Rendezvous 2016: Hoofprints in History
Article by Mary Huntington, BCHBC Vice President -
Rendezvous 2016, our 25th Anniversary Celebration! Well it really is Hoofprints in History now, but what fun we had turning it into history with 242 registrants and about 165 horses.
Our venue, the Princeton Exhibition grounds proved very capable of handling all the people, rigs, horses and mules that arrived. Excitement was high right from the start, when the pack trippers arrived to settle in the only treed area of the grounds and set up a real packing camp that was worth walking up to, to look at and admire. Upon entering the Exhibition grounds, people quickly located their friends and chapters and settled in encircling the grounds in a sea of white rigs. As quickly as camps were set up, horses were unloaded, tacked up and ridden out to start exploring the fabulous trail systems.
Friday was an early start with Clinicians Debbie Hughes introducing Mountain Trail, Darryl Gibb assisting his people with their Challenges, Sam Sunderland helping his riders put ideas into their horses heads! Later in the afternoon Marion Weiskopff worked with her students in the first of three sessions she held during the weekend and we can’t forget Doug and Lynette Mills, real troopers, who ran their sessions all through Saturday and part of Sunday. And thanks to Patrick Thomas, who showcased the value of Horse Agility for communicating with your horses and mules. It was really top rate information. Even those who sat and audited the classes said there was so much to learn from these amazing clinicians.
Have you ever seen someone cook a full course meal using 5 Dutch ovens stacked one on top of another. Then you missed Kelly Allen’s amazing Dutch Oven cooking demonstrations. And better yet you probably missed the mouth watering offerings she put out for the Pot Luck dinner Friday night! And then there was the Friday dance! When the Mack kids introduced the Cane dance, the floor just flooded with dancers and that’s the way it stayed!
The Exhibition’s Western town was where all lot of the action happened. Cowboy Poetry recitations, the Great Poster Challenge exhibition, Buskers Alley where there was always a few musicians jamming and people listening and tapping toes. Packing demonstrations, Vendors selling everything from Goat milk soap, beautiful Glad rags and gorgeous woodwork plaques and of course our new BCHBC branding iron were all big attractions.
Cowboy Poetry was hotly contested this year, but the judges were finally able to decide on Jim McCrae’s rendition of “the Man from Snowy River” as the outstanding winner, netting him not only the Ernie Buckle perpetual plaque but a very showy buckle for his efforts. As for the Dutch oven cookoff, Merritt Chapter’s Hillbillies finally were able to fend off a pair of rather nasty Caribbean Pirates from Shuswap Chapter for the bragging rights of best offering.
And we can’t forget the ever popular Hoof n Woof. Where dogs, horses and handlers met the challenges of the course for fame, fun and wonderful prizes.
Saturday night’s dinner was enhanced by the excitement of pulling the last dollars out of our pockets to bid on our favorite auction items. The great Poster Challenge awards were handed out that evening as well with honours going to Aldergrove Chapter for best digitally formatted poster, North West chapter for best manually formatted poster, Skeena-Stikine Chapter for best Area Promotional poster, and best “Wow” factor was taken by East Kootenay chapter. Member’s Choice was given to South Vancouver Island chapter with Robson Valley claiming Member’s Choice runner up.
Sunday the whole camp went “Quackers” as Yarrow Chapter presented their version of a Packing competition. Competitors were met with a series of Challenges that they might (or might not) meet out on the trail. All of which provided a hilarious show for both the crowd watching and those in the arena.
So a HUGE thank you to the volunteers who made it all happen. From the workbees that cleaned up and repaired the Exhibition grounds right down to those who manned the Gates and all the fantastic volunteers in between. Happy Anniversary BCHBC!