Showing horses had always taken Morgan Brison places.
The 17-year-old from New Bloomfield has traveled all over the central U.S. with her American Saddlebreds, competing in about 10 shows a year. This year was different. On Dec. 1, Morgan arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, to compete in the International Saddle Seat Invitational held in Parys - located about an hour and half from Johannesburg.
Morgan was part the USA Invitational Team made up of 12 riders from all over the U.S. She competed in the five-gaited equitation division. Morgan said riders were not judged individually but as a team. American riders competed against the South Africans and came out on top, receiving gold medals for their efforts.
The junior at New Bloomfield High School said she was matched with a horse she had never seen before and had only 30 minutes to practice on it before using the Saddlebred in the show ring. Morgan rode twice - once for rail work and once for pattern work.
Tonya Brison, who accompanied her daughter to the competition, said Morgan performed very well.
"It's tough to go over there and not know the horse," Brison said.