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Posted: February 14, 2013 10:42 p.m.

Meet Eastside's equine competitors

Eastside is fortunate to have several equestrians who are very competitive on the state and national level of horse showing. We have a wide variety of equine enthusiasts from Western Pleasure and English Equitation to Barrel Racing competitors.

Aspen Dobbins is an accomplished Western Pleasure and Hunt Seat rider with many awards under her belt. Her horse’s registered name is Clyde’s Bama Pride or “Clyde” for short. Together they compete in the Kel-Mac show circuit, 4-H, and the Newton County Saddle Club. They have competed as far away as Alabama and have been very successful. Aspen is also on the Eastside Eastminister Equestrian Team that competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. The Eastside Eastminister Equestrian Team is coached by Leslie Williams at Step Away Farm in Newton County.

The team members of the Eastside Equestrian team compete against other schools with similar equestrian teams. During these competitions, the riders do not take their own horses but are required to use the horses that are available at the farm they are competing. Anyone that is a horse rider will tell you how difficult this task is, not knowing the horse’s quirks and cues. The riders are scored and the top team is chosen along with an individual top rider for that competition. The teams go to various farms to compete so every one of the riders will have horses they are not familiar with to ride. The next competition is Feb. 23, in Conyers. Good luck to Aspen and the other riders of the Eastside Eastminister Equestrian Team.

Another EHS equestrian is Sarah Beth Hammond. Sarah Beth is an accomplished barrel racer having learned the riding style from Shannon Moore at Moore Farms in Newton County.

Sarah Beth competes in the National Barrel Horse Association, Federation of Saddle Clubs and Junior Rodeo events in the barrel racing and pole bending competitions. Sarah Beth recently got a new Barrel racing horse named Golden Hall. As show seasons are starting in earnest this spring, Sarah Beth is ready to compete on her new horse. Good luck Sarah Beth.

Sarah Beth also competes on the Horse Judging CDE team for Eastside FFA. Students place classes of horses in both halter and performance classes. The students will also have to give oral reasons as to their placings in front of more experienced horsemen. The state competition was held this year at Fort Valley State University on Feb. 9.
Other team members include: Caitlyn Hicks, Emily Johnston and Noelle Phillips.

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