Gerry Griner 2013 Show Notes

June in the Fraser Valley is a most unpredictable month, so you never know what weather you’ll get when you plan an event.  Luckily for us, the weather gods were kind on Sunday and it was a picture perfect day for our 41st annual Gerry Griner Show.

Things got off to an early start when several club members (Leslie, Marlie, Andrea, Debbie, Carleigh, Nicole, Ashley, Cassidy, Angie and Emma) camped out the night before the show.  Debbie Wensley’s years as a guide leader were put to good use building a huge bonfire.  A few more folks came up later on and joined in the campfire conversation which made for an evening reminiscent of the good old days  when  MHC was the center of social activity for so many of its members.  On Sunday morning, our campers woke bleary eyed and tired after some crazy shenanigans in the night by a drunk driver on Stave Lake Street.  Lack of sleep however did not deter them from having fun and putting in the hard work required to run the show.

Events officially got underway with a cake cutting by Mission Mayor, Ted Adlem.  Years ago, Ted was president of MHC and it was good to see him back on the grounds.  We even managed to get him up on Shelly Mooney’s horse Scotty for a few pictures.

After the cake cutting, the fun started with the ever popular Gerry Griner Costume Class.  The creativity shown by this year’s 19 participants was amazing.  Judge, and honorary lifetime member, Helen Howell, had such a tough time deciding who to award trophies to that she was forced to make up whole new categories, including: Most Like to Have a Snooze, Best Fairytale, Best Tourist, Most Mystical, Best Superhero, Most Exotic, Most Elegant, Best Cowgirl, Best Jockey, Best Group, Most Authentic, Most Colorful, Funniest, Best Paired, Most Original And Most Seaworthy.  Most seaworthy?  Only Helen could have dreamed that one up.  From her vantage point in the show booth, Angie’s favorites were Tacky Tourist and Most Seaworthy.

Next up, were Gerry Griner favorites:  Bare Back Equitation, Bareback Doubles and Bare Back-Back-to-Back.  The best switch of the day in Bareback Doubles went to senior division riders Meshell Simms and Chrissy Paquette, who were having WAY TOO MUCH FUN acting like a couple of 9 year olds.  It was great to see so many kids having fun and adults acting like kids having fun.

This year saw some great turnouts by family teams, including Team Carver (4), Team Perry (2), Team Smith (2), Team Vernerey (2), Team Howes (2), Team Kocsis (3) and Team Chambers (4).  There are probably a couple of other family teams I’ve missed, for which I apologize.  It sure seems like MHC is once again becoming a real family oriented club.

The second annual Egg Stomp Grudge Match between Matt De Jong and Stef Hendrickson, went this year to Matt.  Seeing as it took Matt almost 12 months to get around to washing Stef’s truck after last year’s loss, we expect it’ll be some time before Stef gets anywhere near Matt’s truck with a wash bucket.

We had a ton of MHC debuts at this show, including a couple Carver kids, a bunch of Kocsis family members and friends, Fraser Valley Building Supply’s own Sam Haga on her good old boy Brownie, Agwest Veterinarian Brent Fawcett on his Clydesdale Laddy and Paul Knapp on Safira Kocsis’ horse Harley.  Brent and Paul had so much fun, they decided to make it their mission to encourage more male riders and to ask the show committee to include a “guys only” class at next year’s show.

Special thanks go to Anna Chartier for allowing us to display her spectacular Gerry Griner made saddle at the foot of the Show Booth.  She won it way back in 1977.  And, Colleen Kocsis brought some Griner trophies from days gone by to help connect us with our roots…thanks Colleen.

The Most Memorable Moment Trophy went, for the second year in a row, to Devyn Smith.  This year he managed to pull the bridle right off his pony’s head as he ran for the sack in the Musical Sacks race.  He reached back, grabbed Rocky by the halter, pulled for all he was worth and managed to make it to a sack just in time to stay in the race.  Other trophies of note were: Sam Haga for Exceptional Horsemanship, Cassidy Howes for Best Dressed, Brianne Lavalee for Most Sportsmanlike and Haley Kocsis for Smallest Pony.

Of course, none of this could have happened without the efforts of our hard working volunteers.  This year’s show was brought to you by: Monique Vernerey and Debbie Wensley in registration, Matt De Jong, Leslie Allen, Shane Howes and Sharon D’Souza in the concession; Jeremy Zacharias, Leslie Cronjaeger and Angie De Jong in the show booth, Paul Knapp as water boy, Jennifer Gowridge on in-gate, Margaret Jones as ring clerk,  Susan Laroque on out-gate and Juanita Zacharias on trophies and prizes.  Special mention also goes to Juanita for doing her usual amazing job on decorations.

This show I had a chance to walk around the grounds and connect with as many people as possible, and I couldn’t help but notice what a wonderful time everyone was having.  I know Gerry would have been proud to see so many people enjoying his legacy and I know he’d be especially proud to see so many new kids riding this year.  Thanks everyone for coming out and thanks for helping us all have so much fun.

Paul Knapp with Angie De Jong


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