Kootenay Lake’s Luanne Armstrong wins Para-Equestrian Canada competition

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  • Mar. 29, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Luanne Armstrong has earned a cross-Canada reputation as an editor and writer. Now, she can add a national para-equestrian win to her resume.

Armstrong, who has been riding horses almost before she could walk, won first place in para-dressage test, Grade 1b, a competition that was based on videos submitted to the Equine Canada competition. She edged out competitors from Vancouver Island and Ontario.

“I think it is wonderfully ironic that although I have been riding horses all my life, it was only after I was crippled with rheumatoid arthritis that I am learning to ride properly,” the Kootenay Lake resident said last week. “When my horse, Emma, and I are in tune, and I manage to get my head, hands, legs, feet and mind all working together, it is a proud achievement. Riding exercises my whole body and my mind as well, and when I get off Emma at the end of a good ride, I feel as I could do anything.”

Para-Equestrian Canada video competitions provide riders of all levels and abilities the opportunity to experience competition conditions in the comfort of their home stable and on a familiar horse. Riders are judged by para-equestrian judges against other similar riders across Canada and are eligible to place and win great prizes.

Video competitions encourage riders to develop effective riding skills and provide riders with the opportunity to compete in a progressive and structured environment. Video competitions are a fantastic way to ensure that all riders across Canada, no matter how isolated, have the chance to compete. Competition is an integral part of athlete development and provides riders with new goals as well as a sense of empowerment and accomplishment.

“I am always uplifted by the sense of contentment that pervades the therapeutic riding centre,” Armstrong said. “This is a happy place. The horses are so well cared for. The students who come are so proud of what they can do. The teachers are both caring and careful, mindful both of their students abilities and careful never to push too hard.”

“This is very exciting news to be able to share,” said Michelle Whiteaway said, who co-ordinates the Creston and District Society for Community Living’s Therapeutic Riding Program. “Congratulations from all of us to Luanne and Emma — we are very proud of their accomplishment.”

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