Sarah Cummings poses with West Bay following the pair’s double-gold para-equestrian performance at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships in Lexington

Sarah Cummings poses with West Bay following the pair’s double-gold para-equestrian performance at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships in Lexington

Cranbrook para-equestrian rider claims double gold

Sarah Cummings rides West bay to podium in Lexington, Ky., as she continues her pursuit of the 2016 Paralympic Games

For The Townsman

Sarah Cummings of Cranbrook recently competed for Canada’s Para-Equestrian Team at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Ky. Cummings and her new partner West Bay performed their dressage tests in perfect harmony to place on top of the podium and collect two individual gold medals.

Her first gold medal was won for the individual championship test,  where the horse and rider follow a specific pattern with compulsory moves and are judged on precision, harmony, impulsion and obedience of the horse, and skill of the rider.

The second gold medal was secured in freestyle dressage,  where the rider choreographs their own pattern to music of their choice. The freestyle must include the compulsory moves, but also allows the rider freedom to choose their own creative maneuvers.

In comparison, this judged event is much like the free skate or long program in figure skating.

“We dance our butts off and loved doing it,” Cummings said.

The fun doesn’t stop there, Cummings and her teammates climbed onto the podium to collect the silver medal for Team Canada.

The teams were judged by an international panel representing USA, Canada, Mexico, Germany and France. Canada’s team was marginally beat out by the USA team by a mere three per cent.

The North American Young Riders was a highlight for Cummings this season and was a taste of what it could be like to ride at the 2016 Olympic Games. In order to qualify for Canada’s Para-Olympic Team, Cummings must continue to compete in competitions across North America. This takes extreme dedication, hard work, passion, training, athleticism and funding.

Cummings pushed forward and traveled with her horse West Bay to compete at two more show venues. The international experience that she gained riding for Team Canada shone through as she achieved personal-best scores at these qualifying national competitions.

Cummings is overjoyed because, with these scores, she now sits sixth overall on Equine Canada’s list of eligible riders for the 2016 Olympic Games.

There is no stopping this inspirational young lady. With her goal so close in sight she is ready to leap towards her next challenge. In order to move forward, Cummings and West Bay must travel and compete at the last Olympic qualifiers in Wellington, Fla., in January 2016. It’s all up to generating enough funds to turn her dream into reality.

Cummings’ next fundraiser is Sept. 26. She is hosting a horse fun day at Wycliffe. This is a small horse show that will offer classes in both Western and English. Spectators are welcome to come out and enjoy a day of fun, as well as, support Cummings’ Olympic quest.

Entry forms for competitors are available by contacting

Cummings wished to thank all her sponsorship to date.

“I am so grateful to everyone that has helped me so far,” Cummings said. “Friends and family help me every day, but without the overwhelming generosity of the community and local businesses, none of this would have been possible for me. I look forward to partnering with more businesses to continue my success.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Jim Webster displays one of the 50 ski chairs he recently purchased from the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR). After around 50 years of use at the Kimberley Alpine Resort, Webster is now selling the chairs for $500 each to raise funds for a local parks project. Paul Rodgers photo.
Jim Webster sells vintage Kimberley Alpine Resort ski chairs for park fundraiser

Marysville resident Jim Webster recently came into possession of some Kimberley history;… Continue reading

Stock photo courtesy Cliff MacArthur/
Double-murder trial in case of Cranbrook couple killed adjourned until January

A trial has been adjourned until January for two men charged with… Continue reading

Cranbrook Community Theatre (CCT) is presenting virtual visits and live letter readings with Santa, from Friday, Dec. 11, to Sunday, Dec. 13. Photo contributed
Cranbrook Community Theatre hosts Santa’s virtual visits and letter readings

Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Santa Claus is at large… Continue reading

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Amanda Weber-Roy, conservation specialist for BC Parks in the Kootenays. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
VIDEO: Kootenay youth climate group works to protect Nelson’s water supply

Youth Climate Corps members spent five weeks thinning forest in West Arm Park

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read