THE ADVOCATE 603
VOL. 80 PART 4 JULY 2022
what foisted upon Grant and Debbie at the insistence of Briana’s older sister,
Kristine, who was horse-obsessed from toddler age and has ultimately
made her career as a professional equestrian. Briana spent her childhood
helping her parents run a large orchard and then run a horse farm with as
many as 24 polo ponies.
This was no hands-off operation conducted exclusively by hired hands.
Briana and her older sister were expected to and did participate in a wide
variety of farming chores to assist with operations of the farm. Briana’s particular
expertise was in irrigation, and by the time she was three years old,
she had a motorcycle that she would ride around the orchard with a small
tool used to unplug sprinklers from sediment and other debris. This solid
farm upbringing ensured that Briana would bring to her professional life the
same unwavering work ethic instilled in her by her parents. Briana’s fond
memories of the benefits of the farm life also heavily influenced the decision
in 2018 of Briana and her family to purchase a large commercial horse
farm directly across the road from her childhood home. This allowed Briana
to continue to pursue her passion for horses and raise her children on a
farm with all that it entails.
After graduating from high school, Briana pursued an honours bachelor
degree in political science and started law school at the University of British
Columbia at age 19. Not content to take the normal time for her studies, Briana
graduated in 2004, earning very high marks and winning various
awards, most notably for her oral advocacy skills. Briana’s summers were
spent working on the farm, taking care of the horses and, for the first year
of law school, continuing her role at her father’s law firm as a temporary
articled student. After her second year of law school, Briana obtained
employment as a temporary articled student under the supervision of
David Rush, Q.C., and his associate Ken Ihas, both of whom later became
her longtime law partners. Dave and Ken recognized immediately that Briana
was going to be not only a great lawyer, but also a great member of their
team. Their collective shared values ultimately led to the establishment of
Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP and a lifelong friendship.
Outside the family farm and her passion for law, Briana developed a strong
interest in competitive running and triathlons in her undergraduate years.
She competed in half marathons and triathlons of various lengths, including
half-Ironman races, often finishing at the top of her age group and not far off
the professional athletes. After a hiatus when her children were young, Briana
has returned to this passion and now competes in ultra-marathon races.
She has also been patiently training for her goal of completing the Ironman
Canada triathlon, which has been postponed for two years due to the COVID-