Martin rider earns Reserve National Champion title

Martin rider earns Reserve National Champion title
Martin rider earns Reserve National Champion title | Kelli West, Martin, Tennessee, 2007 Reserve National Champion

Leaping to the top — Kelli West, of Martin, and her Welsh Pony Rollingwoods Sleightly Black challenged riders on a national level. West’s steady success earned her the title of 2007 Reserve National Champion in the Hunter 12’2” and Over competition.
Martin resident Kelli West has traveled all over the United States to compete with her Welsh Pony, Rollingwoods Sleightly Black. No matter which direction they trek, the pair always rises to the top. West, the 13-year-old daughter of Stan and Stacy West, journeyed everywhere from Houston, Texas to Belle Air, Md. during 2007, and the result of their trips was the title of Reserve National Champion in the Hunter 12’2” and Over competition. The honor was awarded to West for points compiled from shows held all across the country. One would think such a title would be bestowed upon someone who has been in the saddle since birth. Instead West only started riding when she was about the age of 9. Her passion for horses has been bred into her, as all her showing has been done along with a quartet of loved ones — her mother and three aunts. The family owns a Welsh pony farm named Rollingwoods Farm in Olive Branch, Miss., and competes at about 10 shows per year. “Shows are a great deal of work but lots of fun as well,” West’s aunt Dr. Ruth Wilburn said. “We are very proud of how hard Kelli has worked and the success she has had. She is a tribute to both her parents and the farm and shows tremendous work ethic and great sportsmanship.” “The best thing about showing ponies is the time I get to spend with my family,” the young champion rider said. “My three aunts, my cousins and my mother all get to spend lots of quality time together which is really nice. Sometimes it can a little too much family, but then again I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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