According to Horne, she has been riding horses since before she could walk due to her father’s influence.
“My dad grew up riding horses, so I just started riding them too. I grew up riding with him,” Horne shared.
In addition to riding horses, a talent that ran in the Horne family, the rising eighth-grader further revealed that she trained her first horse at the age of three, and ever since that point, she said she fell in love with riding.
“I had a lot of bumps and bruises, but I persevered and got through it,” Horne said, with her mother, Gail, adding that it taught her daughter patience.
While training her pony, Scooter, Horne learned how to saddle him, break him in and get him used to riding.
“I taught him what it was like to have someone riding him,” Horne put into basics, adding that once Scooter was trained in those areas, she moved on to driving.
Although riding horses has been a passion of Hannah’s her entire life, gaming is something that she began roughly five years ago.
“I started gaming five years ago, but the last two years is when I really started getting into competing,” Horne revealed.
According to an explanation from Horne, she has been running her horses all season in order to fix mistakes by the time the qualifying race came around.
Horne revealed that she received Top 15 at state finals, which helped her to qualify in February at the NBHA District 04 of North Carolina qualifying event.
During the event, Horne placed in both the second and third division with her horse, April’s Diamond, and by doing so, she was able to bring two horses to the championship.
Basically, the races are divided into four division: First being the quickest time; second being the quickest time plus .5 seconds; third being the quickest time plus one second; and fourth being the quickest time plus two seconds.
According to Horne, the 2009 NBHA Youth World Championship was held in Jackson, Miss., a 15 hour drive that was both exhausting and well worth it, Hannah shared.
Horne, a few friends and her family arrived in Jackson, Miss. a day early in order to let the course set in and allow the horses time to adjust to the weather change.
“We had to let the horses get used to the climate,” Horne clarified.
On Sunday of the competition, Horne jumped on April’s Diamond for three barrel races, which basically go in a clover leaf formation.
“The closer you get to the barrel, the faster you will go,” Horne said, adding that if you hit the barre,l the rider is disqualified.
Unfortunately, Horne did not qualify for the final competition with April’s Diamond.
“She didn’t give me all that she had. Going from the second barrel to the third, she slipped and never came back. I am happy to have had a clean run though because there were so many competitors that knocked over barrels,” Horne reported.
On Monday, July 20, Horne rode her second horse, Shyanne, three times and eventually qualified for the finals.
During the finals, Horne ended up with a placement of third in the world, with a finishing time of 15:08: 51, which was only two seconds behind the first place winner, who raced a 13:07:64.
“It made me feel happy to be only seconds behind the winner, but two seconds is a lot faster when you are barrel racing. I was blessed to have gotten has far as I did because many people don’t,” Horne voiced.
In recognizing her accomplishment, Horne extended her gratitude to her sponsors,
“I want to thank my sponsors, with God being my main sponsor. They made my dream come true,” Horne expressed.
In addition to racing horses, Horne is also an exceptional student, maintaining and A/B average on the honor roll.
She also participates in volleyball, basketball and is a member of the Beta Club.
As for her future, Horne hopes to continue racing and eventually compete against people other than those in her age group, 13 and under.
“Throughout the year, I hope to get faster and better. Eventually I want to get into the Open with everyone and not just people in my age group,” Horne told.
Jessica Wagner can be contacted at (910) 592-8137 ext.122 or reached by e-mail at email@example.com.