Tuesday September 30, 2014

Sports in Prime Time

Diamond Jubilee Challenge features riders of all shapes and sizes


Each year, the Gamblers Choice course brings a large crowd to the Fair. This year while celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Provincial Ex changed the name of the Gamblers Choice to the Diamond Jubilee Challenge, which took place Monday evening. This horse jumper course is a unique and challenging event for the participants, for there is really no set rules on your order of jumps or pattern - each participant can create their own course. The jumps are all labelled with different points ranging from 10 to 120 and when each jump is made, you get those points. If the jump is missed, you don’t receive the points. The goal of the course is to get the most points in a set amount of time. Only 50 seconds are allowed, so the riders really have to walk the course and plan out their jumps beforehand. The Diamond Jubilee was an open class, ranging this year from riders 14-years-old to experienced pros. A young female rider from Alexander, MB, named Taylor, participated in this course Monday evening. It was her first open jumper class, but that didn’t seem to intimidate her, as she placed fifth out of 18 entrees. She stated she planned a simple course so that if she missed one jump, she could easily get another one, so time wouldn’t run out on her. Taylor’s been working with her horse, Prince of Thieves, for five years and has been taking lessons since she was eight-years-old. She’s entered in a meter 20 division all week and is also entered in the horse-dog relay Wednesday evening, which is another open jumper class. Taylor is a great representative and prime example of how important our youth are to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. Seeing them excel and work their way up, competing against pros with no trouble is what the Fair is all about.


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