Beth Smith from Indian River, Prince Edward Island, Canada, and Desi, a 7 year old gray Arabian gelding, were recently crowned the 2013 Horse Agility World Champions by the International Horse Agility Club. With 20 countries spanning 5 continents and nearly 1000 members competing in the OLHA Horse Agility competitions, Beth and Desi led the way from January to December.
Beth has been a horse lover all her life and she is living her dream! She puts her whole heart and soul into her horse life and it really shows in what she has accomplished with them. She has dedicated her life to her horses and the Parelli Natural Horsemanship (PNH) program. Using love, language and leadership Beth and Desi walked, trotted and cantered their way to winning this title. By putting the Parelli principles to a purpose Beth and Desi have made becoming World Champions look easy! She has always been an all around horse person, competing in every aspect of equine competition available; ranging from driving miniature horses, to competitive show jumping, to western pleasure to dressage to western reining.
With the belief that each horse is an individual and has its own horse-a-nality, a large portion of time is spent to make sure that the communication with each horse is in a way that is positive and rewarding to both horse and human. A solid foundation in basic horsemanship is vital to the good development of any equine sport.
Beth feels that Horse Agility makes a perfect compliment to her PNH training. This sport of Horse Agility is a new and fast growing sport, and Beth & Desi were Reserve World Champions in 2012.
Each month patterns are sent out over the internet with 10 obstacles that must be set up to exacting specifications. Entrants practice the patterns and then send an uncut, unedited video of the completed course to the Horse Agility headquarters in England, where they are judged. There are different levels from beginners to the advanced. Beth and Desi, competing at the highest level, work completely at Liberty where no halters, sticks or equipment of any kind can be used.
"Horse Agility is a new, but fast growing sport that is just plain fun!" Says Beth Smith, "It's fun playing with your horse, fun building the courses, fun doing a scavenger hunt every month to find new props for the obstacles, and we really have a great time helping each other with new training ideas for the new challenges! Some days we do more laughing than anything else!"
"I wish everyone could have as much fun with their horses as we do, but behind all the good times is a solid foundation in communication between ourselves and our horses. Parelli Natural Horsemanship has provided us with that foundation, allowing us to communicate with subtle body language and voice cues."
Beth quotes "I'm very proud of Desi. He is owned by Eric and Anne MacNearney ( from Windsor Junction, Nova Scotia ) who have kindly allowed me to play with him. He was born here on our farm and I have trained him since the day he was born."
Other outstanding Canadian Horse Agility winners are Julia Cameron also from Indian River, Prince Edward Island, and her horse Moe, who won the Liberty Cup North American Championship, and from Manitoba , Noreen Friesen and her two lovely horses Jake and Cola who won the top Amateur Award.
Moe excitedly waiting his turn to go play with The Horse Agility Course!