Lots of little girls dream of owning a pony. Fifteen-year-old Emma Monroe’s dream came true when her parents, Todd and Jessica, bought her Bailey, a grey Welsh pony mare.
Bailey was four years old when Emma got her as a surprise Christmas gift, and conventional wisdom said Bailey was too young to compete. With a lot of hard work, Bailey and Emma proved that wrong when they qualified for Pony Finals 2018, a three-phase competition judging the pony and its rider.
“It was the best day of my life when she qualified for Pony Finals,” Emma says. In order to qualify for the competition, which dates to 1967, the pony and rider must be champion or reserve champion at an A-rated show.
Now a 10th grader at University Laboratory School, Emma started taking riding lessons at six and showing at eight. She learned her love of horses from her family.
“My mom’s side of the family has ridden their whole life,” Emma says. “My great grandfather was in the U.S. Calvary, and my grandma rode and so did my mom. So I just inherited it from them.”
Although Emma has now grown too tall to ride Bailey, she rides another leased horse and can show Bailey in Welsh pony shows.
“The horses keep me really busy, especially with going to shows,” Emma says. “It’s a big responsibility to keep a horse, and it’s a year-round sport.”
Even so, Emma is also on the U-High Student Council and maintains friendships at school and the barn. With her determination and focus, Emma is certainly one amazing kid.