Recently my daughter started horseback riding lessons at Trickle Creek Farms in Millbrook. This served as my reintroduction to the wonderful world of horses and western riding. I have ridden horses off and on all my life in both English and western style, and love what they bring to the human world as majestic, powerful and gracious animals. The ability to feel comfortable around them and especially on top of them is a special gift that I am so happy my daughter has decided to embrace. It was through her riding that we decided to showcase the Further and Barbour collections at the Can-Am Equine Show this past spring in Ancaster, Ontario.
I’m so glad we attended the Can-Am Equine show as I met an amazing young rider, Joanna Oke-Cook, and her mother Carey. They are serious horse and rodeo people who live the hard-working country lifestyle and spend their days around horses and other livestock, near Bracebridge, Ontario. When we met, Carey was wearing a silver fox skin around her neck as a scarf (and you can imagine how quickly that got my attention!) We then talked about home schooling her children during Covid lockdowns with advanced biology of wildlife from nearby roadkill. While this can sound a little outrageous, it shows a deep connection to the land and the animals and their desire to teach, learn and experience.
After some discussion and another meeting, I decided to sponsor Joanna in her Rodeo Tour this year. Joanna has ridden in Barrel Racing and Pole Bending competitions for years, but as a 19 year old, it is her first year competing in the province-wide Ram Rodeo Series. She will be competing in both disciplines at a number of events this summer and fall. We feel she has amazing potential.
We are proud to help this lovely young rider in her passion for horse competitions and hope some of you will take some time to attend one of the rodeos held across Ontario this year, and cheer her on.
We will be posting results from Joanna on our social media feeds, and if you want to follow her directly, you can reach her on Facebook.