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Saddle up for competition

By Ellen McCauley
On February 10, 2014


The weekend of Jan. 24 members of Kirkwood Community College and persons from the surrounding areas participated in Kirkwood's Saddle Club and Abraham's Equine Clinic Winter Challenge Series.  

Nellie Wilson, horse technician and adjunct faculty member works with Kirkwood's Saddle Club, also known as the Ag Leadership class, to provide a family friendly atmosphere at the event. "We try to promote these horse shows as big family events," Wilson said. "That's why our prices are low, so a family can enjoy something that is fairly close to home and that they can afford." The event was free for spectators but participants paid a fee and proceeds were given to the Equine Rescue.

Participants included Kirkwood students in equine classes, families around the area and horse enthusiasts. 

There were a variety of events competitors could register for, including English and Western trot, barrels and costume.

Allie Perry, equine science emphasis, participated in most of the English and Western classes during the show for her Training II class. Perry said she hopes to use the skills she is learning through her classes and the show in a variety of ways. "I want to do horse training," Perry said. "I work with mostly the horses but also do lessons with kids and will eventually work into doing therapeutic riding."

Brent Lange is a member of the Saddle Club who worked in-gate for the event. Lange said he has been a member of Saddle Club for two years and his favorite part is working the shows. "I think Saddle Club is a good program," Lange said. "It's fun to be around because you get to talk to new people."

Wilson is also very proud of the students in the Saddle Club. She said students involved in the Saddle Club learn customer service, timeliness and how to work with the public and different age groups. "They're here from sun up to sun down, even after everybody goes home they still do clean up," Wilson said. "Students involved in the Ag Leadership class are good hard workers." 

Amanda Young is a Kirkwood alumnus who used to participate in shows at Kirkwood. Young said she didn't participate in this show but rather passed the reins to her daughter to try. "I've learned a lot from horses and I think the shows are a great thing," Young said. "My daughter is 8 years old and I'm getting her into it. I learned so much and gained so many skills and so much confidence from showing that I want her to have the experience, too."

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