The Express

Virginia Smith Literally Rides for the SJHHS Brand

Virginia+Smith+competes+in+an+International+Equestrian+League+competition+in+Orange+County.+
Virginia Smith competes in an International Equestrian League competition in Orange County.

Virginia Smith competes in an International Equestrian League competition in Orange County.

Photo Courtesy of Morton Smith

Photo Courtesy of Morton Smith

Virginia Smith competes in an International Equestrian League competition in Orange County.

Katie Brubaker, Feature Editor

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Virginia Smith has been around horses since she was one. Now, after years of cultivating her skills, she is a serious competitor in riding competitions across Orange County.

Smith, a junior at San Juan Hills High School, has been riding English style since she started to walk. However, she modestly explained that she “didn’t do anything really advanced until around age eight.”

A passion for horses seems to run through Smith’s veins. The majority of the Smith family rides or rode horses.

“My grandpa, who was an Olympic rider, was the one who initially pushed my entire family to ride. In the end, I was the only one who stuck with it,” said Smith.

My grandpa, who was an Olympic rider, was the one who initially pushed my entire family to ride. In the end, I was the only one who stuck with it”

— Virginia Smith

Smith explains that this passion was also fostered by the fact that the Smith’s had a farm while she was growing up.

“My family owned a farm, so I was constantly around horses, and riding became my usual activity. Being around horses was always something I loved, whether I was just grooming or training them,” said Smith.

A major aspect of her riding career has been competing in riding competitions for the past ten years. Smith has competed in Open Horse Show Association, Victory Show, and Interscholastic Equestrian League and has placed in the top five of every show that she has competed in.

“I compete in varsity jumper classes meaning that speed is the biggest factor to winning a competition. At every competition I have to memorize a given course with about 10 jumps. I have to complete the course without knocking any rails down from the jumps and I also have to end with the fastest time,” said Smith.

SJHHS does not actually have a horse back riding team, so Smith attends these competitions by herself.

“I compete independently and sometimes with Interscholastic Equestrian League, which means that at competitions if I win a class I earn points for San Juan Hills High School,” said Smith.

So in spite of SJHHS not having a riding team, it is comforting to know that there is a highly skilled and awarded horse rider collecting points for our school and literally riding for the brand.

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