It's only fitting that Dave Esworthy has called the place dubbed "The Horse Capital of B.C." his home since 1996.
Starting in the late 1960s, Esworthy has been "Mr. Equine" for this province's equestrian community, and he's done it on a volunteer basis.
This, while juggling a family life and a very busy professional career in which he was sales manager and later president and CEO of Hastings Brass Foundry Ltd. from 1972 to 1994.
The 83-year-old's dedication and sacrifice to the equine field will be recognized today, Sept. 20, when he is formally inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
The 2012 inductees - nine individuals including Esworthy and one team - will officially join the Hall at the BC Sports Hall of Fame's 44th Annual Banquet of Champions at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
"It sort of grows on you," Esworthy said, of the honour.
"When it came about, it was a total surprise. I was very excited when I heard about it, probably February before I knew what it was all about. It was something I haven't even thought of. The
[BC] Sports Hall of Fame was the furthest from my mind. I didn't go out and win medals in show jumping or anything like that."
That's because most of Esworthy's good work was done behind the scenes.
He has served in virtually every role possible in his sport: as a rider, judge, steward, horse show organizer, horse show chair, and industry advisor. Beginning as a young cowboy wrangling horses on a ranch to his current status as an Equine Canada and FEI steward, judge, and clinician, Esworthy has experienced the sport at all levels over a 50plus-year career. He served as president of Horse Council BC, Equine Canada, and assisted in the preparations for equestrian events at the 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games.
Esworthy served as a director with the Canadian Horse Council from 1972 to '77, and took on the role of president of the Canadian Equestrian Federation (now Equine Canada) from 1977 to '84 before chairing the organization from 1984 to '91.
"Was it a full time job?" Esworth asked rhetorically. "We had a brand-new organization, brand-new constitution, a vast network across the country that was trying to get formed, and I was working an eight hour [each day] job. My day started, at least four days out of five in a week, with a phone call about 6: 30 or 7 [in the morning] from Ottawa, 'How do you want to handle this, what do you want to do about that?'"
He also chaired the PNE horse show for a number of years, and in 1968 became the B.C. vice president and zone chair of the National Equestrian Federation of Canada. That started his long involvement in the equestrian field, at the administrative level.
"I've been involved in horses and sport most of my life," Esworthy said.
This love for horses blossomed when Esworthy was a boy.
His aunt and uncle, Myrtle and Alex Philip, built Rainbow Lodge, a summer fishing resort on 10 acres of land on the northwest corner of Alta Lake, near Whistler, in 1914. It was a place in which Esworthy grew very familiar.
"As part of the resort, she [Myrtle] had horses," Esworthy said. "As I grew up, I rode them and then ultimately looked after them and became sort of the wrangler/trail guide. Then I worked for a couple of years- in the Cariboo at a ranch and then I decided there was no future in that, so I came back to the city and got married and we had our son."
According to the BC Sports Hall of Fame, "Esworthy's biggest impact is in the countless individuals he has mentored in B.C., Canada, and beyond, who themselves have gone on to become accomplished athletes, officials, and administrators."
Esworthy also became a familiar name to those outside of the equestrian field when he assumed the role of co-chair and then chair of the board of the Langley 2010 Spirit of B.C. community committee, in the lead-up to the Vancouver/Whister 2010 Olympics.
The 2008 H.D. Stafford Langley Good Citizen of the Year Award winner also worked in a number of roles with the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, including president from 2003-04 and past president in 2004-05.
He was the director of the Justice Institute of B.C. from 1997 to June, 2003.
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