Limestone 4-H horseback riders going to district
Three Limestone County 4-H horseback riders are advancing to district competition, which long-time observers say hasn’t happened in years.
All the riders have been members of the Limestone Leaders 4-H Horse Project since Annette McCloskey started the group three years ago. Now the riders have set their sites on the 4-H Horse Show for District 8 on June 19-20 in Belton.
One rider, Sarah Foreman, 17, of Forest Glade, is taking two horses, one for riding events, and one for a futurity project, which involves taking a very young horse and raising, caring and training it. Sarah is the first in this area to attempt it, McCloskey said.
A second rider, Sarah Hall, 17, of Groesbeck, is the first student in this area in recent years to ride English and Hunter Hat, which refers to hunter-jumpers. She will also ride the same horse in four stock events: pleasure, trail, reigning and showmanship.
Finally, Emma Lewis, 17, of Thornton, will compete on an older horse that had never been ridden until she herself broke and trained it. Emma, too, will compete in the four stock horse events.
Several youth from another district are going to travel to Belton with the three Limestone County district competitors.
“We’re going as a team,” McCloskey said, “which is really a lot more fun that way – because our focus is not competing against each other. Our focus is riding better than the last ride. We’re really riding to improve our own skills, horsemanship and horses. The girls help each other; they’re not in that competitive side that is a negative.”
The horsemanship group meets every Tuesday evening at 6:30 at the show barn of the County Fairgrounds, in Groesbeck. These days, McCloskey is helped in the coaching tasks by Jolita Johnson and Emily Gray. The class has been averaging 10 youth and 10 horses each week. The students represent a wide range of skills, from beginner to experienced. They have boys turn out, too, McCloskey said, because the group is advancing the discipline.
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