If you have followed my blog for a while, you may know that my wife, Sheri, shows Arabian horses. Once again this year we had an opportunity to go to the Canadian National Arabian Championship show which is held in Brandon, Manitoba. Brandon is about 1200 miles (1931 km) from our home in Utah, and we drove there once again. So that you don’t think I’m totally insane, the cost of a flight and a rental car for the two of us ends up being about double what we would pay in fuel and lodging for the drive. So, it ends up being a no-brainer.
I thought I would share a visual of our trip for you and give you some brief descriptions along with the photos. You may notice in most of the photographs that the skies seem pretty washed out and a dull whitish gray color. This is due to the smoke from the wildfires in the western United States and western Canada. In fact, on our way up to Brandon we heard on the news that the smoke from the fires in California had finally reached New York City. So, we did not have those beautiful blue skies which usually accompany that part of Canada. We did however have a wonderful time as usual, and we always enjoy spending time with our Canadian friends. As a side note, the United States could take a lot of tips from our neighbor to the north these days.
Hopefully, you will enjoy these photographs and be able to get a feel for why we enjoy our time in this nice city in Manitoba.
Here are a few shots from the show grounds at the equestrian center in Brandon. The grounds are primarily designed as a hockey facility, but is a huge complex. Brandon is the second largest city in Manitoba behind the capitol, Winnipeg. So not only does this complex hold the city’s hockey team, the Brandon Wheat Kings which I gather are quite a formidable team, the facility also houses areas for curling, and other ice sports as well. With Brandon being primarily a farming community, the facility is also used as a fairgrounds for agricultural events as well.
Since we were up here for the entire week, a few of us decided to take a side trip up to Riding Mountain National Park further north in Manitoba. Here are a few shots from that trip as well. (For more photographs of the trip up to Riding Mountain Park please check out my post from last year, Scenes from Manitoba.)
There is a nice little restaurant in town right across the street from the main Park headquarters building in the town of Wasagaming which is inside Riding Mountain National Park. The restaurant has a wonderful little patio from which you can watch pretty much everything happening on the main street. For lunch that day Francis and I had a buffalo burger, and you can see we are making a toast to our relaxing day. Alex is Francis’s son, and somehow he managed to enjoy a beer with us as well.
As I have been to the show for several years, I decided to do a little walking tour of Brandon and take some pictures of the interesting architecture in the town.
Well, the horse show can certainly be a cause for celebration as you can see in the photograph below.
And lastly here is the main reason for our trip to Brandon, my wife’s horse show. She had a good showing in her classes, and had a great time as well. The horse show has a paid photographer, so any photos taken by the rest of us must be from outside of the show arena, and the use of flash is strictly prohibited so as not to interfere with the class. So, getting these shots is a little bit of a chore. I used a Nikon 70-200mm lens and shot at f3.5 for most of the photographs. The ISO was set at about 4000 to allow for a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action and motion. My camera for most of the shots in this blog is a Nikon D500.
The Country English Pleasure is a class where the horse is supposed to show a lot of discipline and control. The horse should have big motion with a rolling action in his/her feet and legs at the trot. The rider is dressed in very traditional turn of the century riding clothes for a “pleasurable ride across country”. The class is judged on the confirmation (body build and motion) of the horse, the amount of action and motion in the horse’s trots and canters (run) as well as being easy to handle and looking relaxed at the walk and at a stop.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Brandon, Manitoba. Thanks for stopping by.