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Horse rider makes her jumps at 55-Plus B.C. Games

North Oyster’s Tammy Leslie wins three medals in Greater Victoria
Equestrian athlete Tammy Leslie clears the bar during 55-Plus B.C. Games competition in Greater Victoria earlier this month. (B.C. Games photo)


When not working on numbers, record-keeping and tax returns, what do accountants do for leisure activities? Well for Tammy Leslie, it’s jumping horses that works for her. Not that she jumps over horses, but she’s in the saddle while the horse does the jumping.

Tammy and her coach, Glynis Boggs-O’Shea, both recently competed in the 55-Plus B.C. Games in Greater Victoria. Both ladies are local residents with Leslie living in North Oyster and Boggs-O’Shea from Cedar.

“When riding a horse, what sort of thrill or satisfaction do you get from it? It is hard to describe unless you have done it,” she said. “Trail riding was always my solace away from everything and it was always so wonderful to connect with the horse while enjoying the outdoors and fresh air. Forest bathing at its finest. Jumping on a horse is definitely an adrenaline rush and I have to admit to being a bit addicted to it.”

Leslie wasn’t initially drawn to the competitive side of horse riding, but said she now finds “huge satisfaction” in equestrian competition, especially when she can get out on the course and put together a round like she did on her way to gold at the 55-Plus B.C. Games.

“I knew it was a great round before we even heard my scores and then when they announced my score it was just the icing on the cake,” she said.

The games featured a variety of different events but the ones that intrigued Leslie and Boggs-O’Shea were the ‘working hunter’ division events focused solely on jumping.

Leslie said she rides three times a week but this past summer, found that she was riding every chance she got.

“Glynis and I, along with some of the younger riders at the barn, are also training a thoroughbred and his training could not stop while we got ready for the Games, so she and I were often riding two horses in a day, sometimes in 30-degree-plus heat,” Leslie said. “We both put a ton of time and effort into working with our horses while also bringing along others in the barn over the past spring and summer. It was so great to have it pay off at the Games.”

She has now been competing six years and has no plans to stop, saying she likes the challenge of going to a show, implementing what she’s been working on, and also finding out what she needs to work on next.

“I like showing as it gives me a chance to canter around and jump the horse in a beautiful, big ring and have it all to myself,” Leslie said. “You have to find joy in just riding your horse sometimes and some of those big show rings brings that out for me.”

The Vancouver Island North Zone 2 team was highly competitive, finishing fourth in the medal count out of 12 teams with a total of 95 gold medals, 73 silvers and 47 bronzes. Ladysmith athletes’ results include:

Dragonboating - Dawn Bezeau, silver, platinum A; Margaret Fraser, bronze, platinum A, bronze, platinum B mixed; Gayle Janovick, bronze, platinum A, bronze, platinum B mixed.

Equestrian - Tammy Leslie, gold, silver, silver; Glynis Boggs-O’Shea, silver, bronze, bronze.

Hockey - Randy Barnes, silver; Alan Seriani, silver; James Ethier, silver; Bill Barratt, silver.

Pickleball - Barbara Lawrie, bronze, doubles.

Soccer - Lloyd Dye, bronze.

Swimming - Brenda Vugteveen, gold, 50m backstroke, gold, 25m backstroke, silver, 25m butterfly, gold, 25m freestyle.

Tennis - Lillian Lam, bronze, doubles, silver, mixed doubles.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo-area athletes crowd the podium at 55-Plus B.C. Games in Victoria

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