YAKXIE (Selena), Bay Mare, *1998 (Masallah Arabiya / Elphina).
Breeder: Fernand Jacques. Owner: Bertrand Caron.
Strain: Seglawieh Jedranieh of Ibn Ed Derri (Basilisk, 1875)
Yakxie is a Canadian-bred mare with a unique set of skills and talent for extreme sports, much like her owner. She is athletic, sure footed and has a sensible, yet ‘game’ nature that makes her an ideal partner for a rider who has a love of all things exciting.
Bert Caron purchased Yakxie in 2000 as a 2 year old, out of a field of 13 other horses. She hadn’t been handled, not even to be halter trained and it took Bert a full year to help her learn to trust him and to understand the basics.
Bert competes with Yakxie in high-speed equestrian sports such as Mounted Shooting and Ski-Joring. He started to train Yakxie for mounted shooting when she was 7 yrs old, and she has become extremely good at it. Over the last several years, the pair have been very successful in competition and have travelled across North America to numerous events including the Calgary Stampede.
Mounted shooting is based on speed and accuracy. Balloon targets are placed on poles, spaced a certain distance apart and riders must navigate the course as quickly as possible and shoot as many targets as possible. Riders shoot the balloons using special black-powder-loaded blank cartridges from 45 caliber pistols. They’re not live rounds, but they sound like they are. Any horse breed or mule can be used in mounted shooting but it takes a special horse to really do well in the sport. “It’s up to your horse’s temperament and your desire to train him or her to get used to the shooting, turning and going fast” , says Bert.
Yakxie truly enjoys her job and gives Burt 110% when she’s out there. She is quick off the start as soon as she gets the cue to go and is extremely fast and accurate on the course. He describes the incredible power that the mare uses to regain speed after she decelerates to turn around the rundown barrel to be like “the feeling of having my saddle attached to a bungee cord, fully extended, that suddenly breaks. The acceleration is terrific”. There are 36 feet between each of the rundown balloons, and she covers this distance in approximately 4 seconds. “It gives me less than one second per shot with a single action revolver to hit the 5 balloons” says Bert.
The pair also participate in the winter sport of Ski-Joring. This involves a skier being towed behind a galloping horse and rider, around a course that includes several turns and a number of jumps for the skier. No matter what Bert asks of his mare, she is ready and willing to get out there and have some fun.