For Omaha’s Karen Cudmore, show jumping is all in the family.
Cudmore, a 26-year veteran of the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair took home the ATCO Cup tunic last night on her 11-year-old Holsteiner mare named Shea.
Shea comes from a line of Winter Fair jumpers. Cudmore rode the horse’s father and grandfather in the past events in Brandon and Shea, ridden by Cudmore, took home the top prize last year.
"There’s definitely history there," she said.
While her family and their long line of winning steeds are a staple in the fair’s barns, Cudmore said taking home a prize doesn’t lose its lustre.
"What everybody doesn’t understand is I haven’t been doing that much this winter," she said, "I’ve been teaching more and for me to fight my way back up all the time to do this isn’t that easy."
Cudmore also took home third place riding her 16-year-old Southern Pride at last night’s event and her daughter Brooke also competed in the event.
Although the fair’s old guard continues to take home many of top prizes, young newcomers are making inroads as well.
Michael Rosenberg — an 18-year-old from the equestrian hotbed of Tucson, Ariz. — made the trek to Brandon this week for his first-ever Winter Fair showing.
"It’s a very nice show," he said.
He only came in ninth place with his 10-year-old Irish sport horse Crown Joker, but he was still visibly excited about the evening.
"I just brought him back this October and he’s just starting to move up the ranks, so this is the first class with him where he was really excellent, really clean, so I was really excited for him coming back as a horse."
Come September, the soon-to-be high school grad will travel with all of his horses to North Carolina and continue to compete while he attends engineering school for industrial systems — a field not as removed from the world of horses as one may think, he said.
"The horse business is the same thing, it’s all logistics to get the horses around," he said.
The headache of logistics was particularly acute for Rosenberg when he tried to cross the border at Boissevain.
"I had trouble at the border and they didn’t let the horses through," he said. "They thought I was trying to smuggle horses illegally, but they eventually got through."
Eric Martin of Oakbank, the only Manitoban in last night’s ATCO Cup, didn’t make it into the final jump-off round.
Tonight, jumpers will compete in the RBC Challenge and the final MTS Grand Prix on Saturday to cap off the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair.
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