While for those not riding horses at a high level, the specifics of equestrian competition may all be a foreign language, but for one young woman from Fort St. James, it is an art.
Alix Rasmussen has had a passion for riding since she was a little girl.
“I think finding one in the yard that her Papa gave her for her seventh birthday is what really started it all,” said Alix’s mom Kelly Rasmussen in an email. “And it didn’t take long after her first real riding lesson for her to find her way to the show pen.”
Alix has spent a lot of time there ever since – and there is no end in sight just yet.
After accumulating enough points last year, Alix and her horse Money Makin’ Dreamer will be heading to Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States for a competition in October.
Alix has been showing her American Quarter Horses for the last six years, and first started showing on the Northern B.C. Quarter Horse Circuit.
She then broadened her horizons and made her way down south to the South Central Quarter Horse Association and then the Lower Mainland Quarter Horse Association.
Through her shows, she has worked her way up the ranks and has won a number of All Around and Reserve All Around awards at both the regional and provincial levels.
It was just over a year ago Alix purchased her five-year-old Quarter Horse gelding known as Jake but with the registered name of Money Makin’ Dreamer from Hutton Performance Horses in Chilliwack, B.C..
The Hutton family raised and trained Jake and the daughter Tami Hutton is Alix’s coach and mentor to train both Alix and Jake for seven show events: halter, showmanship, western pleasure, western horsemanship, trail, hunter under saddle and english equitation.
The pair are working on being all-around competitors.
“The last two years have found us travelling farther and farther from home to compete in show pens that are not only larger but where she is competing with people who have been to the top shows at the world level,” said Kelly Rasmussen.
The pair went from the provincial level to then compete in what is called the Region 1 Championships, consisting of Alaska, B.C., Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
The horse and rider team have earned a number of top 10 and top five placings as well as championships in the past two years in this level.
From this level, Alix and Jake then went to the national level to compete in Red Deer, Alberta in the Canadian National Quarter Horse Show.
The pair became Canadian National Champions in the open halter event and placed top five in many other events.
Halter is judged on the horse’s physical appearance. Jake and Alix will be in Las Vegas from Oct. 2-6 for the SmartPak West AQHA Novice Championship.