Black Fox Equestrian features small, gentle stock horse developed especially for youth
LUCKY ACRES STABLES 4-H Horse Club had its end of the year Horse Show. Felicia Barahna came in first place in the Teddy Bear Race, Western Pleasure and the Obstacle Course. James Montgomery placed first in the Saddle Test, Western Pleasure, Arena Race, Barrel Race, Texas Race and the Obstacle Course. Barahna and Montgomery were in the sixth-grade group. Denise Montgomery, right, and Kathy Reagan, left, are the teachers at the Horse Club.
DAYNA BARAHNA PLACED FIRST in the Obstacle Course. Jackie Montgomery placed first in the Saddle Test, Teddy Bear Race, Western Pleasure, Arena Race, Barrel Race and Texas Race. Novalee Stalcup placed third in Western Pleasure, Arena Race, and the Obstacle Course. Barahna, Montgomery, and Stalcup were all in the fifth-grade group. Kathy Reagan, right, and Denise Montgomery, left, are the teachers at the horse club.
Katie Ann Slifko, a Cleveland native and graduate of Walker Valley High School, poses with horse trainer/riding instructor Emily Shelton of Black Fox Equestrian Center, at her recent graduation ceremony at the Ponies Of The Americas Club National Congress Horse Show in St. Louis.
Ponies Of the Americas are an Appaloosa-colored breed of small stock horse standing 14 hands or less. The ponies were developed in 1954 by Les Boomhower, a Mason City, Iowa lawyer, by crossing Appaloosa horses on ponies. These gentle and colorful horses were bred especially for youth. The parent club offers several premier breed shows and futurities annually as well as sponsoring state clubs that also offer opportunities to show and compete.
In POA competition, youth can show in age groups ranging from Leadline, 8 and Under, 9 to 12 and 13 to 18. The students then graduate from the youth division and move to the 19 and over adult division where they can only show young ponies aged 2, 3, or 4 years old to prepare them for young riders.
POA shows are kid-friendly and family-oriented events. The gentle, child-size equines can give a boy or girl love, confidence and help them learn responsibility.
The POA motto is “Try hard, win humbly, lose gracefully and, if you must … protest with dignity.” This, perhaps more than anything else, sets POA exhibitors apart from others in the world of horse show competition. Boys and girls cheer for each other. Deep, lifelong friendships are made among parents and children from coast to coast. POAs are perfect for trail and endurance riding, ranch work, jumping, and hunting. The gentle disposition, durability and intelligence of the breed serves it well.
Katie Ann is a sophomore at UT Martin. She plans to show POAs as a student of Black Fox Equestrian Center in the 19 and over division during summer break.
Black Fox Equestrian Center offers horsemanship lessons in both W-estern and English disciplines from beginner to advanced. The center has several show programs and lease opportunities for students. For more information, please call 423-505-2215.