Our Featured Junior Rider of the Month is Claire Ferguson!
Claire started riding when she was eight. She came to a Lancers summer camp and was hooked after the week. Claire, however, had been familiar with Lancers since she was a baby as her mum was (and still is) an adult rider. Her mum made it very clear that she only had to ride if she wanted to, not just because she did. Ten years later and it is fair to say that Claire certainly has her own passion for riding. We are pleased to feature her as our junior rider of the month. She has graduated high school and is going off to university so we are excited to celebrate all that she has brought to Lancers over the past decade.
Over the years, as Claire moved through the rides, she tried a little bit of everything at Lancers. She has worked as a stablehand and barn monitor, she has volunteered as ring crew and for canteens, she’s helped with countless shavings and hay deliveries, and has even been a counsellor at our summer day camps. Claire was a leader in training at our Salmon River sleep-away camp, and has also been a leader in the Musical Ride, the Vice-President of the Junior Executive, and a competitor in our on and off property shows. At Lancers, Claire earned her rider levels and became a qualified NCCP instructor, teaching at Lancers for the 2017-2018 year. Outside of the barn, Claire is a semi-competitive singer and thoroughly enjoys it as a hobby that is so different from our sport of riding.
Claire’s favorite horse is Maggie. Of their relationship, she explained: “to say she is a handful is definitely an understatement but there has been no experience more rewarding than working with her this past year. She is truly a heart horse for me and in a very short time has really helped me become a better rider and a better horsewoman. It isn’t all red ribbons and easy lessons for the two of us but at the end of the day Maggie really means so much to me”. Maggie features in one of Claire’s favourite memories of Lancers. She noted, “the memory that has the biggest hold on my heart would be the day Maggie came off the trailer to Lancers”.
In terms of her favourite part about Lancers, Claire said, like many others, that it is the sense of community! She explained, “I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t ended up at Lancers. I have met so many amazing people and made friendships that will last me a lifetime. However it’s not just the community I enjoy, it is how we teach and what we are taught. I credit a lot of my determination and grit to being at Lancers and at a young age learning to work hard in a way that is so rewarding and fun.” That is something we can definitely attest to as Claire is an extremely dedicated and determined individual!
Claire included other wonderful memories such as “all the crazy late night horse show prep with all of us madly braiding and bathing only to come in at 6:00am the next morning to find our horses dirty again and missing a few braids”. “In general”, she added, “there really are no better moments for me at Lancers than the simple little things of making memories in riding and in general with all of the amazing girls I ride with”. Those memories might be more present in Claire’s mind because she is very soon heading off to university in Ontario to study neuroscience. From there, she is really interested in pursuing animal physiotherapy or possibly neuropsychology with a focus on sports and hopes to end up in a field where some of her work can be related to equine/equestrians as it is such a big part of her life now and she would like it to stay that way.
Claire is a bright, intelligent, and dedicated young woman and we have been thankful to have her as a Lancer for so long. To spend a decade in one place is a long time and moving on shouldn’t go unnoticed. We wish you all the very best for your new adventure and we look forward to seeing you at our Christmas alumni ride!