TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – A local girl is taking up a Western hobby in Sin City in a few weeks. News 18 caught up with Ella and her horse, Dolly, to discuss the competition of a lifetime for her and her horse.
Meet Dolly. She goes to Las Vegas with her mistress, Ella Barton, 16, who has been riding since she was a child.
“The discipline I practice is mastery and consists of seven different maneuvers and you do it all in a pattern and you have sliding stops, pirouettes, big circles, slow circles, head changes.”
The art of reining is considered much like figure skating; all the work done is at a lop or a gallop. Ella takes Dolly to The Run For a Million contest. It is the richest event in the history of Reining.
“There are three different divisions, there’s the rookie division, the non-pro division and the open pro division. The open pro division will go and they’re going to go for $1 million. The non-pro and rookie classes, that I’m gonna be in rookie, gonna go for about $50,000.”
Riders must qualify with the National Reining Horse Association.
“Every year you pick a show like Indiana, you go to a show and they have a class and you have to enroll in that class, you have to pay extra to be in that class and if you win that class you’ll be eligible to go to The Run For a Million. I was able to do it last year in Cloverdale and we qualified for the race there.
She will be the first in her family to enter The Run For a Million with the hope of winning $50,000. His mentor and grandfather, Steve Gooden, said he couldn’t be prouder.
“This little girl at 10:30 p.m. last night I knew exactly where she was. She had been out riding. There are chores to be done every day, there are horses that need to be fed, watered, stalls need to be cleaned. These children know the meaning of the word work.”
“Every time I come here and look at these horses and see all that my grandfather and my family have built, I think about how blessed I am, how grateful I am and what I can do to go further.”
The Race for a Million is being held at South Point Arena and the Las Vegas Equestrian Center from August 17-20.
You can also catch Ella and Dolly at the Tippecanoe County Fair this year by attending a few shows.
The county fair begins July 15 and ends July 23.