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.”