University of Southern Mississippi student Colton Reid and his horse Della recently competed and earned a top-10 ranking in the nation’s biggest horse show, the American Quarter Horse Congress.
Reid ranked in the top 10 in the Novice Amateur Showmanship class and top 25 in the Novice Amateur Trail at the AQHC in Columbus, Ohio. "The whole experience was life-changing and for my first time competing at such a prestigious show, I felt honored just to be there," said Reid.
A finance major from Hattiesburg, Reid had previously placed in the Top Ten in two separate divisions in the AQHC East Novice Championship Show in Murfreesboro, Tenn. At that event, he and Della competed and placed in both the Novice Amateur Performance Halter Mares and in the Novice Amateur Trail, going up against approximately 115 other horses.
The Oak Grove High School graduate has been competing for the past four years, accumulating numerous awards and is now considered a Regional Champion since his ranking in the Region 9 show earlier this year. He is adamant about competitive horseback riding not being confused with lassoing or rounding up cattle.
“We are not cowboys and cowgirls. What we do is on the scale of the Olympics. We train for years and compete against some of the best horses in the world,” he said.
Reid’s love for the sport came from his family being a part of the horse show industry since the early 1950s. He grew up around horses since his grandparents, who are national title winners, instilled in him the work ethic he maintains today.
“If God is willing, I plan to keep showing for the rest of my life,” he said.