by Kate Poulin
Jodie Kelly from Destin, Florida, trains at Southern Cross Equestrian center owned by her parents. Jodie is the youngest girl trying out for the team. She is only 15 but will turn 16 on July 30th. Jodie is a sophomore in high school and would like to go to Stetson University when she graduates.
When she was two she got her first pony but didn't start riding dressage until she was six. She has ridden her horse, Reagan, since the mare was four, and Jodie herself has trained the horse all the way up to Young Riders. Dr. Amy Williams of Auburn University owns Reagan.
Reagan is a nine-year-old Dutch Mare. Reagan and Jodie were also participants of the Junior Championships in California in 1998 where they won the individual Gold Medal. This year she is trying to qualify for the Region Three Young Riders team. She is also trying out for the Junior Championships with another one of her horses, Mozart. Jodie has earned her USDF Bronze Medal and just received her USDF Silver Medal.
Young Rider Teams are required to raise their own funds to reach their goal. Donations for a region's NAYRC team expenses can be tax deductible.
USDF Tax Free Guidelines
USDF Advanced Young Rider Qualifying procedures are on the USDF web site