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

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Tri-Kon will be delivering concrete barriers on Friday afternoon for a patio space that will be shared between Soulfood Farm to Table and Sakura.Trevor Crawley photo.
Outdoor patios in the works for downtown core

Efforts already underway to set up outdoor patios on Baker St. from four local business

The BC Wildfire Service will be conducting an ecosystem restoration burn near the old Kimberley airport next week. BC Wildfire Service file.
Ecosystem restoration burn planned for old Kimberley airport area next week

Burn could begin as early as Monday, April 12, 2021

From wall hangings to plant hangers, keychains and shelves, Radiant Knots creates a variety of pieces to suit for any taste and style.
Cranbrook Arts is Looking Radiant

Cranbrook Arts Featured Artist for the month of April is Radiant Knots.… Continue reading

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Interior Health doesn’t echo B.C.’s daily COVID record

80 new cases reported Thursday, April 8, compared to 91 the day prior

The new 6,300 square foot Cranbrook Food Bank facility is located at 1624 Industrial Rd 2 and is open to the public Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
New Cranbrook Food Bank officially open to the public

The new facility is located at 1624 Industrial Rd. 2 and open Monday, Wednesday, Friday

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

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