Charis Cooper

  I would like to nominate CRTWH member Charis Cooper for Century Partners recognition by the Canadian Registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
Charis is 81 years old this year. The Tennessee Walking Horse that Charis continues to ride is D-J’s Peppi Two, Registration number 438, Foaled March 14, 1986.
For many years Charis and Peppi have participated in parades on behalf of the Easy Rider Division of the Alberta Walking Horse Association. Charis has been a member of the Alberta Walking Horse group who participated at Spruce Meadows for many years. Charis and Peppi were active participants in Three Day Eventing in Alberta. To the best of my knowledge, they were the only Tennessee Walking Horse Team to compete on a Provincial level. Charis and Peppi are currently part of a working group to form an Alberta Sidesaddle Association. Charis and Peppi will be part of the sidesaddle demo team in 2011.
CHARIS’S STORY – HOW I GOT STARTED WITH WALKERS.In the summer of 1985 a rider appeared on our ranch, asking permission to ride on our property. He was boarding his horse, a beautiful chestnut mare, just three miles north of our ranch. The rider, Larry Clay, informed me that his mare was a Tennessee Walking Horse, which I knew nothing about. He then proceeded to demonstrate her gaits, which were awesome. Over the next two summers, Larry and ‘Cindy’ were frequent visitors, and I was always amazed at the speed of this beautiful mare. Her registered name was Joie’s Cindy Lady, by Lady’s Captain W. x Walkaway Joie (by Chief Joseph).

In 1987, Larry was transferred to Victoria, and as the riding trails there were very limited compared to this part of the country, he offered Cindy to me. My friend, Lindy Barron, gave me some lessons on how to control Cindy’s gaits, and soon Cindy and I were scooting around the countryside, trail riding and doing ranch work. Cindy became a very good cow horse.
Then I became acquainted with the Alberta Walking Horse Association people, so Cindy and I entered the show ring, garnering some ribbons and trophies. In 1990 Spruce Meadows introduced the first Battle of the Breeds so a Walking Horse team was entered. It consisted of Greta Broholm, Leah Berge, Lara Hack, and myself, with Hilton Hack as Captain. Cindy and I performed in the Trail Class and the Barrel Race, placing sixth in trail and seventh in barrels against 12 competitors.

Our team placed fourth in the competition overall, showing that Walking Horses can do it all. Cindy was 12 and I was 60 years old at this time. Cindy and I entered four more Battle of the Breeds competitions, always doing well in the Trail Class against all breeds.
Cindy and I went on to travel many mountain trails with other Walking Horse riders and on our ranch. Cindy was my riding horse until she was 21 years old, and then was retired as she was becoming quite crippled. She was a horse that did not know the word “quit”. At 24 Cindy was sent to horse heaven but she will always have a special place in my heart, as she introduced me to this wonderful breed that I am still involved with.
Being almost 81 years old now, I am still riding. Over the years I have become involved in side saddle riding and competitive carriage driving with my current wonderful Walking Horse, D-J’s Peppi Two CDN 438

She is another model of Tennessee Walking Horse endurance and smoothness. Peppi is now 25 years old, and is still a wonderful riding horse. She is by Beauty’s Trail’s End x Miss Stroll-O-Way (by Queen’s Lil Joe). Now Peppi and I are involved in trying to start a sidesaddle club in Alberta. We hope to have a booth at the Mane Event in Red Deer in the spring, so we may see you there!

(Above: Peppi with Charis riding sidesaddle
after another successful parade appearance.)

Charis Cooper driving Dee jay’s Peppi Two in a presentation class at the DeWinton Polo Club in 2004. They placed 3rd out of 19 drivers. This is one of Charis’ favourite pictures. After the class, a lot of people gathered around asking what breed she was and were so surprised to hear she was a Tennessee Walking Horse.
High Country Pleasure Show at Spruce Meadows 2002 – the Dressage Phase
Sept 2001 High Country 3 Day Event – Dressage Phase
Sept 1999 High Country 3 Day Event – Cones and Obstacle Course
Sept 1999 high Country 3 Day Event The last kilometre of Cross Country and Obstacle Course. Peppi had travelled eleven Kilometres. Dick Cooper Groom and Anchor.
Sept 1999 High Country 3 day Event
Climbing out of the Water Hazard. Dick Cooper Groom and Anchor.
Sept 1999 High Country Three Day Event – bridge Hazard on the Cross Country Course.
July 2000 High Country Pleasure Show at Spruce meadows. Peppi won the class. Theresa Heaney as groom.
This is where the driving all began. Clinic at Glenn Robinson’s with Bill Fares in 1997 or 1998. The first time Peppi had been hooked up outside and she was great. Her previous owners had hooked her up when she was four in an arena. She was 11 or 12 here.
Longview Ranch Parade July 1998
Spruce Meadows Demo for Alberta Breeds for the World Sept 2000
Spruce meadows Demo – Sept 2003. Keith Oberle beside
Sept 99 Bridge Hazard
3 Day Event 1999 – Cross Country Phase
Driving Dressage
Charis First TWH – Joie’s Cindy Lady – Spruce Meadows Battle of the Breeds
Joie’s Cindy Lady – Battle of the Breeds