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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of March 27 - April 2, 2002


Local rider crowned Reserve Champion at Indio

WRHS senior Alexandra Taft in equitation

Express Staff Writer

Even though she spent a trimester away from school, Alexandra Taft has been busy getting a serious education.

Alexandra, 18, a Wood River High School senior and National Honor Society member, spent the last seven weeks at the Horses in the Sun Desert Circuit at Indio, Ca.

The ongoing horse show features top riders from all over the U.S. One of the best turned out to be Taft, who was crowned Reserve Champion in Equitation for the 18-35 year old age group. She was also crowned half-circuit champion.

In equitation, unlike dressage, itís the rider who is judged on form, not the horse.

Judges look for the position of the riderís legs, hands and shoulders, and how a horse is positioned according to the riderís cues.

"Courses are generally technical. It really tests the rider. You have to execute in a way that makes it look easy," Taft said.

Taft knows that hard work is what it takes to be successful in any endeavor. She is not afraid to roll up her sleeves.

Alexandra is currently ranked second in her high school class. She has received less than an A grade only once in her high school career. For the record, it was a B.

Her mother Spooky said Alexandra has been accepted to several colleges, including Lewis and Clark in Portland, which she may choose because of its proximity to the stable where she trains.

Alexandra is the oldest of Jim and Spooky Taftís three girls.

Katrina, 15, was named half-circuit Reserve Champion in the Junior Maiden division at Indio. Samantha, 9, just won the snowshoe and "Stupid Pet Tricks" classes at Marchís Paw & Pole cross-country ski event.

"Horses have always been in our family. Riding is a huge part of who I am," said Alexandra, who began riding at three.

"I always want to have it there in my life. It is something I will always come back to."


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.