The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

August 7, 2013

Youth places at Appaloosa world competition

The Daily Item

— SELINSGROVE — Raechel Councill, of Selinsgrove, and her trainer Amanda Conn Kerstetter, owner of A and A Farms in Mount Pleasant Mills, took two horses to the Appaloosa Youth World Competition held in Fort Worth, Texas June 30 through July 6.

Raechel and her horses received a third, several fifth, a ninth and a 10th placing in events that included up to 51 competitors from throughout the United States, Brazil, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Raechel got her start with horses when she was seven years old and took her first lessons. Since that time she has shown actively at local horse shows and won numerous awards including Champion Junior English Rider at the Williamsport Riding Club, as well as qualifying for the 4-H State Horse show held in October 2012 at the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex.  

This year, she and her trainer had bigger plans. They wanted to see how well she and her horses could compete on a more national level. As a member of the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), Raechel has been showing regionally (NY, DE, PA, NJ) for the past two seasons. This year they made the trip to Texas for the Youth World Championship that ApHC holds annually. Over 600 competitors and their horses came from all over the United States and several other countries to compete in the week long series of events.  

Raechel competed with Dynamic Lexus as her horse for western events. Lexy is a veteran in the show ring and has a world title to her credit already. As a team, they earned an overall placing of a third and two fifth in classes that included Showmanship (where the rider leads the horse from the ground through a series of maneuvers), and Horsemanship (judging the rider’s skill while directing the horse through a pattern).  

Raechel also competed with Handpainted Cameo in English events. Cammie has her own reserve world title in a 2 year old futurity class, but still is only a 4 year old horse. They were successful in winning a ninth in English Showmanship (only their third time together in any competition), 10th in Hunter in Hand (a class that showcases the movement of the horse), and fifth in the world in Hunter Under Saddle (a class that judges the horse and rider’s way of moving together through various gaits and transitions).