The Horse Council BC Zone has announced that the Horse Council BC (HCBC) 2015 Horse of the Year Award was won by Courtenay horse Wallabee and his owner Jolene Benham.
Director Chris Pack and Jane Tidball of Thunderbird Show Park presented the award July 2 in Langley. HCBC’s annual awards serve to honour outstanding achievement within B.C.’s equestrian community.
“These awards acknowledge those who have stood out from the crowd over the past year and who have made a positive impact on the community as a whole,” and HCBC spokesperson said. “Each award recipient was nominated by two or more other HCBC members for an award.
“HCBC is reaching out to the various equestrian communities throughout B.C. so that we are able to present each award at a recipient’s club, competition, or event of their choice, surrounded by their friends and the people that support them,” the spokesperson added.
The HCBC Horse of the Year Award (competitive category) is awarded to any horse that has achieved a high level of success in any provincial, national or international sanctioned competition in a recognized discipline. The horse must have been born and raised in British Columbia.
The 2015 Horse Council BC Horse of the Year Award was presented to Wallabee and his owner Benham at Thunderbird Show Park during the West Coast Classic competition on July 2.
“Wallabee is truly a horse British Columbia should be proud of,” the HCBC spokesperson noted.
In 2015 at the age of 18, Wallabee partnered with Kassidy Keith for hunter and equitation divisions as well as with his owner Jolene in the jumper ring.
He took Kassidy on to win the 2015 CET Medal National Final and the Jump Canada Medal Final Title at the Royal Winter Fair. He also was reserve champion in the Junior Hunter division and finished in the top 10 in both hunter derby finals.
In September, Wallabee and Kassidy won the Washington State Hunter Jumper Medal Finals at the Northwest Autumn Classic. At Thunderbird in October, Wallabee helped Kassidy earn the New Generation Trophy at the Western CET Regional Final and at the same show, Wallabee and his rider came away with the Jump Canada Medal, Thunderbird Good Hands and Seat Medal Finals.
Throughout the 2015 show season, Wallabee either won or was the equine partner behind the win of the “Alf Fletcher Award of Excellence”, $5,000 Cobblestone Hunter Derby at T-bird, $2,500 Junior Amateur Owner Hunter Classic at Royal West and Reserve Championship in the RMSJ Medal Final.
“On behalf of Horse Council BC, congratulations to Jolene and Wallabee,” the spokesperson said.