Young riders meet goal to compete nationally

Kate Pani, 11, competes in the show jumping part of the tetrathlon event on Fancy That during the United States Pony Club National Championships held in Lexington, Ky.

Kate Pani, 11, competes in the show jumping part of the tetrathlon event on Fancy That during the United States Pony Club National Championships held in Lexington, Ky. Contributed photo

Three local girls had to jump over a lot of hurdles to get where they are today.

For Emily Pugh, 17, Rachel Quick, 13, and Kate Pani, 11, hurdle jumping is just a part of weekly practice. During competition season in summer and early fall, the three horse riders spend three to four days a week riding, jumping and training at Gretchen Pani’s Maplewood Farm in Kingdom City. The hard work recently paid off as all three riders qualified to compete at the United States Pony Club National Championships in Lexington, Ky.

Pani, the girls’ trainer, said the girls had all set a goal this year to reach nationals.

“They definitely met that goal,” she said. “I was super proud of all of them. They worked super hard.”

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