Courtney Palleson was named the Horse Council of BC junior rider of the year for 2014.

Courtney Palleson was named the Horse Council of BC junior rider of the year for 2014.

Trio win Horse Council BC awards

Langley boasts top rider, coach and horse after yearly awards handed out

It has been quite the year for the Langley equestrian committee as locals have won a trio of Horse Council BC awards.

The junior athlete of the year, the coach of the year and the horse of the year are all from Langley.

Courtney Palleson was named the top junior athlete, Rochelle Kilberg won the coaching award and Hey’s Dance Class was the top horse.

The junior athlete of the year award recognizes outstanding athletic performance by an athlete 17 years or younger representing B.C. at either the provincial, national and/or international level.

Some of Palleson’s achievements in dressage included being the Touch of Class champion, the B.C. Heritage Reserve champion, winning four gold medals at the B.C. Summer Games, overall champion in dressage and hack classes at the Rising Stars youth dressage, three silver medals at the Canadian interprovincial equestrian championships and winning the Pacific Regional championship.

She accomplished all of those feats — except the Canadian interprovincial equestrian championship — on her own horse, Beauty.

Kilberg, of Hazelmere Equestrian Centre, won the coach of the year award.

Kilberg served as the Zone 3 (Fraser Valley) head coach for the 2014 B.C. Summer Games as they won the team gold. She was also coach for Team B.C. at the Canadian interprovincial equestrian championships, with Palleson winning silver at the event.

To be considered for the award, a coach needed to be nominated by at least two other Horse Council BC members.

And the horse of the year award went to Arabian mare Hey’s Dance Class, who was born and raised in Langley’s Herman Steunenberg and Sandra Arabsky’s horse breeding farm Sky’s The Limit Arabians.

The HCBC Horse of the Year — competitive division award is awarded to a horse who was born and raised in BC and who, over the year, has achieved a high level of success in any provincial, national, or international sanctioned competition in a recognized discipline.

Hey’s Dance Class, or Bug as she is known around the barn, is owned by Sandra Nickolls of Armstrong and trained by Aldergrove’s Brenda Driediger. She is trained by Steunenberg and Arabsky.

In 2014, the mare was the highest scoring horse that competed in the Sport Horse in Hand Division at an Arabian Horse Show in Arizona. And in May, she took home a dozen first-place finishes and championships with three second-place finishes and reserve championships at the AAHABC Concurrent Show at Thunderbird Show Park.

These are just some of the horse’s 2014 accomplishments.