Wa­ialua Teen Wins Ex­treme Cow­boy Youth World Cham­pi­onship

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Central Oahu Islander - By CAROL CHANG

Wa­ialua High stu­dent Elena Aoki has loved rid­ing horses for most of her 14 years, but a com­pe­ti­tion two weeks ago in Texas may just be the crown­ing mo­ment of her early ca­reer.

Aoki came home from Hamil­ton, Texas, bear­ing the Youth World Cham­pion ti­tle at the EXCA (Ex­treme Cow­boy As­so­ci­a­tion) races — of­fi­cially the EXCA 2013 Har­mony Farms World Cham­pi­onship.

“She’s been work­ing hard to­ward her horserid­ing,” said her mother, Celma Aoki, who should know.

She added that Elena also be­longs to the U. S. Pony Club and com­petes in the hunter- jumper cir­cuit here.

But the lure of the ex­treme cow­boy events could not be de­nied.

The com­pe­ti­tions are “safe, fun and con­sis­tent,” claims EXCA on its web­site. Celma Aoki ex­plained fur­ther that the com­pe­ti­tion is all about chal­lenges and ob­sta­cles.

The Youth course alone presents 13 ob­sta­cles in ad­di­tion to judg­ing for horse­man­ship and time.

As an ex­am­ple, she said, there’s a float­ing bridge that rider and horse must cross, and they place a large stuffed bear right next to the bridge to see if it dis­tracts the horse from its task.

“They don’t know what chal­lenges they will have to go through un­til a few hours prior to the race,” she noted. “There­fore, rider and horse must show trust in each other.”

Also com­pet­ing suc­cess­fully Oct. 31- Nov. 3 in Texas from Team Hawaii and from Kawailoa Ranch were Gianna Sbar­baro and Piper Crab­tree ( first and sec­ond place, re­spec­tively, in Young Guns); Kayla Ginella and Paris Starn (first and third in Novice); and in Youth: Aoki ( 1), Ginella ( 2), Meilan Sim (3), Starn (6) and Brooke Mat­son ( 7).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.