Rancho Santa Fe resident Katie Myron recently won the World Championship in the 11 & under Saddle Seat Classic Equitation Division at the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show held in Oklahoma City.
Many competitors in this class were 12 years old, as the rules specify the age in December. In addition to being so young, Katie won this class on a lesson horse (which makes it drastically more challenging to perform proper equitation). Most of the mounts are proven winners. Only a chosen group of kids qualify to show at this high level of competition from all over the world.
This event took place Oct. 6 - 13 and is held by the American Morgan Horse Association, which encourages education and scholarships. All of the kids at the barn had pages of homework to complete during the week-long competition.
Katie attends a Christian school in Rancho Santa Fe, and commented, “My Grandma and Grandpa prayed for me before my competition! I believe that God always hears our prayers!”
Katie has been a full-time equestrian rider since the age of 4 when she began lessons at her first barn in San Marcos. Her discipline at that time was Hunt Seat. She has ridden at a few other facilities since that time and has been challenged by hunter/jumper, barrel racing, and settling in to Saddle Seat (which is more prevalent on the East Coast and Midwest). There are only a handful of trainers in the San Diego area who specialize in this discipline and the retailers who provide all of the suits are all on the East Coast. This requires that Katie take trips back east to be measured for her suits and to select fabrics. Precise fitting and color selection are paramount in equitation competitions, which has been a tradition for hundreds of years.
Katie’s mother, Kathlene Myron, said the sport is one in which the entire family must participate, because of the required travel to numerous horse shows, both regionally and nationally. Long days are spent at shows cheering on all of the participants at the barn, she said.
Katie currently is training at Valle Vista in Escondido with Ann Miller. Kathlene said she and Katie’s father, Bob Myron, are very proud of their daughter’s accomplishments.