By Anna Stanek

For Grace Parsons, riding has been a big part of her life since she was five years old. Parsons resides in Columbia, Missouri, where she rides with Brenda Benner. She started showing in MHSA’s Academy Program in Lead Line Walk/Trot as a 6-year old. At her young age, she has already won the MHSA Stock Seat Medallion twice, both while she was still showing in the 13 and under division. In addition to her success in western seat equitation, she has also garnered top ribbons in Saddle Seat Equitation, Western Pleasure, Country Pleasure, Three Gaited Show Pleasure and Open English Pleasure.

Parsons has two Saddlebreds she will be showing this season, Vuvuzela (Vu) and Beach Bum (Bubbles). This season she will continue to showcase her versatility as a rider, showing in Show Pleasure, Saddle Seat Equation, Western Pleasure and Stock Seat Equation. Her goal for this year is to gain new skills that will help her in the future riding and showing.

With all the great memories Parsons has made with horses over the years, it was hard for her to choose just one. However, one of her favorite memories with horses came from 2018, when she got to show at the prestigious Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show for the first time. Parsons described showing there as a great experience and a lot of fun.

Her love for horses has blossomed into a true passion. She is dedicated to riding and has a bright future ahead of her. She is a great representative of the versatility the Saddlebred breed has to offer. For Parsons, riding is an important part of her life.

“My favorite things about riding is how free it can make you feel, how you can express yourself in many different ways, and all the new people and friends you can make,” states Parsons.

When not at the barn, Parsons enjoys playing sports. She is quite active, as she participates in Track, Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball, and Soccer. She also likes taking time out to watch NICS.

Parsons may be young, but she has already accomplished a lot as an equestrian. Her dedication to riding has led to many blue ribbons, both in the Saddle Seat and Western divisions. With her devotion and desire to continue to grow as a rider, Parsons future is bound to have many championship ribbons in it.