Sportsmanship is enjoying the equestrian sport while using proper ethics, fairness, and respect. It is kindness to others and kindness to your horses. Audrina McCall turned 7 over the course of the show season, having many successes and defeats. She had refusals, two big falls and a forgotten course, but also championships, classic wins, and great equitation classes. With only she, her mom, and a two horse trailer, Audrina brought two ponies to each show. Over the course of 2021 she moved from beginner rider to the mini hunters. Audrina took full care before the show, and was hands on with tacking, cleaning, and showing. Having two ponies to show was no easy feat for a 7 year old, but she was grateful and knew that these learning opportunities were very special.
Audrina is kind and gracious, congratulates others for their performances, and thanks the staff at horse shows. Audrina has talent at a young age, but takes each ride as if she’s proving her skills to herself, setting goals for her and her pony. She follows an inherent set of rules that as a rider we take care of our ponies before ourselves. She recognizes the kindness of others and their care for their animals. She has never been disappointed with a placing but instead is always happy with how each class went. Audrina had a wonderful season because of ETHJA and we don’t think it could ever be replicated. It was a year of growth, learning, and meeting many wonderful families and equines. We look forward to 2022!
Sportsmanship is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “conduct (fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport.” I had the pleasure of competing with Charlotte Chandler throughout the 2021 show season and believe she exudes sportsmanship on every level. In the warmup ring Charlotte was always gracious and respectful to her trainer and others even when the rings got busy and stressful. Throughout the horse show day she could be seen supporting others from her farm. When it was time for her to compete she had her game face on and put down beautiful trips. Regardless of the outcome or the results she would always love on her pony and congratulate others in her division.
At Finals this year Charlotte watched a class I was in and found me in the barn later just to tell me how great of a ride I had. As such a young equestrian I feel like Charlotte sets an amazing example of Sportsmanship to her fellow riders and is very deserving of the ETHJA Sportsmanship Award
I would like to nominate Ashley Blackburn. I think she represents what sportsmanship means even though she just turned 11. She is mature beyond her years and I attribute that to her being involved with such a wonderful sport. Ashley has had her ups and downs with falls over the years and injuries to her partner, Dixie, but this never wavers her love for this sport. She is always willing to do whatever is asked of her. She is always happy to cheer on her competitors and is never upset if she doesn't come out with a blue ribbon. She is constantly telling her friends from other barns how well they did and always has a kind smile for them. She loves making new friends year after year and loves the competition, but more than that, she loves the experiences that are making her a better horse woman.
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