Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Barrel Race season continued to run, although at reduced capacity. We had an especially short season since Lily's usual horse, Rookie, suffered an injury in the Spring that put him out for the rest of the year, so we spent a good few months searching and trying out other horses.
Finally, in July, we purchased two new barrel horses: Louie and Joker.
Louie is a seasoned 11-year-old barrel horse and is ready-to-run, whereas Joker has had some good training, but as he's only 6, so Lily needs to learn and develop her riding style to get the best out of his youthful energy. Lily was also still developing her riding and relationship with Louie, and her coach, Sarah Gerard, suggested that she exercise control rather than speed. With this in mind, we entered Louie into the CBR finals, running in the Open and Novice classes.
CBR Finals: Friday Sept 18
With time-onlies running at 7:00 am, Friday was an early start. With a successful time-only under her belt, Lily had a long wait until her run in the Open class - she was number 200 out of almost 250 riders. Due to some unfortunate organizational incidents and delays, it was 5:30 when she finally ran, but she had a good solid race at around 20 seconds. Lily's run in the Novice class didn't come until around 8:30 in the evening, but she ran an excellent 19.689 seconds in the dark. It was a long and exhausting day, but we were very happy with the results.
CBR Finals: Saturday Sept 19
With no time-only runs on Saturday, we had a slightly later start, but with rain coming in, it was going to be a challenging day. Lily's Open run was earlier though (she ran 86th) and she missed the rain, netting a 19.659. Unfortunately, her Novice run came during the height of the rainstorm, but it didn't deter her and she made a superb 19.589 second run, despite the rain.
CBR Finals: Sunday Sept 20
Sunday was the last day of the event, and with the novice classes completed on Saturday, Lily only needed to run once in the Open class. Running at number 76, she again ran a solid and consistent 19.669 seconds.
Lily and Louie's final positions were 2nd in 3d in the Novice class, and 7th in 5d in the Open. Since Lily was pretty much holding Louie back and developing control over speed, we were very pleased with the overall results. You can see Lily's runs here.
Well done Lily and Louie!