Carriage racers compete in 70 Mile House

Peter Van Genne drives his team with the help of his navigator Corben Van Genne at the Huber Farm last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Peter Van Genne drives his team with the help of his navigator Corben Van Genne at the Huber Farm last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ken Huber runs his hand through the main of his pony Papa Ou Mow Mow. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ken Huber runs his hand through the main of his pony Papa Ou Mow Mow. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Peter Van Genne drives his team with the help of his navigator Corben Van Genne at the Huber Farm last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Peter Van Genne drives his team with the help of his navigator Corben Van Genne at the Huber Farm last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Pipp the horse trots downhill at the direction of his owner Sasha Hopp. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Pipp the horse trots downhill at the direction of his owner Sasha Hopp. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Barriere’s Priscilla Krause and her mini-horse Suzy compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Barriere’s Priscilla Krause and her mini-horse Suzy compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Peter Van Genne drives his team with the help of his navigator Corben Van Genne at the Huber Farm last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Peter Van Genne drives his team with the help of his navigator Corben Van Genne at the Huber Farm last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Dennis Huber judges carriage racing contestants at the BS and Drive at Huber Farm. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Dennis Huber judges carriage racing contestants at the BS and Drive at Huber Farm. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Norman the horse races for the finish line under the direction Vivean McKay and Caro Clark. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Norman the horse races for the finish line under the direction Vivean McKay and Caro Clark. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Kathy Helmig came all the way from Sherwood Park Alberta to compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Kathy Helmig came all the way from Sherwood Park Alberta to compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Kathy Helmig came all the way from Sherwood Park Alberta to compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Kathy Helmig came all the way from Sherwood Park Alberta to compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Sasha Hopp tightens the harness connecting her horse Pipp to her racing carriage last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Sasha Hopp tightens the harness connecting her horse Pipp to her racing carriage last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Peter Van Genne drives his team with the help of his navigator Corben Van Genne at the Huber Farm last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Peter Van Genne drives his team with the help of his navigator Corben Van Genne at the Huber Farm last Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Barriere’s Priscilla Krause and her mini-horse Suzy compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Barriere’s Priscilla Krause and her mini-horse Suzy compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Barriere’s Priscilla Krause and her mini-horse Suzy compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Barriere’s Priscilla Krause and her mini-horse Suzy compete in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Caro Clark directs Vivean McKay around Huber Farm’s obstacle course at the BS and Drive carriage racing event. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Caro Clark directs Vivean McKay around Huber Farm’s obstacle course at the BS and Drive carriage racing event. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jonie Peters and Maia Nunn practice with their horse Scout before racing in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jonie Peters and Maia Nunn practice with their horse Scout before racing in the BS and Drive at Huber Farm. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maia Nunn was learning the ropes of carriage racing from Jonie Peters at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maia Nunn was learning the ropes of carriage racing from Jonie Peters at Huber Farm in 70 Mile House Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maia Nunn navigates for Jonie Peters as they race her horse Scout through an obstacle course. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maia Nunn navigates for Jonie Peters as they race her horse Scout through an obstacle course. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maple the horse rides towards an obstacle course under the direction of his driver Karyn Greenless and navigator Terry Worsfold. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maple the horse rides towards an obstacle course under the direction of his driver Karyn Greenless and navigator Terry Worsfold. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maia Nunn navigates for Jonie Peters as they race her horse Scout through an obstacle course. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maia Nunn navigates for Jonie Peters as they race her horse Scout through an obstacle course. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

The B.C. Carriage Racing season kicked off in 70 Mile House last weekend.

Hosted at the Huber Farm, the 2022 BS and Drive attracted 18 contestants from across B.C. and Alberta. Organizer Dennis Huber said the BC Carriage Driving Society-accredited event included dressage, an obstacle course marathon and cone racing.

“In dressage, you’re judged on how well you drive a set pattern, in the marathon you’re judged how well you drive a set course with obstacles scattered around the course and in the cones competition it’s a set pattern of cones and it’s a speed competition. You got to do it quick,” Huber said. “Then all the scores are counted up, we take off points for penalties and the person with the least amount of penalties wins.”

Huber said he loves carriage racing and used to compete at the highest level but now organizes and judges races for the competitors, many of whom have been his friends for years.

Kathy Helmig, from Sherwood Park, Alta., has known the Hubers for four decades and has been racing carriages against them for most of that time. Helmig said the sport is a great way for older equestrians to keep riding, noting the average age for carriage racers is 55.

“Because of our age and the fact we’ve been around for a long time, the camaraderie, I think of all the sports, is the best here,” Helmig said. “Someone will go ‘oh I forgot something at home’ and five guys will jump up and go ‘oh I got one of those’ and run and give it to them.”

Over the years, she said the sport has evolved as the racers have developed new racing carriages that are safer to ride in. Their lighter frames and designs, Helmig said, mean they bounce off obstacles rather than crash into them like in the past. She’s hopeful that as time goes on the sport is picked up by more young people.

One of the younger racers on the course last Saturday was Maia Nunn, 21, from Falkland, who navigated for Joni Peters, of Armstrong. The two were drawn to the event by a mutual love of horses and a desire to share that love with others.

“It’s super fun and there are lots of really supportive people here,” Nunn said.

Peters said it was absolutely fabulous to have a young navigator learning the ropes from her. She said the two of them met through other equestrian events.

“It’s a sport that has a lot of heritage and history, but it’s struggling to gain new drivers, so it’s fabulous to have a horsewoman like Maia interested in adding this to her repertoire,” Peters said.

Huber said he’s always willing to help mentor new carriage racers or train their horses. Anyone interested can call him at 250-456-6050.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House