Jessica Bronner of Thompson Falls is this week’s Junior Athlete Highlight.
Bronner has been involved in more than one sport, though her love of the equine kind is one that gives more to her unique passion and personality of where she strives to go both in and out of the arena.
She recently competed at the Montana 4-H State Show and she came home more than just a ribbon winner.
“My overall experience of the state horse show was over the top fantastic. I encourage each 4-H horse member to attend at least once,” Bronner said of the experience.
“Competing against AQHA and World attendees definitely made for some stiff competition, but also gave me insight on what college competition will be like,” she added.
Bronner competes over multiple disciplines, she focuses on both the Western and English sides of competition.
If you had the chance to watch the horse riding classes at this year’s Sanders County Fair, you would have easily noticed Bronner on her big grey gelding Ben.
She was seen to compete in the English classes as well as western pleasure and horsemanship on top of that as well.
When riders are competing over two disciplines they are constantly going back and forth to change their attire as well as riding tack to compete within the set parameters of each class.
Asked how she felt about the competition and preparations leading up to the big show, Bronner was positive she had hit all the goals she aimed for. In turn she walked away fairly successful against a strong competition.
“It felt very rewarding to place top seven in classes of 30 people with the amount of experience my horse and I have. I felt prepared to an extent; there is only so much you can teach and practice in a few weeks time,” said Bronner.
“My coaches and training played a huge part in how I performed at state. Without their help and knowledge I wouldn’t have come anywhere near the success I experienced. Hours before I showed, one of my coaches would go through my pattern with me and show me key points that would fine-tune my pattern. I believe it was those little bits that allowed me to place among the top competitors,” she further added.
Though with the amount of classes and early morning starts of any show, sometimes it can take an equestrian a moment to soak up how they went.
Bronner told the Valley Press what it was like when she was able to place against some of the best riders in the state. Some of which compete on a national level; while she is still essentially an amateur and not holding herself locked by just one discipline.
“The first thing I could think about when I walked out of the arena with a ribbon in hand, was “how did we do that?” Going against that high level of competition definitely intimidated me, but my instincts took over and got me through each class with something to take home,” she said.
As she sets out to continue not only a successful riding career, but academic as well; Bronner is certainly reaching for the stars.
The honor roll student is setting her sights and taking inspiration from many different avenues.
Asked if she was inspired by any one person or event during the state show, she couldn’t contain her aspirations to continue to reach for greatness.
“Absolutely! Seeing the talent and hard work that was put into each competitor gave me a whole new outlook on showing. Attending the state show opened up new doors to what large competition will be like in the future,” she explained.
Though Bronner, an easy standout on her own, is looking toward college, the recent big show was a great indicator for her to gauge where and how she wants to further her equestrian career.
“I hope to attend college in the following fall which will leave no room for 4-H horse shows, but I do hope to continue showing my horse in small local shows until I leave for school. My plan is to be on an equestrian team and compete across the country,” said Bronner.
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