BIBLE HILL, N.S.
When Izzy Harrington headed to her first horseback riding lesson she wasn’t very enthusiastic. That changed by the end of the day.
“When I was 11 my mother signed me up to help my confidence, but it wasn’t something I was especially interested in,” said the 17-year-old Bible Hill resident. “I loved it right away.
“School work and riding take up most of my time now, but I never thought I would make it this far, to be able to go to the States and compete.”
Harrington’s first shows were at the Central Nova Horse & Pony Association grounds, in Salmon River. This year she and her horse Zander – show name, IBoogie – were children’s hunter division season champions at the Maritime Hunter Jumper Finale, held at Coveside Stables in Chester.
She was riding a pony until she met Zander.
“I got him last year on a lease, and we clicked really well,” she said. “This year I purchased him. He’s my best friend and I love visiting him and riding him.
Even when I’m not riding I like to spend time at the barn to relax.”
She’s also made friends through equestrian activities.
Zander, who is 12, is kept at a farm within walking distance of her home, and coach Jenn Sarsfield is there regularly.
“The show in Ohio is large, so the competition is tougher then I am used to,” said Harrington. “I always trust my coach's judgment, if she thinks I'm capable of competing at a particular level.”
She’s done some fundraising to gather money for the March trip to the World Equestrian Center, and is looking forward to taking part in an international competition. The World Equestrian Center winter series includes 18 weeks of hunter/jumper competition in a large, climate-controlled riding space.
Harrington is also making career plans that involve animals, and has early acceptance into Dalhousie University’s bioveterinary science program.