WINDSOR, N.S. — Two Halifax women who ride horses in Hants County took home the prized trophy at the 2018 GFL Hillbilly Dash 4 for Cash competition Sept. 22.
Before a large cheering crowd, nine teams of two people, tackled the challenging obstacle, partner-carrying course inside the main arena at the Hants County Exhibition.
For Kate Howarth and Antonia Chircop, it was their first time competing in the event.
“It was a lot harder than we thought it was going to be, especially the square dancing part,” said Howarth.
“It gets your lungs burning before you’ve even started. The rest of it is like — I’ve got to keep moving my legs,” added Chircop.
The event, sponsored by Green For Life (GFL) Environmental Ltd., first challenged teams to sort through ‘trash’ and dispose of them in the proper recycling receptacles. Then they did a jig before the timer started. The pairs raced to stack hay, wheel it through poles, ride bouncy inflatable horses, carry their partner over three obstacles and race to the finish while hauling large recycling bins. If they didn’t properly sort the items at the beginning, they were stopped near the finish line, where they had to fix their error.
Several teams donned costumes, with the more outrageous ones inspiring plenty of laughs.
Howarth and Chircop, who are involved with Jill Barber’s Horses at Work, took home the first place prize of $100, plus the coveted Golden Boot Award for the fastest business team.
The pair, who say they’ll be back next year to compete again, said it was a “spontaneous decision” to participate but they’re glad they did.
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Kathy Johnston-Isenor and Tara Warner, of Fitness Junkies, were the defending champions. They nearly retained their title. They placed second, winning $300, and were crowned the crowd favourite.
Johnston-Isenor, who is a well-known Hants County fitness guru, was full of energy throughout the event — cheering on all the teams.
“I really feel like this is the highlight of the exhibition. The whole community comes together, has a big laugh together and goes away smiling,” said Johnston-Isenor following the event.
“The teams did amazing this year. There were all different ages, just a good variety – and the organization was amazing.”
Johnston-Isenor said the waste sorting added an educational component to the race and said the event keeps getting better.
As for what she found the most challenging, she said it was riding the inflatable horses.
“The little horses that we had to hop on, it burns the muscles super fast. So you’re having fun until you get onto them and then the real challenge starts.”
The third place team was that of Hanna Benedict and Maddie Singer, who were representing Bits N Bridles Tack and Feed Shop in Falmouth. They won $200.
Best costume and best dance went to the team of Andrew Postma and Tyler Chandler, representing Prolificode Software Development Inc.
The 253rd Hants County Exhibition wrapped up on Sept. 23.