Local horse rider takes regional, world crowns

Sally Newman had never ridden Mariah before.

But that didn’t stop the combination from taking titles at the Pony of the Americas (POA) Regional and World Championship competitions in Eugene, Ore. last month.

Newman, who took first at the regional competition in the handy horse competition, the combination race and the figure contest, also took world titles in straight barrels and flags. She was the reserve world champ in barrels.

“It wasn’t that new to me because of the shows up here,” Newman said. “But it was certainly a lot larger. It was a whole lot tougher competition.”

Newman, an 11-year-old at Cottonwood Elementary School, far exceeded any expectations that she or Pam Day, the youth programs director at the Silver Spur Club, had heading into the event. Day, who was originally going to attend the event with Mariah’s owner, 9-year-old Shane Terry of Seabeck. But when Terry was unable to attend, Newman stepped into his place.

“We went down with no idea of what we were doing,” Day said. “It was just, ‘Yeah, it’s a show.’ All we could do was go for the experience.”

And they both got quite an experience. In addition to Newman’s titles, Day finished first in the regional event in handy horse, the combination race, the figure eight and the keyhole. She finished third in the world in poles, the go go (key race) , the keyhole and straight barrels. Day also was riding Mariah.

Newman said she was just happy she got to ride a fast horse.

“(I like) the fact that she likes to go fast. It was quite fun,” Newman said. “The flags and the barrels are (some) of my best ones. My mouth just dropped when I saw how fast she went.”

Back on Mariah last weekend, Terry was able to claim was able to take second place in six events at another POA competition near Shelton. Day also recieved a number of honors.

Terry said he was glad to have a horse like Mariah.

“She’s a fun horse,” he said. “She’s real gentle.”

Terry got Mariah just this past March, making the feats even more remarkable.

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