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Mid-Ohio Valley kids enjoy local horse competition

Riley Smith, 7, rides her horse in her first contest. Coach and organizer Maryann Smith went on the field with her and a few of the other newer riders. Smith won first for the peewee division.

ELIZABETH — Every third Saturday in the months of May-September kids from across the Mid-Ohio Valley and other counties in the region get together at a local horse track and compete for champion ribbons.

The showing contest, which is held off route 14 behind the EMT building at 135 Fleekfield Lane is ran by Riding in Faith LLC.

“This is more than just about horses,” said Rev. Casey Dawson, of Sunrise Baptist in Parkersburg. “This is about getting kids outdoors, having fun and positive experiences. It’s about getting out and meeting people where they are to spread our ministries.”

Everyone is invited to bring their own horse and just show up, according to Joe Smith, event organizer. There is a daily entry fee.

Some of the kids who were competing have been in many other competitions, while others were pretty new and some experiencing a first.

Luke Dawson, 14, of Parkersburg competed in most of the classes, including poles, cones straight flags and barrels.

“I have grown up around horses, because my sister also rides, but I have only been riding for a year,” said Luke Dawson, 14, Carey Dawson’s son.

He was riding on a horse named Cosmo, who is an older horse that knows what he’s doing, according to Luke Dawson, but Luke said it took him a little to learn the patterns and get faster at completing courses.

“But I’ve won some ribbons already,” he said.

During the competition, the older riders led kids on leadlines around the arena, and the kids received their own trophies.

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com

Madison Parker, 12, and her horse Kaci came from Walton, W.Va. to compete in two different horse shows Saturday. She competed in poles, cones, straight barrels, flags and barrels.

Photos by Madeline Scarborough Rayann Dawson, 15, of Parkersburg won first place on the pole run with a time of 32.2 seconds. Dawson has been riding horses on and off since she was young.

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