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April 24, 2018

Show horses

The Yorba Linda Country Riders celebrated 45 years of equestrian heritage in town during its annual show on Sunday, which attracted horse enthusiasts from Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.

The club held its anniversary show at the Phillip S. Paxton Equestrian Center where riders competed in several categories in English and Western riding, including halter, trail and trot.

Club President Dee Dee Friedrich said there were about 40 riders competing Sunday, cheered on by about 150 spectators.

“This show, due to the 45th anniversary of Yorba Linda Country Riders, offered extra special awards,” she said. An all-around title marking the 45 years was awarded and the prizes in general were a little fancier.

Olivia Rangel, 13, took the show’s biggest prize while riding Penny. She was named the All Around Yorba Linda Country Riders 45th Anniversary winner.

Rangel and the 11-year-old chestnut she rents have been riding together for about a year. Her dad, Chris, rides recreationally and joined her in the show for the first time.

The newspaper caught up with the soon-to-be freshman who is the only one in her Tustin family who rides horses competitively.

Q. How did you start riding?

A. I started riding when I was around 4, and I just really enjoyed riding horses. I started taking lessons. I’ve been riding ever since.

Q. How did you start riding competitively?

A. I started showing horses when I was around 8 or 9. My first time was at a local horse show down at Orange Park Acres, and I was showing one of my trainer’s horses.

Q. What style riding do you do?

A. I do both Western and English. It’s pretty common for riding horses. I prefer Western because it is more slow paced and you are very collected. I’ve grown to love it. I started out with my trainer riding English and then I moved to Western.

Q. How did you react to winning the show’s biggest title?

A. I was super excited to hear that I had won overall. It was a big accomplishment for me and Penny. I really like what I do with Penny and how we show. She is one of my best friends. She is a really good horse. She loves me and I really love her.

Q. Do you hope to get a job that would allow you to work with horses?

A. I definitely want to do something with horses. I’m not sure what, but it will definitely be in my future. Maybe a trainer or a vet.