Competing for the Kamloops Gymnastics Club, Merritt’s Drew Kanigan, 13, placed first in the Elite 4 division at the Western Canadian Gymnastics Championships in Delta on the May 5 to 7 weekend.

Kanigan, who is going into Grade 9 at Merritt Secondary School, achieved the all-around title thanks to top-three finishes in the high bar event (1st), rings (2nd), vault (2nd) and parallel bars (3rd). He also placed fourth in floor exercise and seventh on the pommel horse.

When Kanigan’s combined score of 141.500 was added to his physical skills rating of 37.76, it gave him a total points tally of 179.26, just 0.480 better than second-place Evan Fedder, also from British Columbia.

Provincial teams from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba took part in the three-day competition.

Next year, Kanigan will be old enough to try and qualify for the Canadian gymnastics championships.

(Ian Webster/Herald).

(Ian Webster/Herald).


Thirteen bull riders from around the province, ranging in age from 14 to 31, attended a two-day bull riding clinic in the Nicola Valley last week. The instructor at the clinic was Merritt’s own professional bull rider Ty Pozzobon (above, in the middle). Also in attendance were five aspiring bull fighters, who received instruction from former Nicola Valley resident and professional bull fighter Greg Loring Jr. 

(Photo courtesy of Val Davenport).

(Photo courtesy of Val Davenport).


Fifty-two-year-old Michele Pinel from Merritt made an auspicious return to three-day eventing after a 12-year hiatus, placing first in the pre-entry division at a horse trials held at Johvale, just east of Kamloops. The schooling event was put on by the South Thompson Pony Club.

Pinel and her 11-year-old Holsteiner warmblood mare, Beauty, led from start to finish in all three phases of the competition: dressage, cross-country and stadium (show jumping).

After scoring 55.6 deductions in dressage, Pinel and Beauty went clear (no knockdowns or refusals) in both stadium and cross-country, but had a few time faults, which brought their final score up to 67.4 points.

Pinel is thrilled to be back in the sport of eventing after such a long break. This summer, she plans to enter horse trial competitions at Campbell Valley (Surrey) and at Island 22 (Chilliwack). 

(Ian Webster/Herald).

(Ian Webster/Herald).


The Nicola Valley Lacrosse Association’s Thunder peewee team took to the floor against the Shuswap Outlaws from Salmon Arm on Friday of last week in the first game of the playoffs to see which team will represent the Thompson-Okanagan region at the provincial championships in July. 

Also in the mix are the Penticton Heat. (Above) Max Graham (in white) drives against an Outlaw defender. The Thunder lost Wednesday’s opener 9-2. Scoring for the local side were Lucas Schmid and Cameron Nicholls. 

(Ian Webster/Herald).

(Ian Webster/Herald).


Four members of Maureen Sander-son’s highly successful training program at the Iron Mountain K-9 Agility Centre just outside Merritt finished on the podium at the B.C. and Yukon Regional Dog Agility Competition in Langley on the June 17 to 19 weekend.

Competing at the Thunderbird Equestrian Centre, Marlene Allgrove and her Jack Russell terrier Austin led the way, finishing first in the 6” Veteran DD class. Placing second in the 6” Veteran division was Val McDonald and her toy poodle, Kirby.

Third place finishers were Robin Brodie and her All Canadian Peso in the 10” Special class and Susan Chutter and her golden retreiver Lua in the 16” Veteran DD division.

(Left to right) McDonald and Kirby, Allgrove and Austin, Brodie and Peso. 

(Ian Webster/Herald).

(Ian Webster/Herald).


Merritt’s co-ed U12 minor baseball team hosted the Kamloops all-female U14 squad at Central Park last Thursday.

The local side gave their guests all they could handle in a close contest that was decided in the final inning. (Above) Merritt’s Wade Rauch (far right) beats the tag at home plate as teammate Cassie Smith looks on. Ian Webster/Herald