The first local stop on the Trillium Circuit would bring the Sudbury equestrian community out, full force, as Foothills Farms welcomed homegrown and out of town riders alike to the Chelmsford facility earlier this month.
Twenty-two year-old Lindsay Rovinelli is certainly not a newcomer to this scene. But as the recent graduate of the Forensics Science program at Laurentian University prepares to head off to law school at the University of Ottawa in the fall, she has taken to "catch" riding in an effort to keep a foot in the door.
"If someone can't ride because they're injured or can't make a show, and they still want their horse to go, I volunteer," noted Rovinelli. It's a challenge befitting a young woman who has been riding since the age of four.
"When I was younger, I always leased, so I never had the same horse for a long time," she recalled. "I got to ride a variety of different types of horses, so that kind of makes it easier to adapt."
"I definitely prefer the "dead heads" a little bit more," added Rovinelli. "It's easier to make them go than it is to make them slow down." Her years of experience have also leaned the regular at Foothills towards certain courses in particular.
"I like the hunter ring, or the medals best," she said. "They sort of test your ability and your technique in a different way. The judges want to see you strive for perfection, more than just get the job done."
Her time as a rider has provided Rovinelli with many a special memory, though a two-year stretch, early on in her teenage years, is clearly set apart. "The year that I qualified for the Royal (Winter Fair)," she suggested.
"It was full of struggles, but we managed to get it done. The following year, I played around with the jumpers, and that really changed it up. Those were the most fun."
Rovinelli, who is hopeful to return to the ring once her schooling is behind her, garnered the reserve champion in the "Open 0.9m Jumper Division" aboard Callahan.
Miranda Boudreau brings a completely different perspective, heading into her third year of riding "Ingenuity", or "Indy" as he is more affectionately known via his barn name.
The grade 11 student at Lockerby Composite plans to share the riding duties this summer with a "leaser", Paige Leclerc, ironically a former Viking as well. "She (Leclerc) has been there, done that, been to the Royal," said Boudreau. "She has more experience."
Coming off a solid performance in Huntsville last month, Boudreau was optimistic of even better results in much more familiar surroundings. "He's a really nervous horse, so at home, he feels a lot better," she said. "He's not a fan of the trailer."
And though she will be handling only part-time riding duties this summer, Boudreau is not without a notion of what she hopes to accomplish. "I'm hoping to get a perfect course in the hunter division," she said.
"That's my goal this year, to get a solid, bang on course, never miss a distance. We did it once in warm-up, but the height was very small." Boudreau and Indy (Ingenuity) picked up a pair of ribbons over the weekend, earning Reserve Champion status in the "Trillium Hunter Division", and emerging as champions in the "Children's Hunter Division".
Following is a complete list of all reserve and champion winners in all categories:Open 0.9m Jumper Division
Champion - Perfect Imperfection/Meaghan Desrochers-Dufour
Reserve Champion - Callahan/Lindsay Rovinelli
Child/Adult Jumper Division
Champion - Dominion/Theresa Baker
Reserve Champion - Ateyo/Amanda McCartney
Trillium Jumper Medal
1 - Theresa Baker/Dominion
2 - Alicia Groom/Harrington
Trillium Jumper Division
Champion - Chaldee/Christine Kinsella
Developmental Hunter Division
Champion - Carst/Kassia Bouffard
Reserve Champion - Chauffeur/Caitlin Grech
Training Hunter Division
Champion - Cool Attraction/Isabelle Gauthier
Reserve Champion - Expo 67/Michaela Smet
Low Hunter Division
Champion - Great Expectations/Maria McLean
Reserve Champion - Rainmaker/Susan Legge
Trillium Hunter Division
Champion - Rio's Fuerst Fantasy/Bailey McPhaden
Reserve Champion - Ingenuity/Miranda Boudreau
Pony Hunter Division
Champion - Callander Bay/Ella King
Reserve Champion - Hey There Delilah/Anna Milburn
C Equitation Flat
1 - Jake Priddle/Kayley
2 - Hannah Fera/Just a Little Splash of Colour
Child/Adult Hunter Division
Champion - Kayley/Layne Pattison
Reserve Champion - Lookout II Z/Thomas Delong
1 - Laila Regimbal/Bannon
2 - Thomas Delong/Lookout II Z
Modified Hunter Division
Champion - Chauffeur/Caitlin Grech
Reserve Champion - Cool Attraction/Isabelle Gauthier
1 - Michaela Smet/Expo 67
2 - Sarah McLean/Abigail K
Children's Hunter Division
Champion - Ingenuity/Miranda Boudreau
Reserve Champion - Rio's Fuerst Fantasy/Bailey McPhaden
Junior Amateur Medal
1 - Acacia Vantol/Chapel Hall
2 - Theresa Baker/Dominion