Maureena Schreiner rode in the annual Nipawin Exhibition parade for the 50th time on July 17, wearing a costume her mother made for her 25 years ago.
“This 68-year-old cowgirl felt pretty special,” she said.
Schreiner was asked to lead the parade this year just ahead of the RCMP.
One Mountie helped lead her horse, Zipper, forward after the horse stopped mid-parade and refused to budge.
“It actually made the parade more special with the RCMP escorting me down the parade route,” said Schreiner.
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Born and raised on a farm in the Nipawin area, Schreiner’s father bought her her first horse, Dolly, when she was nine.
She started competing in gymkhana, an equestrian event consisting of speed pattern racing and timed games for riders on horses.
Her mother would sew her costumes for the different shows.
She also rode in parades with her local 4-H club, but as she got older, she decided to enter on her own, wearing one of her mother’s handmade fancy costumes.
In 1989, she was spotted by a scout from the Calgary Stampede who attended the Nipawin parade.
Being invited to ride in the Calgary Stampede Parade was a dream come true for Schreiner.
She was just happy to be at the stampede, but to make things even better, she won first place with her horse Boo. She remembers how proud her parents were of her.
Schreiner was invited back to the Calgary Stampede for 10 years, but she could only attend three more times with Boo as he did not like to travel long distances.
This year, in Nipawin, she donned the costume her mom made for her to wear in her second Stampede.
Over the last 50 years, Schreiner has ridden seven different horses in the Nipawin parades: Dolly, Lady, Tony, Boo, Copper, Magnum and Zipper.
Schreiner is thankful to her parents for getting her that first horse at a young age and to her mother for the many beautiful costumes she has made by hand over the years.
Shreiner’s husband, Dale, is not a horse person but has supported her and her horse addiction for 47 years. The community has also been supportive.
“It’s easy to do something if you know it puts a smile on someone’s face,” Shreiner said. “I don’t know what will happen next year, but I have always said if I have a costume that fits and a horse to ride I will be in the Nipawin Parade.”
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