gene Schiebelbein from Red Deer, Sherry Gresko from Leduc, Kaylee McLachlin from Red Deer, and Lynn Johnson from Rimbey.
Two riders and horses from each team competed in five events. The compulsory challenge demonstrated basic equitation in ridden and driven patterns. Jumping saw the teams to negotiate a course of jumps in a pre-determined pattern, always racing the clock. In precision driving, the teams put their horses and cart through an ingenious course of obstacles. The barrel racing challenge was a familiar competition to anyone living in central Alberta, and the final event was a jeopardy trail course, similar to the precision driving event, but with only a rider and horse racing through a course of their own choice, determined largely by point value of each obstacle.
A great turnout from all the teams made for some interesting and sometimes tense competition but when all the dust had settled, it was Team Appaloosa coming out on top for their seventh win. A fine display of precision and speed by both horse and rider/driver demonstrated the capabilities of this truly versatile breed.