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Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Wearing the Gold"

Kerr County 4H Horse Club Equine Rodeo
 Sidney Gibson, Senior Grand Champion
Emily Edison, Junior Reserve Champion

Texas youth participate is some very tight scoring competition during the Kerr County 4H Horse Club Equine Rodeo. The competition held in Kerrville, Texas at the Hill Country Youth Exhibition Center, concluded April 29th for the 2011 season. Events included,  Straight Away Barrels, Clover Barrels, Poles, Stakes and Flag Racing with High Point scoring held through the Rodeo series. 

The District 10 Texas 4H includes 21 counties finding over Nine counties taking part in the Rodeo Series. Event eligibility was broken into three categories,  Novice: Ages 9-10  Junior: Ages 11-13 and Senior: Age 14-18.  The unyielding competition was fierce and the greatest strife came between two riders in the Junior Category. 

Nikki Sandidge won last years high point event with ease. Well seasoned working both English and Western disciplines, Sandidge has built a reputation of being a skillful equestrian. This year, Nikki started off exceptional well during the first Rodeo of the series winning first place in Poles, Stakes and Cloverleaf barrels. Macey Gratteau, also a superb equestrian took several second place wins that seem to be a top contender on the leader board during the series. However, the young rookie Emily Edison, of Bandera, Texas perform well winning first place in Straightaway Barrels and Flags while holding onto second place in Poles and the Cloverleaf barrels. As the season progress, Edison nudged the leader board more and more taking her game to the final Rodeo of the series and judges reviewing the scores.  

Emily Edison joined 4H in the beginning to raise goats that could earn some possible college scholarship awards from live stock shows. Although, Emily also admits, "I've always wanted to be a Rodeo Star." While Emily has always held a passion towards horses, it wasn't until last year she realize how much people can connect with them. "Horses can read your moods," states Emily.  

Laurian Crow Edison, Emily's mother stated her daughter is riding a 23 year old Quarter Horse named Herman.  "We purchased Emily a younger horse named Susie that we are getting ready for the next season. Emily has used her new horse only at some exhibition runs and we have good hopes for Susie who has won 3rd in state in Utah just a few years ago. She is really good needing some mild conditioning.  Emily's quarter horse Herman is old,  haggard looking and looks half dead between events. But get him in the arena, he still has some gas left!" said Laurian.  Emily recorded a 15.6 second run on the standard cloverleaf barrels.

Although, not everyone started out as supportive to Emily's Equine affair. Giving up all-star baseball, Emily has been a heavy slugger and superb fielder playing in the San Antonio area. Her dad was not very pleased that Emily was giving up baseball for the love of horses. Although, his attitude quickly changed after her first competition. "She rocks" stated James Edison of Pipe Creek, Texas.  

Emily credit her training to Dana Shanon who operates a Horse stable in the Bandera area and her best friend Sidney Gibson who also participated in the Kerr County events. Gibson won Grand Champion in the senior events and will also be representing Bandera High School during the Texas Youth Rodeo at the State Competition in the Pole Event.  Emily stated "Sidney rides Blondie that looks exactly like Sherry Cervi's horse Stingray!"  Sherry Cervi broke the Thomas & Mack Center barrel racing record with a 13.49-second run in 2010 taking the lead in the world standings at the National Finals Rodeo.

Nikki Sandidge held 8 victory wins during the rodeo series earning 83 points.  Emily Edison who also scored 83 in the high point series held 7 victory wins, though placed more 2 and 3rd place that nearly took the finals to victory. In a tie, Judges Awarded Grand Champion to Nikki Sandidge and Reserve Champion awarded to Emily Edison, both who performed exquisitely. 

Emily stated, "I'll be entering the senior events next season riding Susie. I plan to work  more on my leg-ques for running poles and slowly get her ready building her up day by day."

Novice Grand Champion was awarded to Rayni Sandidge, sister to Nikki Sandidge winning the Junior Grand Championship, Junior Reserve Champion Emily Edison, and Senior Grand Champion awarded to Sidney Gibson. These girls each awarded several prizes including Checks, Feed Buckets, Blankets and Championship BUCKLES where they cowgirl-up, now proudly wearing the gold.   

Emily Edison 2011 Reserve Champion
Emily Edison riding Quarter Horse "Herman"

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