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Nelson competes at State Fair

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By The Staff

Eleven-year-old Brittany Nelson knows the value of hard work and how to make it pay off.

For the past two years she’s won first place in the horse show at the Kentucky State Fair. She was hoping to make it a three-peat. While she didn’t win first place in 2009, Nelson and her horse, Storm, managed to capture second place honors.

Brittany is the daughter of Gene and Debbie Nelson of Dry Ridge. She is a sixth grade student at Grant County Middle School.

“This is a big deal,” said Debbie. “I’m not sure that anyone has ever won two firsts.”

Nelson shows in the approved and open quarter horse circuit. She participates in western pleasure, walk/trot and showmanship.

“I improved on trotting this year. When I started practicing, I got better.” Brittany said.

Nelson said she gets really nervous before and even during the competitions, even though she tries to see the competition as a normal day of riding.

“You would never know she’s nervous though because she’s always smiling,” Debbie Nelson said.

“I don’t really think of it as competing. I just look at it as having fun,” Brittany said.

Although it is a competition, Nelson doesn’t know how many she competes against until she arrives at the fair. However in the past years there are usually six to 10 other participants.

Brittany has been riding horses since she was a baby. She started riding on her own when she was 5-years-old.

“I love horses. I just like going out there and riding them,” Brittany said. “I guess I get it from my family.”

Brittany has learned how to ride, control and discipline horses. At shows, she helps with grooming, transporting and other tasks she’s able to help with.

After she competes at the state fair, Brittany enjoys watching lopping. In the future, she’d like to compete in lopping and eventually in the trail competition.

“I started practicing lopping and I would like to improve on that,” she said.

For now, Brittany and Storm are working to win another state title in 2010.