EC Junior Equestrian of the Year - Natalie Alves On March 27, 2015, Natalie Alves, a 17-year-old equestrian from Mission BC, was awarded the title of the 2014 Equine Canada Junior Equestrian of the Year at the Equine Canada Gala held in Gatineau, Quebec.
atalie is a multi-regional, national and Scottsdale champion, and a passionate advocate of the Arabian horse. She competes with her mare Shake It Up Baby+// who was honoured in 2013 with the title of Equine Canada Half-Arabian Horse of the Year. In addition to her equestrian accomplishments, Natalie is an avid volunteer. She graduated in January 2015 with five years of honour roll status and finished grade 12 with A’s in all of her classes. Natalie will be attending university in the fall and plans to study Graphic Design and Professional Communications. This award was first presented in 1993 in honour of Gillian Wilson who served as technical director of the Canadian Equestrian Federation for more than 15 years. The EC Junior Equestrian of the Year Award is given to a junior equestrian athlete who has excelled in equestrian competition for the current year while demonstrating exceptional talent, horsemanship, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport, vision and mission of EC. Each winner holds the award for one year, retains a trophy and receives $1,000.
Photo by Osteen Schatzberg Photography 38 • Saddle Up • May 2015
Photo by Ferrara Photography Below is the thank you speech she shared at the Gala. “I feel incredibly honoured to be named the Equine Canada Junior Equestrian of the Year. Arabian horses have been a huge part of my life ever since I can remember. Riding and competing have brought about many of my fondest memories, greatest challenges and proudest moments. From early 4-H shows with the pony my parents bred for me, to international championships with my oncein-a-lifetime mare, Shake It Up Baby, every lesson, ride, win and loss has shaped me into the rider I am today. My trainer, Brenda Driediger of Driediger Farms in Langley, has mentored me for the past five years. During this time, she has pushed me so much further than I ever thought possible. Her strength has built my confidence and made it possible for me to be so successful in a highly-competitive circuit. I would like to thank all of the coaches and trainers that have helped me along my journey, but Brenda has taught me in a way that has created an independence that I can
Natalie with her trainer Brenda Driediger. Photo by Tamara Alves. solely thank her for. My family has given me so much more than simply just supporting my dreams as an equestrian. I was born into a family that cherished horses, so it is equally as much their dream as it is mine. I cannot express how lucky I am to share my passion with my parents, Antonio and Tamara, and my sister Rebecca. I began training with my mare Shake It Up Baby, also known as Stella, in 2011. She has surpassed every expectation we have set for her. In 2013, Stella was named the Equine Canada Half-Arabian Horse of the Year. She has heart beyond measure and I cannot imagine this journey without her. I will be eternally grateful that she came into my life. Thank you to my nominator, Lorne Robertson, and my supporters, Michelle Sebring, Ashley Toye and Kathy Fergusson for your encouragement, and thank you to Equine Canada, for this incredible honour. I am ecstatic to share this milestone tonight with my family, the Arabian horse community, my club, the All Arabian Horse Association of British Columbia, my trainer Brenda and my barn family at Driediger Farms. Thank you.” HCBC 2010 Business of tHe Year
Published on May 1, 2015