Her second family


Taylor Emigh, practicing barel racing on her horse, Ranger.

      Sophomore Taylor Emigh started winning championships and high points in the 13 and under age group with her two horses, Cope and Ranger.

      She has been riding both Cope and Ranger for a little over four years. Emigh’s family owns both horses and keep them at Autumn Lane Equestrian Center.

      In the spring and summer of 2013, this last show season, Emigh had even bigger accomplishments, including competing in the Illinois State 4-H horse show.

      “This show is the biggest and toughest competition she has ever been in and she was very impressive,” Emigh’s horse trainer Becky Rothecker said.

      Emigh passed in almost every class, which had anywhere from twenty-five to sixty riders in a class.

      Emigh does Western and English style of riding and got into barrel racing when she got her horse, Ranger.

      The main difference between English and Western riding is that in English riding, the rider takes a direct contact on the way to control the horse’s speed and direction. Most Western riding horses are ridden on little or no contact and the rider uses their seating, their weight, and neck-reining to control the horse.

      Even though English, Western and barrel racing are all very different events, that’s what made her choose them.

      “I don’t have to always be doing the same events and routines in every competition,” Emigh said.

      “As a rider myself, I think Taylor is a very educated and poised rider,”  sophomore Emily Chapman said.

      Emigh practices with her horses five to six days a week in the summer and one to two days a week in the winter. In practices she works on speed patterns, which is when she uses barrels, poles and flags. When using barrels, poles and flags it is to work on her horses speed and accuracy  while barrel racing. Emigh also works on lowering their heads and slowing down.

       “When I tell her to work on a specific skill, I can tell she worked on them and at the next lesson I can see the improvement,” Rothecker said.

        Competition season goes through spring and summer. Emigh does around 20 competitions every season and they all lead up to state fair.

      “One of my biggest achievement so far is winning my equitation class at state,” Emigh said. Equitation is a class where a judge mainly judges the rider and not so much the horse.

      “The goals I have for Taylor are very high but also very achievable. I would like to see her return to the State 4-H show and qualify for Versatility again,” Rothecker said.

      “Versatility is an event at state fair that someone has to win their certain class to qualify for,” Emigh said. “My personal goals are to run barrels in the National Finals Rodeo and win Versatility at state fair,” Emigh said.