A Morgan Saddleseat.

A Morgan Saddleseat.

Ponoka hosts 150 horses for Spring Fling show

Horse show has grown since new volunteers took over in 2016

The Spring Fling horse show held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre from April 15 to 17 was a huge success and larger than ever, according to organizers.

“There was only a few times throughout the weekend where the stands weren’t packed,” said Kerri Buksa, director of the Spring Fling Society. “The event was extremely successful.”

Buksa added they felt they put on as good of a show outside of the ring as inside, and hoped all involved left with good, lasting memories.

The show features western, hunter and saddleseat classes.

Since 2016, when there were 86 horses entered, the show has grown to the 150 horses that were shown this year.The society took over the event in 2016. Buksa said those volunteers were tired so their small group took over the reins.

The Spring Fling show features predominantly Morgans, Arabians and Saddlebreds, however there were also some minis, Appaloosas and quarter horses this year, to name a few.

“There’s a sprinkling of all breeds and we’re working towards more.”

The judge for the event was Rowena Nichols. Nichols is an expert on Arabians, having been involved with the breed for over 30 years. She is also familiar with Saddlebreds and Morgans and owns and operates an equestrian centre in Langely, B.C.

“(Nichols) was great,” said Buksa, adding the organizers received a lot of compliments about the judging.

The Friesian Horse Association came out on day two for a demo.

Buksa said the demonstration was a “beautiful display” and a credit to the hard work and effort of the Freisian Horse Association.

The silent auction went well, with everything from a kitchen sink to chickens, and this year there was an “exceptional” prize room, with over 70 prizes given away.

“It’s random so you don’t have to win a class to (get a prize).”

The expo also went well, with 11 vendors. Buksa said they already have ideas on how to improve the expo next year, and the current vendors have already indicated they will return.

“That to me says it was a success.”

Each year, a series of horse shows are put on, from spring to fall, by the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Alberta. Different associations organize and host each show.

The first of the series is the Spring Fling, put on the by Spring Fling Society.

The next show is the Parkland Arabian Spring Show, which will be held at the Westerner in Red Deer in May (actual dates to be announced).

Horse lovers will then return back to Ponoka from June 2 to 5 for the Aurora Summer Horse Show at the Calnash Ag Event Centre.

“(The) Calnash is a great facility. The staff there are always so helpful,” said Buksa, adding the facility’s covered cattle pavilion adds an extra windbreak for the horses.

EquestrianPonoka

 

Showing style and splash on a Saddlebred horse during Spring Fling, held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre April 15 to 17. (Photos submitted/Amanda Ubell Photography)

Showing style and splash on a Saddlebred horse during Spring Fling, held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre April 15 to 17. (Photos submitted/Amanda Ubell Photography)