Horse Trials PEI is pleased to present this year's Dr. Thomas Lee's Memorial Award to a great friend and mentor of the organization.
Mike Gallagher, of Hampton New Brunswick, is well known in the Canadian Equestrian community.
Mike was at the Beijing olympics this past summer when Canada brought home gold and silver. I caught several glimpses of him in the show jumping arena!
Mike was the Team Leader for the Canadian Equestrian Teams for Equine Canada at the Olympics.
So given Mike's lofty qualifications, it's always astounded me - his level of commitment to horse trials PEI.
Mike's been helping us re-establish Horse Trials and a top notch cross country course for the past 10 years. He's been at every jump building clinic, designing the jumps in advance, and swinging the hammer too. He taught me that a spike is clearly bigger than a nail! He's also been our technical delegate every single year, for at least one horse trial. And while we do pay his professional fees, we always think we're being woefully undercharged! Seems Mike loves the digs at the Super 8 in Cornwall and our perfect May and June weather.
Liz Spangler's favourite Mike Gallagher quote is "My role as TD is to make you look good". And he delivers on that. I once caught him out picking wildflowers around Strathgartney because he thought one of the jumps could use a little sprucing up. And Mike's not a flower pickin' kinda guy really!
Mike's expertise on a national scale is in high demand. Which is why he couldn't be here with us tonight. He's in Argentina at the FEI meetings. But Mike did ask me to say these words on his behalf:
Please accept my apologies that I am not able to join you tonight at your awards dinner. I am in Argentina, where I suspect the weather is much nicer than Charlottetown, attending the FEI General Assembly representing Canada. I will be flying home tomorrow and will miss your event by one day.
Thank you so much for presenting me with the Dr. Thomas Lees Memorial Award. It was an honour and a surprise to be notified that I would be receiving this wonderful award, especially not being a resident of PEI. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to assist with making the Strathgartney facility one of the top event sites in the Maritimes. However, while sometimes I have brought ideas to the table, it could not have possibly been done without an incredible effort by the volunteers from Horse Trials PEI. I have worked with many event sites, but never with such a dedicated group of volunteers that come out year after year, with their vision and determination to make it happen, and their committment to operating a successful and safe competition each time.
Congratulations to all of the award winners tonight and I look forward to working with Horse Trials PEI in the future.
Yours truly, Mike Gallagher