It's a 'Trailer Rodeo!'
Convoy of Horse Trailers Descends on Saratoga Speedway
On Saturday, March 16, 2013, a convoy of ten trucks and horse trailer arrived at Saratoga Speedway in Black Creek for a most unusual event. While this venue is best known as a racetrack for cars, it was the perfect place for a ‘Trailer Rodeo’ organized by the North Vancouver Island Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of British Columbia (BCH). The 'Rodeo' allowed all attendees to practice their horse trailer hauling skills in a safe and controlled environment. While the day proved to be plenty of fun (despite some rain) – with lots of laughter and kind-hearted jesting – the purpose of the Trailer Rodeo was to get serious about safety.
“We hosted the Trailer Rodeo because safety is a high priority for the Back Country Horsemen organization,” says North Vancouver Island (NVI) Chapter vice chair, Sharon Pickthorne. “The majority of our members need to transport their horses in trailers to access local trails. Finding a safe place to practice backing up and maneuvering was fantastic. The racetrack has plenty of room and the danger of running over orange traffic cones isn’t too intimidating”
Under the ever watchful eye of BCH members Neil and Sharon Feely, who are professional drivers, participants practiced maneuvering their trucks and horse trailers around traffic pylons set up for five driving challenges: a squeeze, backing up, backing up on a hilly curve, parallel parking, and turning around at a T-intersection. The Feely’s provided some great tips and instruction on driving and they both hopped into many vehicles to help co-pilot as people perfected their skills. NVI Chapter member, Ian Compton, also helped attendees with trailer inspections, looking at brake controllers, brake cables, and how to ensure that emergency brakes are working.
A Trailer Safety Clinic preceded the Trailer Rodeo in January. This event was held at the local commercial vehicle inspection business, Courtenay Spring and Welding. Owner Kevin Mackie and mechanic Rob York helped BCH members learn about horse trailer safety and discussed trailer maintenance, what to do for pre-trip inspections and had various brake mechanisms on display.
“We extend sincere thanks to Paul Hargrave at Saratoga Speedway and Kevin Mackie from Courtenay Spring and Welding for their generosity in donating their time and facilitates so that our members could learn more about the safe operation of their trucks and horse trailers," concludes Pickthorne. "We look forward to another great season of safely hauling our horses and getting out to enjoy the great wilderness on Vancouver Island and beyond.”