Mike Cottenden, long-time partner of Nancy Beacon and wonderful friend to
Endurance, was killed on Sunday morning on his way home from work when a
driver went through a stop sign and hit his car. After all that they have
been through recently one cannot believe that this has happened - that this
is even possible. This will be such a difficult time for Nancy - we know all
of our prayers and our thoughts will be with her in the days ahead. Just
last week she was dancing the night away at the Rocky Mountain Challenge -
how sad that this joy has now been taken from her.
Mike started riding horses with Nancy in the early 80's. Mike went on to do close to 5000 miles, did over 12 100's, including Old Dominion, on at least 6 different horses, and was one of the first Canadians to complete an FEI ride in 1986.
Mike was not only was a master trail maker, but also applied his skills in constructing wonderful bridges and walkways for many rides in Grey County. He made a great bridge for last year's Ontario Championship. He made a series of bridges and walkways up a steep incline hill east of Pretty River Valley Provincial park that was a marvel of engineering.
Mike on his ATV monitored the horse rides with military precision, and many a person, rider or pit crew, were extremely happy to see Mike to get them out of a big mess when they ventured off the beaten path. I am sure no one will forget his "treats" along the trail.
Mike as a communicator, wowed all at ride wrap up time and Nancy's attempt to tone down his "observations" usually was met with an increase in elaboration. We should all cherish his last performance in 2007.
Mike on both sides of the border was known for his "Redneck" celebrations when his military comrades would gather for games, frivolity and good brew. He was referred to in the House of Commons as a true character and inspirational leader!
Mike will be missed