The Breezeway

Hannah Darden Becomes Equestrian Superstar

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Hannah Darden Becomes Equestrian Superstar

Hannah Darden (12) walking to class.

Hannah Darden (12) walking to class.

Hannah Darden (12) walking to class.

Hannah Darden (12) walking to class.

Connor Hallock

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Trotting up to the start, She checks her reigns, adjusts her boots, and awaits the sound of the horn to start. She is suddenly galloping through the course she had walked just hours before, but this was much faster. With each canter, the jumps in the distance became larger and larger until she can feel the spring of her horse, Rooster, as he jumps over the finely trimmed hedge into a water-filled depression in the course. She sees the finish. Cautious of the time, she eloquently trots to the finish where she will await her time. This is just a day in the life of Senior Hannah Darden.

Ranked 8th in the nation for equestrian competitions, her commitment to her craft is unquestionable. Hannah competes in the jumping, dressage, and cross country categories across the nation. She has a rigorous training routine. She has lessons four days a week and competes in competitions regularly. All the while she maintains her grades, a relationship, and attends church regularly.

“It’s tough but it’s definitely worth all the hard work and dedication in the end,” Darden said.

Her parents played a significant role in her successes in equestrian competitions growing up. but acknowledge all her hard work that’s made her dreams come true.

“I’m so proud of everything horses has taught Hannah: strength, perseverance, hard work, listening, applying skills, working with others and pure joy. She has learned and grown so much over the years, competing statewide, and nationally. I’m thankful for horses in Hannah’s life and for the person, she is because of it.” Laura said.

Though her parents are greatly involved, the person at the forefront of her equestrian training is her trainer Kim. Kim Dyer has been training Hannah for the past 10 years and has personally trained her to success. Dyer’s rigorous training in jumping and dressage took Hannah all the way to this years AEC’s, the American Eventing Championship, where she placed 8th nationally.

“It’s been a long road to get here with all the training we’ve been doing. She’s really improved her dressage tests and jumping. I have no doubt that she’s on her way to greatness” Dyer said.

Hannah’s hard work and success in the equestrian world makes her stand out in a crowd and sets a monumental example of perseverance for all people.

 

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