Gymkhana Star: Kassidy Sharpley

posted Oct 18, 2017, 7:02 AM by PHS Warrior Beat

By Ashleigh Dillon

    Gymkhana is an event in which horses and riders display skill and aptitude in various races and contests. This year Kassidy Sharpley, junior, competed at the Virginia 4-H Horse and Pony Show in gymkhana. Kassidy competed on her Morgan/Welsh pony cross named Monty. She snagged two fifth places and an eighth place in the three events she competed in. At the Virginia 4-H Horse and Pony Show gymkhana is made up of three events: pole bending, stakes race, and barrel racing.DSC00128.JPG

    The reason why Kassidy started gymkhana was the adrenaline rush. During these events you have to go as fast as you can and you also have to stay on the pattern.

    Kassidy was inspired by Karyssa Evans-Lang of Wattsville and Donnie Mathews, owner of Pony Pines Farm in Atlantic, VA.

    She started her training in February and trained three days a week. Donnie Mathews helped her out with her training on Monty.

    During the Horse and Pony show, Kassidy’s biggest obstacle was Monty’s constant rearing and anxiety. Most gymkhana horse/ponies have the same issue with anxiety because they know they’re going to run. Kassidy’s biggest supporters were her mom and Donnie.

    Now there were some things Kassidy would like to change about her rides. She would've liked to have her glasses on during barrel racing and to remember that she is allowed to touch the barrel if needed. This is because she knocked a barrel down during barrel racing because she misjudged the turn. Kassidy also would've liked to make her turns tighter around the barrels and poles. Kassidy actually learned that she could touch the barrel after she knocked it down.

    Kassidy recalled how amazing it felt to have everyone cheer her on. Her pony, Monty, actually got faster as everyone cheered her on. After upon hearing her results, Kassidy was relieved.

    Kassidy offered advice to those interested in doing gymkhana: remember to “ask if you can touch the barrel”, “make sure to keep your horse in shape”, and “don’t be afraid”.

Edited By: CS

Uploaded: 10/18/17