Fountain pursues her future with “Quest”
WED| 5-24-23 | SPORTS
When you hear the word “sports”, horseback riding is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. It isn’t the most popular or the most well known, but it plays a big role in the life of Rose sophomore Anna Fountain.
Fountain has been horseback riding competitively for six years and started when she was about nine years old. She first realized her love for it during a family trip to the mountains.
“I was [about] five, and I got on this horse and fell in love with it,” Fountain said. “When I got older, I decided I wanted to do it more competitively and I wanted to win.”
Fountain competes all year long, traveling to places like Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and West Virginia. Her most recent competition was in Tryon, NC at the International Equestrian center.
“There were 65 people in my class, so 65 horses, and we got fifth out of the 65,” Fountain said.
There are three main categories of competition. Jumpers, hunters and equitation. Jumpers is based on which horse has the fastest time and hunters focuses on the efficiency of the horse’s movement. Fountain competes in the equitation category, which is all about the rider.
“Equitation is all how you look on the horse, what your position is, and the judge judges you,” Fountain said, “If you and the horse don’t match then [you get] points off.”
Another important factor in competition is the uniform. Occasionally, the horse is allowed to wear a bonnet to keep the wind out of its ears, and for shows Fountain wears tan show pants, tall riding boots, her show jacket and a black helmet.
“If your helmet is really flashy and you’re in a certain division, if the judge doesn’t like that then they’ll take points off,” Fountain said.
Horseback riding is very time consuming, especially on show days. The days start early and end late, involving lots of tasks to stay prepared.
“We have to get up at four o’clock for seven days straight, and then we get to go to bed around ten,” Fountain said, “It’s a full day of working.”
Outside of shows, Fountain works hard to keep herself and her horse ready for the next one. This includes taking care of the horses and working on her own skills.
“I go to the barn every morning [from] around five to six to feed the horses,” Fountain said, “I ride multiple [horses] but the one I'm showing, I ride after school every day.”
Fountain hopes to continue horseback riding for as long as she can, through opportunities like college and the professional level.
“They just started up a riding program at ECU so I'm looking into that,” Fountain said. “I’m planning to do it in college and probably make a living while riding.”
Fountain feels that she has improved her skills over the years and wants to continue growing in the sport that she loves.
“My favorite thing is that you can always get better,” Fountain said. “You determine if you win or not”.