(Photo courtesy of Quinn Saunders)
Sept 16, 2014 (ISN) – Members of the Queen Margaret’s School Equestrian Team finished their first event of the school year at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley with outstanding results.
“We always look forward to competing at Thunderbird,” explains Cheryl Keith, QMS Equestrian Head Coach. “The facilities are beautiful, the courses are challenging and our girls always rise to the occasion.” Emily Cake (Grade 9) rode Marlowe to take a first place in the Pre Child Equitation, while Christine Coels (Grade 11) won Reserve Champion in Short Stirrup Hunter on her horse Landmark. Yet, it was Grade 11 rider Kassidy Keith who exceeded even her own expectations.
On QMS’ horse Will I Am, Keith claimed both the Pessoa Medal and Jump Canada Medal, took second in the Thunderbird Good Hands & Seat Medal finals, won the Alf Fletcher Equestrian Award for Excellence in Equitation (awarded to the rider with the highest points in the equitation classes for 2014) and received one of only two Dianne Tidball Legacy Scholarships for 2015. “I am humbled to be awarded this scholarship,” says Keith. “The Tidball family is passionate about giving back to the equestrian community and I hope that my actions will honour Dianne’s memory.”
With her results at Thunderbird, Kassidy earned enough points to qualify for both the Maclay Regionals in Monroe, WA, USA and the CET Finals in Langley. A top five finish at the Maclay’s would mean an invitation for Keith to journey to Lexington, KY, to participate in the Nationals in October. “On the first day of competition in Munro, she placed third and fourth in the Hunter Division on Will I Am, which was unexpected as he’s not a hunter,” explains Cheryl Keith. “Kassidy competed strongly the next day and just missed placing fourth overall. She placed fifth and was the only Canadian to break the top ten. We’re very proud.” Kassidy’s qualification for the ASPCA National Finals is a first in Queen Margaret’s School history.
For Kassidy, her successes feel a little surreal: “My performance can be directly attributed to the incredible support I’ve received from my coach, equestrian partners and a very long list of generous people,” she notes. “It has been my dream to compete in Kentucky so it’s still setting in that I’ve qualified.”
Keith will now journey to Thunderbird Show Park once again to participate in the CET Medal Finals from September 18‐21. Placing in the top four there will earn Kassidy an invitation to participate in the Royal Horse Show this November in Toronto, ON.