Crumpton named Grand Champion in horse show

Published 11:34 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Emilee Crumpton of the Central Alabama Horse Club in Clanton was named the Grand Champion in Halter 12-and-Under Pony Division at this year’s Alabama Open Horseman Association State Championship.

Crumpton started riding two years ago, but only began showing her pony this year. A shy 11-year-old, Crumpton was extremely nervous during her first time showing.

She said the win was surprising.

During competition, Crumpton said she had to “smile and walk with the pony, make sure your (pony) doesn’t freak out.”

Competitions had to lead their ponies in a certain pattern, and then keep them still while the judges looked them over to determine how healthy and strong the animal is.

Crumpton said she enjoys the “thrill and excitement” of competing and “making friends” along the way.

Her pony is named Crusader’s Fantasea, a combination of the names of the mother and father.

Leslee Crumpton, Emilee Crumpton’s mom, said she tried to get her daughter to focus on the state competition as a learning experience, not expecting to win since it was her first year.

In addition to being Grand Champion, Emilee Crumpton also placed eighth in showmanship.

“We’re really proud of her,” Leslee Crumpton said.

She said the win is especially significant and surprising because Emilee did not start doing halter showing until the middle of the year.

There were more than 19 competitors in her division.

As the end of the showing season drew near, Emilee Crumpton needed only a few more shows in order to qualify for state.

Emilee Crumpton became interested in riding when the daughter of one of her mom’s friends asked if she would be interested in taking riding lessons. Now, she trains four or five hours each day.

She said she was thankful for the support of Ronnie and Neal Drinkard as well as Central Alabama Horse Club gave her in preparing for the competition.