Mikayla Hoffman at the North American Youth Championships (NAYC) held from July 24 to 28 at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. Photos submitted

Mikayla Hoffman at the North American Youth Championships (NAYC) held from July 24 to 28 at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. Photos submitted

Young Tees-area eventer earns top-placed Canadian title

Mikayla Hoffman, 15, placed 12th place out of 48 riders

A 15-year-old Tees-area eventer Mikayla Hoffman finished in 12th place out of 48 riders at the CCIJ 2* level at the North American Youth Championships (NAYC) held from July 24 to 28 at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana.

Mikayla also earned the CCIJ2*-L top-placed Canadian title in the individual standings.

“Eventing” is an equestrian sport in which riders compete in cross-country, dressage and show jumping courses.

“Essentially it’s the Olympics for young riders,” said Jamie Hoffman, Mikayla’s mother.

The riders come from Canada, the United States, Mexico and other countries. This year, however, there were only competitors from Canada and the States.

In order to qualify, Mikayla competed in California last fall doing qualifying events, as there are no competitions at that level in Canada.

Mikayla was chosen for Team Alberta in June, earning one of just four spots of the team that would go to NAYC.

Competitors begin in dressage and are scored with a percentage. Any error in the cross-country or show jumping is added to the penalty percentage.

Mikayla finished her dressage phase in 19th place with 36.0 penalty points, but after double-clear rounds in the cross-country and show jumping phases she finished in 12th place overall.

Out of the four members of Team Alberta, only two were able to complete all three events. One was eliminated for falling off their horse and the other for stopping too many times.

This was Mikayla’s debut at NAYC, and she had never faced rails of that height or obstacles of that calibre before.

Before competitions, riders are allowed to walk the courses, without their horses, but otherwise go in blind and must trust their horse.

All the obstacles on the cross-country course are solid and all kinds of jumps, from the water and out.

“It’s quite incredible,” said Jamie, adding some of the jumps were made to look like animals, and there was one that was a cutout of a canoe in the water.

Mikayla finished the cross-country course in seven minutes, under the allowed time, with no faults or penalties.

At the national championship level, the jumps are set higher and the obstacles are more technical than anything Mikayla had competed at before. The horses are extremely well-trained, but a lot of young riders were having difficulties, with rails falling and other problems.

”It was pretty intense going into the show jumping,” said Jamie.

Mikayla admits she was a bit nervous going into the show jumping, but she and her 12-year-old thoroughbred horse Eli were prepared.

In the warm-up ring, Mikayla says he felt “amazing” — super-relaxed, with rhythmic and even cantering and they were, “seeing the exact same distance to the fence every single time.”

That’s part of her process when getting ready for an event; to see how Eli is feeling and reacting, and then making her decisions from there.

“You never really get on the same horse.”

Mikayla has been riding since she could walk and competing at events since she was eight years old. She has been training with Eli for three-and-a-half years, six to seven days a week at Extreme Stables (located between Ponoka, Bashaw and Tees on Hwy. 821 and Hwy. 605) which is owned by her aunt Angie Golley.

After all their hard work and training, and developing such an intuitive relationship with Eli, making a clean run was everything.

“It feels absolutely incredible to know you worked so hard with your partner and it’s finally there.”

Eli also came home with a title, being named top-placed thoroughbred horse in the thoroughbred incentive program.

Alberta’s team was in ninth place after the dressage, but with the trouble the two members had, the team didn’t place overall, which Mikayla says was “devastating” to those team members.

To qualify as a team, three members must finish.

For herself, she says it was great to place 12th and be named the top-placed Canadian.

Mikayla has taken part in the Alberta Horse Trials for many years and has been on the Alberta High Performance Team for three consecutive years.

Now that she’s back home, she and Eli will take a break as he rests from competition for about a month. In the fall and early winter (between attending school in Ponoka) they’ll be back at it, travelling to the states to begin competing at the next level of eventing: intermediate.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Young Tees-area eventer earns top-placed Canadian title

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

Sylvan Lake RCMP, Fire Department and Victim Services will be out on Dec. 5 for the annual Charity Check-stop. File Photo
Give Sylvan Lake RCMP the bird at Charity Check-stop

Sylvan Lake RCMP will be accepting frozen turkeys for the food bank during the charity check-stop

Ecole H.J. Cody School. File Photo
Sylvan Lake high school temporarily moves to online classes

Over the weekend, H.J. Cody reported six positive cases of COVID-19

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Central zone active cases slightly up

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer.
photo submitted
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Traffic crosses over the Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver into Vancouver on July 2, 2015. Motorists would have to pay a fee to drive into downtown Vancouver under the city's plan to slow climate change but one expert warns it could pose financial hardship for some. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver’s climate plan ‘first 10 steps in a journey of 10,000,’ says expert

Almost 40 per cent of Vancouver’s carbon pollution comes from vehicles

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
After COVID-related transplant delays, 16-year-old N.S. girl gets lung transplant

‘This is the difficult time now of seeing Tahlia in ICU hooked up to 15 IVs and sedated’

Most Read