High on Her Horse

Local Rider Rebecca Baron and Her Horse, Oberon, Will Showcase Their Talents at the Red Hills Horse TrialsHigh on Her Horse 

By Tisha Crews Keller

Amid the high-octane competition at the 2008 Red Hills Horse Trials, some local riders will be in the hunt for top honors. One of those homegrown hopefuls is Rebecca Barron, who is making a name for herself in the sport.

A local favorite, Barron, who lives just across the Leon County line in Jefferson County, has excelled at Red Hills and in other regional competitions. This year will be her second start in the competition’s Concours International Combiné (CIC) 3-Star division.

Paired for five years with her gray Dutch Warmblood horse, Oberon, Barron recently won Team Gold and Individual Silver medals at the North American Young Riders Championship in Lexington, Va. This is the third time she has made it to the championship, the near-pinnacle for novice riders making their way toward a career in professional equestrian sport.

Barron, 22, saddled up early (lessons at 3 and eventing at the tender age of 8) and comes from a family of equestriennes. Mom Jane is passionate about dressage and works weekly with a coach; sister Anne, 19, also rides. Older sister Elizabeth, 25, is bringing a young horse, The Graduate, up through the eventing ranks. (Look for them in Red Hills’ Preliminary or Intermediate divisions this year.)

Barron’s ribbon hopes for this year’s Red Hills Horse Trials may be dampened by a medical problem Oberon developed last fall, but a good prognosis should allow for a great showing at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park. Spectators on the lookout for this dynamic duo will find them competing in the Red Hills Advanced division.

The next goal for Barron and Oberon is the United States’ only 4-Star event at the 2009 Rolex Three Day Event in Kentucky. From there … who knows? Making it as a professional, international-level rider certainly is in her sights.

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