Mission's Natalie Alves and her horse

Mission's Natalie Alves and her horse

Mission rider best in Canada

Mission's Natalie Alves wins Canada's Junior Equestrian of the Year award.

Natalie Alves has been fascinated with horses, since her father placed her on one when she was just a baby.

The Mission resident began riding before she could walk. At age six, she began to show horses.

“My dad’s had horses for about 30 years so I was kind of born into it,” said the 17-year-old rider.

Her love of riding has never diminished.

“I was really into dance and school sports for a long time but at the end of the day, I quit everything to do this (horseback riding) more and more.”

Her dedication recently paid off as Alves was the recipient of Equine Canada’s Gillian Wilson Junior Equestrian of the Year Award. The award is given annually to a junior equestrian athlete who has excelled in competitions for the current year while demonstrating exceptional talent, horsemanship, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport.

Alves will now hold the award for one year, will retain a trophy and has received $1,000.

When she found out she was chosen, from all the eligible riders in Canada, Alves said she couldn’t believe it.

“I was just shocked. I believe, from my knowledge, that I’m only the second ever Arabian competitor to win the award.”

In the past, Olympic riders have usually been honoured. Arabian riding runs in its own, non-Olympic circuit.

Alves said a lot of the competition is the same – dressage and jumping – but Arabian has more diverse disciplines including western and English riding and “every other discipline in between.”

The diversity is one of the reasons Alves chose Arabian.

“I just love the connection of an animal being your partner. That’s probably the main goal of it in showing is to create that bond between you and your partner,” she said.

While she has always loved riding, it wasn’t until 2010 that Alves realized her potential. She was competing in her first Canadian Nationals, at the age of 12, and she won national champion.

“It was kind of an eye-opener, that you really can do this.”

From then on she was hooked on competing.

Of course, it helps to have a great partner when riding. Her mare, Shake It Up Baby, has also been honoured as it was the 2013 Equine Canada Half Arabian Horse of the Year.

Alves graduates from Heritage Park Secondary this year and has decided to attend the University of the Fraser Valley.

She had been accepted into the University of B.C., but decided to remain in the Fraser Valley so she could continue to ride.

To date Alves has received:

The Hollister Entrance Scholarship to UFV consisting of a one-year tuition waiver and $1,500 for a total value of approximately $8,500;

Region 17 Arabian Horse Association Youth Scholarship for $1,500;

The Arabian Horse Foundation Scholarship for $1,000;

The Equine Canada Junior Equestrian of the Year award for $1,000;

The All Arabian Horse Association of BC Youth Scholarship for $5,00;

The Passport to Education for $1,000;

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The route of the pink parade. The Record has blackened out the name of the teen. Facebook photo.
Pink-vehicle parade to be held Sunday in support of transgender teen assaulted in Mission

Teen and family to watch parade drive single file along waterfront at 3 p.m., Jan. 17

The Anti-Racist Coalition Vancouver started a petition calling on B.C.’s education officials to make Black Shirt Day official. The inaugural event in solidarity with Black and racialized Canadians takes place on Friday, Jan. 15. (Screenshot/Change.org)
Mission School District holding first-ever Black Shirt Day in support of anti-racism on Friday

Growing calls to designate Jan. 15 a day devoted to ongoing civil rights struggle

Two people were in a vehicle that rolled over on Highway No. 1 near Lickman Road. They are now out of the vehicle. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vehicle rolls over on Highway 1 near Lickman Road in Chilliwack

Two people in SUV at time of collision in westbound lanes

Screenshot from video.
2 students arrested in assault of transgender girl at Mission middle school

Mother said daughter was targeted because of how she identifies

The Sts’ailes Community School in the winter of 2019. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)
Sts’ailes Community School to extend online learning until Feb. 8

The Sts’ailes First Nation remains closed to visitors

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

The Fraser Valley Regional Library board of directors recently finalized its budget. (Black Press Media files)
Fraser Valley Regional Library budget not enough to keep up with booming population

Almost $5 million of books, DVDs, and ebooks to be purchased in 2021

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read