A San Anselmo 13-year-old has taken top honors in a regional equestrian competition.
Olivia Vance, an eighth grader at White Hill Middle School, was recently named the western region champion in the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 2012 Outreach Junior Hunter Challenge.
Vance and the champions from the four other USJHA regions will accept awards at the World Champion Hunter Rider Program’s Capitol Classic horse show near Washington D.C. on Oct. 5-7.
At the competition, Vance will have the opportunity to shadow equestrian professionals and meet some of the top hunter riders in the sport, according to USHJA officials.
The win was a surprise to Vance and her mother, Amy, who thought Vance had a chance at winning a different division, which they are still waiting to hear the results of.
Amy Vance said she received a phone call about her daughter’s top honors around 2 p.m. on a recent school day. “I couldn’t believe it and I was just on pins and needles waiting for her to get home.”
Olivia, who has lived in Ross Valley her entire life, started riding horses roughly seven years ago. She now rides her horse Knightsbridge at the KMC Farm in Petaluma with trainer Kara Love.
“When I was six, my mom took me for a Mother’s Day trail ride and I really liked it. I asked for lessons and started riding in Fairfax and continued from there,” Olivia said.
The USHJA western region, which Olivia was named the champion in, includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Wyoming.
Amy Vance said her daughter is part of a well-established yet not-widely known group of young local equestrians. “There are a lot of kids in San Anselmo and Fairfax that ride.”
Send your congratulations to Olivia and Amy Vance in the Comments below!
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