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 secummings.2010@gmail.com.

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.”

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read