VIDEO: Arabian horses and riders vie for awards at Langley event

Langley City rider Gillian Fraser and FF Christiana won the ‘Ranch Rail’ open and amateur events at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park on Sunday, July 24. Close to 200 competitors fro0m B.C., Alberta and the U.S. took part in the first post-COVID regional competition for North America’s largest Arabian horse association. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Langley City rider Gillian Fraser and FF Christiana won the ‘Ranch Rail’ open and amateur events at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park on Sunday, July 24. Close to 200 competitors fro0m B.C., Alberta and the U.S. took part in the first post-COVID regional competition for North America’s largest Arabian horse association. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Cathy Southwell and Samson Bleu from Savona, B.C. rode in the ‘Ranch Rail’ competition at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association event held at Thunderbird Show Park on Sunday, July 24 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Cathy Southwell and Samson Bleu from Savona, B.C. rode in the ‘Ranch Rail’ competition at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association event held at Thunderbird Show Park on Sunday, July 24 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Awards awaited winners of various events at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park from July 20th – July 24th. Close to 200 riders from B.C., Alberta and the U.S. took part. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Awards awaited winners of various events at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park from July 20th – July 24th. Close to 200 riders from B.C., Alberta and the U.S. took part. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley City rider Gillian Fraser and her 11-year-old Arabian mare FF Christiana won the “Ranch Rail” open and amateur championship events at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley on Sunday, July 24.

“That’s kind of her forte,” Fraser said of Christiana’s outstanding performance in the test of a horse’s working ability.

Langley City rider Gillian Fraser and FF Christiana won the ‘Ranch Rail’ championship at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park on Sunday, July 24 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley City rider Gillian Fraser and FF Christiana won the ‘Ranch Rail’ championship at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park on Sunday, July 24 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Christina is also from Langley, Fraser noted, a product of Flightline Farm Arabians.

“I’ve been riding her since she was two.”

Fraser was happy to win the belt buckle that goes with the championship, and just as glad to be back in competition after a three-year enforced shutdown during the pandemic.

Fraser, who has been riding Arabians since 1992, explained the appeal of the breed.

“They’re known for their beauty, but what many people don’t realize is how versatile they are.”

Cindi Wrate, the show commission chair, estimated close to 200 competitors, most from B.C. and Alberta, took part in the July 20th – July 24th event at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, winning buckles and ribbons in various events.

“We had a couple of folks come up from the U.S as well,” Wrate told the Langley Advance Times.

Wrate was pleased by the numbers of young competitors, aged 10 to 18, who took part.

“There were a lot of young people,” Wrate remarked.

“It was really nice to see the youth.

Wrate said the “primarily volunteer-driven” Region 17 is the largest Arabian horse association in North America (more information about the association can be seen online at www.region17.com).

Cindi Wrate, show commission chair, was cheered by the numbers of young riders at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park that ran from July 20th – July 24th. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Cindi Wrate, show commission chair, was cheered by the numbers of young riders at the Region 17 Arabian Horse Association competition at Thunderbird Show Park that ran from July 20th – July 24th. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

The association rotates the annual regional event between B.C. and Alberta every two years, but that schedule was disrupted by COVID-19.

“We haven’t been able to be in B.C. since 2019,” Wrate said.

One online account describes the Arabian horse as one of the “most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world” with their distinctive head shape and high tail carriage — and one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses in the Middle East that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years.

More photos from the Region 17 event can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

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