[slideshow]

Almost Fall Jet Boat Trip on the Fraser River

One of the features of McBride’s Centenary activities and Fraser Heritage Festival this month was free jet boat rides on the Fraser from Adrenaline Tours. Rod Whelpton took four boatloads of lucky participants for rides, starting at our new boat launch, heading up to the Holmes or Beaver River, and then taking the time to drift slowly back to the start point. Each of these two-hour trips allowed passengers to witness the beginning of the changing leaves, see immense eagle and bee nests or just witness Beaver Mountain from many angles. A highlight was a brief walkabout at the waterfall where Eddy Creek empties into the Fraser River; around every corner was a photographic opportunity. The views, the camaraderie and the opportunity to witness the local flora and fauna from a different perspective were outstanding. Being able to enjoy it with local people and two couples from Belgium on our particular trip was an unexpected privilege, and memory not to be forgotten.

The local residents, some of whom had never been on the river but had lived here in some cases for several decades, had a fascinating discussion about changing names. When indeed (or why) did the Beaver River become the Holmes, King Creek become Nevin Creek, Baker become Holliday or Blackwater become the McKale?

Funded by a Federal Heritage Canada grant called Building Communities through Arts and Culture, this event will be a cherished memory and series of photographs in my personal McBride Album.

Many thanks to Rod Whelpton for this day so that many of us could enjoy these spectacular sights.

Natural Horsemanship Demo in McBride

Working with seven-time World Champion Palimino Genuine 007, Apache, who recently competed at the Calgary Stampede and his new Lusitania stallion named Q, McBride resident Tom Ryan gave a two-hour demonstration of the Parelli natural horsemanship training philosophy and what he referred to as ‘The Four Savvy’s’. The event was held over the weekend on the two lots immediately south of the proposed Library/Museum building, inside a temporary round pen. With approximately 150 people in attendance, Ryan used all three magnificent horses to demonstrate the different training procedures as the animals travelled around, over and through the various obstacles set up. Using his legs, reins, hand gestures, and non verbal instruction from a distance, Ryan had the audience in awe.

Ryan described the different techniques to those watching from outside the pen as he demonstrated each in turn. The animals effortlessly climbed stairs, went over a moving bridge, through water, over different levels of barrels and finally over a teeter-totter as they were guided with almost invisible control cues. Ryan also introduced and congratulated Devanee Cardinal from Cardinal Ranch who has recently completed her four-star Parelli Instructors qualifications.

Ryan told of how he was recently able to purchase (or rather, repurchase) his horse Genuine 007 who at 17 years of age is still competing at the highest level. He explained the origins and demonstrated the special skills of the Lusitania breed – often the horse of choice for close-hand fighting in the wars of old, because of their abilities to move quickly and fluidly from side to side, frontwards and backwards. They originated in Portugal, but his stallion was actually purchased and brought here from Brazil.

During his demonstration, Ryan gave some advice to the audience. He suggested ‘A bad tempered man will never ride a good tempered horse.’ As in other things, confidence and calmness of the horse and rider is of paramount importance. At the climax of the show he demonstrated his signature move – without giving any verbal commands Genuine 007 stood absolutely still and allowed him to jump up and stand on top of the saddle, arms outstretched. The obvious skill and understanding between the two was enthusiastically appreciated by the large crowd.

Fraser Heritage Festival activities continue throughout September in McBride.

By: Chris Parker