What an amazing weekend! The skies were blue, the temperature was perfect, the horses were on their best behaviour, and the participants were incredible at Carosella 2016.
On Friday the focus was on Horsemanship, Riding, and Mounted Combat Skills — ie, the core tracks of our Mounted Combat Program. For Horsemanship we had Diane Prosser give a lecture and demo on building respect and trust from the ground and saddle with her stunning pony, Outlaw; and Horsemanship 1 and Equine First Aid workshops from Isabel and Eleanor Landels. Sherry Leväaho gave semi-private clinics on riding with lightness to six lucky participants, and beginning riders got a Friday evening tune-up to prepare them for games and archery. In addition, participants were able to practise spear, swordplay, and grappling from the ground, from the falsemount, and from the horse in workshops by Devon Boorman and me; and they finished by honing their mounted sparring skills at the end of the day.
The theme of Saturday was sprezzatura: the art of making the difficult look effortless. Alongside a full day of Horseback Archery workshops by Robert Borsos, we had Jennifer Vartiainen lead us through a ballet-based strength and stretch morning workout; eight riders learned a Prix Fiore routine in 45 minutes which they performed beautifully as a demo the following day; and Kate Landels offered her tips and techniques for better, faster mounted games.
As always, we finished the weekend with our annual tournament which included a Grooms’ Competition, Team and Individual Mounted Games, Archery from the ground and horse, and the Green Spur Sparring Tournament.
The high-point championship went to Duello’s prodigal son, former lead instructor Adam Lein. Adam helped develop the Mounted Combat curriculum back in 2010, so it was a pleasure sending him back to California with a pocketful of gift certificates, knowing he’d have to come and see us again in order to spend them!
Here’s how the cards fell throughout the day:
- Jack‘s silky tangle-free tail helped Chris Richarson & Robert Borsos edge out
- Tika‘s beautiful braids by Cat Swan & Steph Laversin, while
- Tilly, groomed by Allie Douglas & Adam Lein came in only 0.7 points short of winning.
The results for the team games were based on 3-Flag, Litter, and Stick Pegging as well as Horseback Archery.
- Christian Deron on Jack & Robert Borsos on Flavie
- Steph Laversin on Tika & Laura Ambrosiano on Chicco
- Cat Swan on Tika & Chris Richardson on Chicco
- Allie Douglas on Tilly & Molly Glave on Princess
- Melek Daglar on Princess (with assistance from Christian Deron on Flavie)
- Tracey Leacock on Tilly & Adam Lein on Chicco
Archery from the Ground
- Robert Borsos
- Adam Lein
- Tracey Leacock
Individual Games included Rings, Balloon, and Quintain.
- Steph Laversin on Tika – 15 pts
- Christian Deron on Jack – 11 pts
- Robert Borsos on Flavie – 10 pts
- Allie Douglas on Tilly – 15 pts
- (Tie) Molly Glave on Princess – 11 pts
- (Tie) Cat Swan on Tika – 11pts
- Adam Lein on Chicco – 15 pts
- Tracey Leacock on Tilly – 12 pts
- Melek Daglar on Princess – 9 pts
Green Spur Tournament
The Green Spur sparring matches are the culmination of the weekend and consist of two round robin sets followed by a final. After the hard-fought round robin in which one rider withdrew with a pulled muscle, Steph and Jen fought a tie-breaker to face the leader, Chris, with the final results as follows:
- Chris Richardson on Flavie/Chicco
- Jen Landels on Winnie
- Steph Laversin on Tika
- Tracey Leacock on Tilly
- Christian Deron on Chicco (withdrawn)
Congratulations to the competitors in all divisions who rode, shot, and fought with grace, honour, and courage!
Last but by very far not least, a huge shout-out to all the volunteers and instructors who helped make this happen: Elise Marquis, Jasmin Nyack, Greg Yoshida, Christian Deron, Viktoria Tryfanova, Chris Richardson, Ben Davis, Steph Laversin, Peter Edwards, Mackenzie McDonnell, Robyn Koch, Gianluca Ciccone, Devon Boorman, Diane Prosser, Sherry Leväaho, Isabel Landels, Eleanor Landels, Kate Landels, Robert Borsos, Zoltan Csontos, and Jennifer Vartiainen. To you and all the particpants, thank you for another wonderful Carosella weekend!
Photos by Christian Deron, Devon Boorman, Isabel Landels & Adam Lein