Young competitors who train in horse riding at the Ortega Equestrian Center in San Juan Capistrano are keeping to a recent trend of placing high in regional competitions.
Makenzie Raphael, 8, won first place in the Surf City Western Series showmanship walk/trot youth/amateur category while on her pony Starlight.
Her mother, Shannon Raphael, said Makenzie is preparing for the 2023 American Shetland Pony Club/American Miniature Horse Association national Area VII competition. The Pacific Coast Miniature Horse Club is hosting the competition in Norco from May 26 through May 28.
“At this next show, she will show Starlight in the Open Halter Obstacle Mini category,” Shannon Raphael said.
As for Cora Bro Dollar, who has already nabbed wins at various shows, she earned a gold buckle in the West Coast Ranch Horse World Show on April 30 in the Green Rider division, competing mainly against adults. The show was held at California Ranch Company in Temecula.
“She was by far the youngest competitor in the division but earned herself a gold buckle and World Champion title in Ranch Rail on our family horse, Sally’s Haidan A Pistol, aka Belle,” her mother Erin Dollar said. “She also earned a Reserve World Champion title in Ranch Riding.”
Her daughter’s regular wins are “all the more impressive” considering she only started her show career this past November, Erin Dollar said.
Erin Dollar, who also rode alongside her daughter, won a reserve world title in ranch rail for the Green Horse division.