MARSYVILLE Jhesika Wells of Marysville is hoping to ride her dreams into the Olympic sunset. No, not the beautiful and picturesque Olympic Mountains to the west but as part of the U.S. Olympic Games in dressage.
According to wikipedia.org, dressage is a French term meaning training and is a path and destination of competitive horse training, with competitions held at all levels from amateur to Olympic. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horses natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse.
Wells, a 17-year-old that has been home schooled since the fourth-grade, recently placed first at both the Evergreen State Fair and the Puyallup Fair.
The State Fair in Monroe was in dressage training, first level and the Puyallup Fair was a first-place finish in the first level test three.
The Puyallup Fair was among those in the ninth – 12th grade and considered the senior division.
Riding her five-year-old horse GoGo, Wells received a 65 percent score that is considered exceptional.
Anywhere in the 60s is really good, Wells said with a smile.
Although she doesnt currently have a timetable for her Olympic dreams, the bright teen is continuing to stay quite busy in an effort to realize them.
When not being home schooled, she can be found cleaning horse stalls to pay for GoGos boarding fees and feed and baby-sitting.
Mondays and Tuesdays I clean the stalls and four days a week I turn the horses out, she said. I walk them out to the pasture, change their water and baby-sit five and seven-year-old boys. The money pays for the horse, usage of the pasture, grain and hay. I have to have her front shoes done every six weeks, and that is $70 dollars. Its expensive owning a horse.
The tall 17-year-old said that competitions cost a lot of money, but the fee tends to vary.
At both the State Fair and Puyallup they paid us because we are considered an exhibit, she said.
Wells said GoGo is the third horse she has helped maintain since becoming a teenager.
She leased her first horse, named Klemont, for one year before moving on to JJ for two years.
JJ was short for Jesse James to which she jokingly said, race horses have the oddest names.
Her and her family found GoGo with the assistance of a family friend. The owner kept the beautiful thoroughbred at Emerald Downs, and Wells had to borrow a horse trailer from a friend.
The owner called and said you can have him (GoGo) but you have to pick him up tomorrow, Wells said with a slight look of panic three years after the fact.
After finishing her high school studies, Wells said she plans to attend Everett Community College to study radiology.
I might stay at home for awhile, but probably not for very long, the oldest of six children said.
What started her interest in dressage in the first place?
She said she was perusing through the Little Nickel looking for an open stable cleaner, and found herself in love being around horses.
Competing in the Olympic Games in dressage is different in that the rider usually has to find a strong comfort level and maturity with their horse.
Its something you cant necessarily plan, she said. It costs a lot of money, but I am more than willing to invest in it and give it everything I have.
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