Riding into the sunset


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July 12, 2016 12:00 AM

The Graham Sisters put on a demonstration during a performance at the Lea Park Rodeo. The popular trick riding act is coming to a close as family obligations prove the timing is right to hand the reins to other performers.

After 14 years, sisters pass the reins

It’s never easy passing the torch, but sometimes life forces your hand.
The Graham Sisters, maybe two of the best horse trick-riders in Canada, have had their fill of doing stunts and are performing their last show tomorrow night at their mom’s ranch, The Field of Dreams, two-km south of Sandy Beach.
“They have families and three little ones under three, and they find it’s too hard to keep their bodies in shape, as well as it’s just time for them to retire I guess, they want to spend time with their families,“said Colleen Graham, mother of Krista and Amber, the sister team that makes up the Graham Sisters.
Krista and Amber have been riding since 2002, but the level of practice and commitment it takes to remain active in the sport is outweighing their abilities to raise their families.
And it’s not just the girls who have to keep in tip-top shape, but their horses as well, though Krista and Amber love the sport so much they plan on keeping in the game at a teaching capacity.
There’s still one more night to catch their explosive show, however, where they’ll perform a variety of tricks, some of which they’d invented themselves.
“They’ve developed one that’s called the Graham Trademark,” said Graham.
“It’s a double foot stand, two girls on one horse, and they also jump their horses through a ring of fire, and they were the first ones in Canada to do a hippodrome stand with a tail drag.”
But it’s come time for Krista and Amber to hand over the reigns to another pair of up and comers,  Jen Sych and Shelby Fulkerth, who’ll both be performing at Wednesday’s show, the Graham Town Trick Riding Extravaganza.
Colleen said although it’s hard seeing them stop the activity they love, it’s also good to know they’re stopping while still at the top of their game.
“I feel this is a time in their life where they’ve done 15 years of trick riding and they’re continuing on to teaching other children,” said Graham.
“I think it’s a good time for them to go out while they’re still on top and can still pass on their legacy.; it’s bittersweet but I’m happy.”
During their trick riding career there’s been some memorable moments, like the time the two young women helped a paralyzed girl realize her dream by having her ride with them.
But now with young children of their own, it’s time to hang up the trick riding caps, and focus more on the home life instead.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the end for the Graham name when it comes to trick riding, as Amber’s young toddler has started to show some interest.
“Amber has a little girl who’s not quite two, but she’s going to be at the show and she does little tricks off her little rocking horse, and she likes to ride,” said Graham.
“So we’ll probably be on round two when she gets big enough to trick ride.”
So for all the trick riding enthusiasts who want to see the Graham Sisters final ride, you can do so tomorrow night at the Field of Dreams, 23.4 kms north on Highway 17, left on TWP 522, 2 km past Sandy Beach, continue for seven km and look for the Trail Ride signs.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

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