|Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre designer Janet Dawson|
It seems design isn't Janet Dawson's only passion. Riding since she was 10, Janet was on McMaster University's equestrian team but took a break from riding for about 25 years to work on her career and raise a family.
"When I turned 50, I knew that with my children finishing high school and soon moving on to university, I'd have more time to pursue my own interests," says Janet. She decided to get back into riding and purchased a quarter horse to ride for pleasure. "As I got 'back in the saddle,' I found I was really enjoying the riding and decided to get back into competing."
Janet purchased another quarter horse more suited to showing and began preparing to show in the American Quarter Horse (AQHA) circuit. She is currently with JS Quarter Horses of Glencoe, Ontario, and her show horse Lopin Guy (aka Tyler) is housed and trained by Suzanne Pickard and Jason Duquette.
"As Tyler is quite far away, I am only able to see him once a week," explains Janet. "I ride my pleasure horse, Rosco, who I keep at a farm near Uxbridge, at least three times a week and often more closer to show season."
From April to November, Janet participates in shows in Michigan, New York, London, Orangeville, Ancaster and Ottawa. Modern technology has allowed her to integrate her busy show season with a busy work schedule. "When I'm at show, I stay onsite in a travel trailer where I can often be found working on designs, responding to email and talking with my clients."
Janet had a successful first year showing in the AQHA. "I showed in the Rookie Division, which is for new riders to the circuit," explains Janet. She placed first in North America in Rookie Hunter Under Saddle and fourth in North America in English Equitation.
For the 2017 show season, Janet will be showing at a higher level in Hunter Under Saddle - Level 1 Novice Amateur, and still qualifies for the Rookie Division in English Equitation. "I have also added some new events for 2017, including Rookie Horsemanship, Rookie Showmanship and Walk/Jog Trail," says Janet.