O'Meara earns state 4-H horsemanship medals

10/17/2007 10:36:00 AM

Sasha O'Meara of the Jefferson County 4-H Rising Stars horse club was awarded exceptional top honors at the 2007 Washington State 4-H Fair in Puyallup.

O'Meara, who competes at the 4-H Intermediate age level, distinguished herself as Grand Champion in Stock Seat Equitation, Grand Champion in Bareback, Reserve Champion in Hunt Seat Equitation, fourth place in Showmanship, eighth place in Trail, and also received a Blue Ribbon in Herdsmanship. She was competing in a field of more than 126 youths - all who had qualified for state level competition.

"To place in the top 10 for any category of statewide 4-H horse competition is already an exceptional honor," said Pamela Roberts, Jefferson County 4-H coordinator. "For Sasha to win top-10 status in five categories is a truly outstanding achievement."

O'Meara received special medals for her top three performances to acknowledge the special distinction she earned in those areas.

"It was really exciting when I heard my name - it almost made me cry," recalled O'Meara. "I knew that I did a good job; we had a pattern that was posted before the Championship event and I learned it in my head. It had to be perfectly memorized and executed in order to win."

O'Meara is a ninth-grader at Chimacum High School, where she attends the PI program. She lives in Chimacum Valley on a 12-acre farm, where she is responsible for at least three hours of horse-related activities daily, including riding and grooming three horses, dragging the arena, cleaning the stalls, changing the water and more.

Shannon Bishop, leader of the Rising Stars 4-H horse club, said: "Sasha puts the time and effort into it and has a great foundation in riding. She would rather be riding her horse than doing just about anything else. This type of dedication is what it takes to perform on a national level."

O'Meara began riding when she was 3 years old and in third grade joined 4-H and Pony Club at Chimacum Elementary.

"I always practice," she says. "I ride five to six days each week, I go to a lot of horse shows and get lessons from quality trainers. I always listen to what they have to say because they know what they are talking about."

To learn more about 4-H, call Roberts at 379-5610, ext. 207. For Pony Club information, call Mona Sharpe at 437-9525.

By Pamela Roberts

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