CPC - Wall of Fame And Alumni Achievement

Karen Brain

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WEBSITE www.karenbrain.ca

MEMBER OF BRANCH OR BRANCHES: Victoria-Saanich Pony Club

REGION: BC Islands Region (on Vancouver Island)

APPROXIMATE DATES OF MEMBERSHIP: FROM 1981 TO 1991

HIGHEST TESTING LEVEL ACHIEVED: A

IN WHAT DISCIPLINES DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN PONY CLUB:

  • Regional D Rally, 1983 as a Groom
  • Regional C Rally, 1984 placing 1st with Alpine Renegade (Alpo)
  • Regional PC Open Jumping Championships, 1985, 3rd Overall- Alpo
  • Regional PC Dressage Championships, 1985, 2nd Overall & High Point-Alpo
  • Regional AB Rally, 1986, Preliminary, placing 3rd- Alpine Renegade
  • National B Rally, 1986 as a Groom in Nova Scotia
  • Regional AB Rally, 1987 as Captain, winning Hi-Point Captain
  • Regional PC Dressage Championships, 1987 as Coach
  • Island area Quiz for 5 years
  • Regional Quiz for 2 years
  • Taught Quiz for 3 years
  • Taught at Pony Club Camps

ACHIEVEMENTS IN PONY CLUB IN ADULTHOOD:

I have given numerous Clinics for Pony Club in BC and Ontario and was an Instructor/Testor at Pony Club Camps.

Senior C2 Tester, testing Nanaimo Pony Club, Metchosin Pony Club, Queen Margarets Pony Club and Victoria-Saanich Pony Club

ACHIEVEMENTS AS A RIDER:

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  • member of the 4h place BC Team in 1988, riding Alpine Renegade at the North American Young Rider CCI** Championships in Wadsworth, Illinois, with teammates Chelan Kozak, Cherie Ayers, and Michael Page. (while in Pony Club)
  • I won a very exciting Air Canada scholarship in 1989 to train and compete with Captain Mark Phillips in Scotland and England with my horse Alpine Renegade for 3 months, along with other young riders Paige Lockton and Rachel Hunter. In England we stayed at Gatcombe Park Estate, where the Captain lived with his wife Princess Anne and their children Peter and Zara Phillips. We were presented the scholarship at the Royal Winter Fair in 1988 by Princess Anne. (while in Pony Club)
  • In 1997 I was in the top third at the Rolex Kentucky CCI*** with my horse Double Take.
  • In 1997 I was top Canadian, placing 12th out of 76 at the Fairhill CCI*** with my horse Double Take (Merlin).
  • In 1997 at the Radnor CCI* I was the top Canadian with my horse Mazerati, winning the Leading Mare Award.
  • In 1998 I won the Advanced Canadian Eventing Championships on Double Take in Ontario.
  • In 1998 with my horse Double Take, we placed 40th out of 92 riders at the World Equestrian Games in 3-Day Eventing in Rome, Italy, going clear on the huge cross-country course.
  • In 1999 long listed with Double Take for the Pan Am Games, but could not complete qualifications as my horse was injured.
  • Since 2002, after my accident, I have competed Internationally in Para-Equestrian Dressage competitions, usually on borrowed horses. I have competed on Q-Karlos in Portugal (5th), Mozart in the Netherlands (1st & 2nd), on Absolut in England (1st), on Checkmate in BC (2nd), on Luciano in Belgium (2nd), on Monaco in England at the World Para-Equestrian Championships (9th), on Dasskara in Athens at the Paralympic Games (2 Bronze Medals), on VDL Odette in Hong Kong (Beijing) (10th), and on my own beloved retired Event horse Double Take (1st) in Ontario. I am grateful to each person that has let me ride their own loved horse.
  • Apparently, I am one of the few Canadian athletes in any Sport that has competed at the highest level in both able-bodied and disabled sports. The World Equestrian Games in three-day Eventing in 1998 (now called the World Championships), and the Para-Equestrian World Championships in 2007 and the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games and 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. This is not a category that I was aiming for!

ACHIEVEMENTS AS AN ACCREDITED OFFICIAL

  • Certified Level II Coach

ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE MAINSTREAM

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  • On Equine Canada Long Term Athlete Development Steering Committee
  • Athlete representative for Para-Equestrian Dressage
  • Motivational Speaker - hospitals, schools, equestrian clubs, organizations
  • Member of Toastmasters (Sidney BC)
  • A book about me (Biography) was recently released, written by Author and Friend, Nikki Tate, called "Double Take: Karen Brain's Olympic Journey".

How Pony Club contributed to my success:

Pony Club was the main horse organization to belong to in 1981, and when our barn instructor, Carol Webster, told me to join, I did. As I began lessons with Lynne (Owen) Larsen, we just naturally continued with Pony Club. Looking back, I realize how incredibly lucky I was that I joined, because I learned so much from it. I made friends through my years in Pony Club that I still continue to cherish, as well as share our love of horses together.

Pony Club gave me the Stable Management foundation that allowed me to develop and maintain International level competition horses, while keeping them fit and sound. Sadly, with the early specializing we see today, so many young riders are not getting a strong enough horse care and management education. I credit Pony Club for my strong intuitive and intrinsic horse sense and attentiveness to detail with Stable Management. After all, it's in the barn that great horses are made!