In a September 27 story for the Charlotte Observer, freelance reporter Lisa Daidone interviewed a young woman named Alexandria Cedrone, 17, about her achievements with the American Saddlebred horse, Champion Stonecroft Ring Leader. This is a perfect story for aspiring show riders, especially those riding American Saddlebreds. Following are a few exerpts from Daidone’s story.
Cedrone’s horse, whom she calls Ringo, has taken her to many state championships and, last year, they became the national champions of their division. The diminutive rider stands all of 4 feet 10 inches tall. When Cedrone stands on the ground, she’s small in stature but when she rides Ringo, she’s tall and mighty and half of a championship team.
I ride because it’s my passion. It’s what I love to do. I’m good at it. It’s not a choice. It’s a lifestyle. I was literally born to ride. At least that’s what I think.
She started out as a hunter jumper rider and quickly made the change to saddle seat. Once she switched to the American Saddlebred breed, she never looked back. Her family bought Ringo for her in Louisville, Kentucky and the two have become inseparable. They have successfully competed in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Cedrone and Ringo were awarded 2012 Juvenile of the Year in 2012 from the American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas. This award is in recognition of both horsemanship and service. For the past three years, Cedrone has served as ASAC youth president.
Ringo is “one of my best friends” says Cedrone. She explained exhibiting American Saddlebreds this way:
We are judged on our posture, etiquette, manners, different gaits, cleanliness between gaits. Ringo and I are judged as a team, not as individuals. We can’t have any mistakes at all. I use my hands to communicate to Ringo. He can feel what I do through the reins through the bit. I also communicate with him with my feet. We have a silent communication, a silent language.
He’s like another member of the family. He’s also really sweet and loves to work hard. He knows when he wins. He loves to take pictures. He does this little pose with his ears.
With her passion, dedication and ability, it’s no wonder Cedrone wants to continue showing.
The writer notes, “This story is a prime example of the remarkable effect our horses have on youth. Horses have much to teach. The response between horse and rider is always amazing.
Source: Charlotte Observer
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