By Jill Fox
After much hard work, five young residents from a Parkland-based Equestrian team will represent Broward County in the 4-H State Horse Show in Tampa this weekend.
Residents Elisabeth Mitchell, Hailey Teitelbaum, Liam Tangney, and Galit Ring, ages 13 to 17, practice four days a week at Wattland II Barn in Parkland, where their horses are boarded.
Elisabeth, a rising senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has been riding for eight years in Parkland.
Her mother Sally said each member of the team has their own responsibilities like tacking up, grooming and making the horses show ready.
Run by the University of Florida, the 4-H horse program teaches skills like good citizenship, sportsmanship, discipline, and responsibility. Moving up through the levels is a very competitive process and requires a thorough knowledge of all the rules by everyone involved.
Dawn Watt leads the team and owns the barn, which offers young adults the opportunity to engage with their horses – and peers in a competitive program.
Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky was excited about the horse show and wished the equestrian team good luck. “We are so proud of these young ladies for qualifying for the state competition and look forward to them representing Parkland at the Florida 4-H State Horse Show.”
The 70 highest point-scoring Seniors and Intermediates at the state show will represent Florida at the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championship held in Perry, Georgia July 31.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.