Western riders host novelty dog show in Spalding

American quarter horse riders Claire Evans and Emily Sands host a novelty dog show at Unique Cottage Studios, Low Fulney, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
American quarter horse riders Claire Evans and Emily Sands host a novelty dog show at Unique Cottage Studios, Low Fulney, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.

A pair of horse riding teenagers set to represent the UK at an international competition in Australia next month have given dogs their day instead.

Claire Evans and Emily Sands (both 17) organised a novelty dog show at Unique Cottage Studios, Spalding, to raise funds towards them competing at the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Youth World Cup in New South Wales, Australia, between June 23 and July 3.

Jane Mead and Nero win first prize in the AQHA novelty dog show at Low Fulney.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Jane Mead and Nero win first prize in the AQHA novelty dog show at Low Fulney. Photo by Tim Wilson.

About 40 dogs took part in the judging contest while their owners were also given a chance to win prizes in a raffle and tombola.

Emily, of Algarkirk, said: “There was a good atmosphere and we had a good laugh wearing our Western riding gear, with people asking us about the event in Australia.

“It didn’t rain as we thought it would which was really nice and we were happy with the turnout as well.”

The dog show raised about £250 towards the total cost of the £30,000 needed to send Claire and Emily, part of a five-man squad for the bi-annual competition where each team has a week to train on American Quarter Horses from the host country which are picked at random.

There was a good atmosphere, we had a good laugh wearing our Western riding gear, it didn’t rain as we thought it would and we were happy with the turnout as well

Emily Sands (17) of Algarkirk and Spalding High School

The UK team is made up of Claire, Emily and three other riders, an international coach from the USA, UK team manager and team mentor.

Emily, a student at Spalding High School, said: “The American Quarter Horse has extra-developed hind quarters enabling it to excel at sprinting over short distances, this ability being where the name ‘Quarter Horse’ originates from.

“The Quarter Horse has the ability to outrun all other breeds of horse over a quarter of a mile, with some being clocked in at 55mph.

“Due to the Quarter Horse’s ability, cowboys used to race them and this is still done in America today.

Second prize for Babs Chapman and Sonny.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Second prize for Babs Chapman and Sonny. Photo by Tim Wilson.

“This particular breed of horse is, in some ways, similar to a Border Collie dog in that while the collie has a sense for sheep, the Quarter Horse has a sense for cows and can be used for all disciplines.

“I myself have been riding American Quarter Horses since I was ten and to be selected as a riding member of this year’s AQHA UK riding team is an achievement that will provide me with friends, skills and memories to last a lifetime.”

Algarkirk horsewoman Emily rides out on world stage

Second prize for Babs Chapman and Sonny.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Second prize for Babs Chapman and Sonny. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Vince Hood with Tass and May who won a special prize.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Vince Hood with Tass and May who won a special prize. Photo by Tim Wilson.