MOUNT VERNON — Although English riding has its roots in history among the gentility, today’s English riders participate for the thrill and the intense competition.
“I love it,” said 10-year-old Aislynn Ray of Fredericktown, a member of The Equestrians 4-H Club, before riding her horse Sassy into the arena to compete.
“I do both (English and Western competition) but I love English because of the variety of things I get to do,” Aislynn explained.
“I like English because you get to jump and you get to go faster,” said 13-year-old Mackenzie Haxton, a member of the Smokin’ Spurs 4-H Club who has been riding for over five years.
Mackenzie’s 9-year-old sister Makayla agrees with her sister that the jumps are one of the best parts of English competition.
“Jumping is the best, because I like how high you go in the air sometimes, with high jumps and I like how my horse Trader gets excited,” said 10-year-old Maria DiFrancesco.
Maria, like many English riders, also enjoys Western riding. “It’s kind of hard to choose which I love more, contesting and jumping — because they’re both fast,” she says with a smile.
Allie Clippinger, a 15-year-old from Fredericktown, has been riding Western for years, but this year decided to add some English competition.