Local dressage talent recognized nationally – Westlock News

July 17, 2019 - Comment

Kylie Dubovsky came home to the Busby-area from B.C. earlier this month as a national reserve champion in dressage. Dubovsky, 15, came in second at the training level in the Canadian National Dressage competition held in Terrace, B.C. July 4-7 after qualifying for the national competition last year when she placed first at the Alberta


Kylie Dubovsky came home to the Busby-area from B.C. earlier this month as a national reserve champion in dressage.

Dubovsky, 15, came in second at the training level in the Canadian National Dressage competition held in Terrace, B.C. July 4-7 after qualifying for the national competition last year when she placed first at the Alberta North regional finals.

Her Alberta North team was also named reserve champion at the national level.

Among the equestrian arts, dressage is the highly technical one, part of the English style of riding. This indicates a difference in saddles from Western ones too. The English saddle is smaller, since riders make more use of their reins to guide the horse, as opposed to their lower bodies.

The technicality of it is reflected in scoring, as well as the general outfit of the competition.

Horse and rider aspects matter as well, with points reserved for cleanliness, braiding and appropriate gear.

In Terrace, competitors rode in three different tests. Two worth 30 per cent of the total score, one worth 20 per cent and 10 per cent goes to tack and turnout. The remaining 10 per cent is a score received by the groom, who is in charge of stable cleanliness.

At the competition, riders did not bring their own horses, but instead drew from a pool of volunteered horses from the area of the competition, two for each rider.

“Both my horses were not very dressage horses,” said Dubovsky. “They were well-behaved though.”

To prepare, Dubovsky trained on her horse, Bella, as much as on different horses, from 13 to 17 hands tall, to match the available pool of horses at nationals.

The judges look for riders who can make the horse look easy to ride, she said.

Most grooms are also appointed at the competition, but Dubovsky brought her riding friend Erin Drake to B.C., with her.

“I was really surprised that I got reserve (champion), … but my stable management was really good,” said Dubovsky.

She described the atmosphere as “really fancy.” For instance, the feed stalls were decorated, which is what can be expected of English riding competitions.

Dubovsky is a member of the Canadian Pony Club and locally belongs to the Pembina River Pony Club near Busby, where she’s been riding for eight years. Competitively, she’s only been involved with dressage for two or three years.

“It started because we lived five minutes from the club,” said mom Ehren Dubovsky.

Training has intensified for the summer as Dubovsky prepares for a two-week long pony club camp coming up in Rocky Mountain House. She will also be competing at the first level of regionals, looking to qualify for nationals again.

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