Emily Graham takes sixth at Western Semi-finals

SPRINGFIELD, MO – Emily Graham finished sixth in Individual Open Western Horsemanship at the Western Semi-Finals held in Springfield, Missouri.

There are three semi-finals at different locations throughout the U.S., with the top four finishers from each going to Nationals. Although the Laramie County Community College sophomore from Oroville won’t be one of the ones heading to Kentucky, she did finish first at Regionals, in addition to her sixth place at the semi-finals, and is one of the top 20 in the United States for IHSA western open riders.

Graham is a general studies major at LCCC and part of the equestrian team. She told her college newspaper, Wingspan, that she wanted a second chance at Nationals following last year’s hard loss in the semi-finals in New York as a freshman.

Riding horses is nothing new to Graham. She has been riding horses since she was six-years-old and has continued to ride in Wyoming. She has also worked since age eight with horses. Recently, one of the horses with which Graham worked qualified for Mare Paint Worlds, showing Graham’s skill as a trainer, the best of the best horses get into this show.

When it comes to the equestrian team, Graham credits her mom as one of her biggest influences for her success and continued participation.

Graham told the LCCC Wingspan, “My mom really is the one who got me started with equestrian. She helped me get a chance to ride in front of [LCCC's equestrian coach] Lanae Koons and that is what helped me get on the team.”

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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