Calgary, Alberta – Mother’s Day was the perfect time for John Anderson of Calgary, AB, to announce that his competition management business, Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, will offer a $10,000 scholarship to any Alberta rider that wins the 2010 CET Medal Final at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show in November. Anderson’s mother, Barbara Anderson, was the creator of the CET Medal program, founded in 1988.
The CET Medal is open to riders aged 21 and under, and consists of flat, gymnastic, and jumping phases, placing the emphasis on riding ability and horsemanship. At the end of the competition season, four regional qualifiers are held throughout the country, with the top four riders from each region being invited to contest the CET Medal Final at the Royal Horse Show in November. Anderson is offering a $10,000 scholarship, as well as a $2,000 cash bonus to the rider’s trainer, to any Alberta rider that competes in at least four of the six qualifiers hosted by Rocky Mountain Show Jumping and goes on to win the CET Medal Final in Toronto.
In an additional effort to encourage participation in the CET Medal qualifiers offered throughout the season by Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, Anderson will refund 100% of the entry fees to any rider that competes in all six qualifying events. Anderson also plays host to the CET Medal Regional Final for the Prairie Region during the Rocky Mountain Fall Classic from September 16-19, 2010.
“The CET Medal program works at the grassroots level to develop strong riders for the future,” said Anderson, who most recently represented Canada in the $350,000 BMO Nations’ Cup at the 2009 Spruce Meadows “Masters” Tournament riding Terrific. “When you watch people like Olympic Gold Medalists McLain Ward and Beezie Madden, both of whom developed through equitation programs in the United States, and see how effortless and fluid their riding style is, it quickly becomes apparent how important it is to have a solid foundation as a rider. To build that solid foundation, you have to start at the grassroots level, which is why we are implementing this program.”
Anderson continued, “We are not reinventing the wheel. Many countries have programs whereby the federal government or private corporations reward Olympic excellence by offering cash incentives to medal winners. We are doing the same thing, but at the grassroots level. It is not just the person who wins the CET Medal Final at the Royal that wins; it is everyone who participates as they will benefit from the hours and hours of practice that they put into it. In the end, we all win as they will become better riders and strengthen the future of our sport.”
Since the CET Medal’s inception in 1988, the winner at the Royal has hailed from the province of British Columbia an impressive 13 times. Ontario has won four times while Alberta has won on only three occasions with Gary Brewster (1989), Jaclyn Duff (2003) and Michelle Wheeler (2007) taking the coveted championship title back to their home province. Seeing an Alberta rider win the CET Medal Final is another reason Anderson is offering the $10,000 scholarship.
“We see so many young riders in Alberta only competing in the jumper divisions, which takes the emphasis off developing good basics through equitation,” said Anderson, who represented Canada at the 1986 World Championships and the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Anderson and his brother, Bryan, as well as his twin sisters, Susan and Sandra, are all former members of the Canadian Equestrian Team.
“When I was growing up and we were showing in the United States, my brother and sisters and I all competed in the equitation classes, and I believe that is what has made me the rider that I am today,” said Anderson. “My mom believed in developing horsemanship through the equitation divisions, and so my entire family believed in it. I am proud to continue the tradition of emphasizing and encouraging riders to build a solid foundation, starting with the basics.”
The 2010 Rocky Mountain hunter/jumper show season officially opens May 12-16 with the Bow Valley Classic I. Included among the various weeks of competition this year are the CSI2* Rocky Mountain Classic I running August 18-22 and the CSI2* Rocky Mountain Classic II running August 25-29, which will host the Western Canadian qualifying event for the 2010 FEI Children’s Final in Doha, Qatar. The Rocky Mountain Classic III, running September 1-5, will play host to the Western Canadian Young Horse Finals.
Rocky Mountain Show Jumping holds its tournaments at Anderson Ranch in Calgary’s south end, a world-class facility featuring permanent stabling for 300 horses and a grass grand prix field complete with natural obstacles. For more information on Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, please visit www.rmshowjumping.com.
Photo: Barbara Anderson is the founder of the CET Medal program.