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Terryn Holt poses with her mount, Saaher’s Concert, after their fifth-place finish in the Junior Western Pleasure division at the 4-H State Horse Show in Lexington on Dec. 2, 2018.

MECHANICSVILLE – Terryn Holt, an 11-year-old fifth-grader at Cold Harbor Elementary School, made quite a splash in her first-ever statewide horse show.

Terryn placed fifth in the Junior Western Pleasure division at the 4-H state horse show in Lexington from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

“I was really excited to get that,” she said. “I didn’t expect I would get that in my first states.”

In equitation, the rider and horse are judged as they execute a series of maneuvers on a closed course. The duo need to have a close, almost intuitive bond, as the rider gets more points the less effort it appears to take to get the horse to execute the required moves.

The bond is an important one for Terryn.

“I love how they can be your best friend and how they can listen to everything you and they can protect you while you’re on the horse,” she said. “They make it such a joy to ride.”

Terryn, riding her family’s 22-year-old Arabian, Saaher’s Concert, started out in a field of 40 riders before making the final round of the competition. The horse was trained by her grandfather, Terry Goode.

The Arabian can have a bit of a temperamental streak, especially if he hasn’t been ridden in a while.

“If you haven’t ridden him in a couple of days, because he gits a little antsy … we’ll put him on the long line and he’ll get all of his ants out. He’ll buck and kick sometimes, but when you get the horse, he’s completely calm and focused and ready to ride.”

While Terryn has been competing in horse shows since she was 3, she only began competing more seriously last year – by 4-H rules, riders have to be at least 9-years-old before they can ride a horse that’s not on a lead.

And Terryn is ready for more competition, if only the winter weather would cooperate and let her and Saaher’s Concert get more rides in.

Dave Lawrence can be reached at dlawrence@mechlocal.com.

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