Sports

March 20, 2014

Tucson offers DLT opportunity to horse around

Tags:
Capt. Susan Harrington
355 Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Susan Harrington)
Keegan Rawls looks for her next jump as she rides her horse, Habanera, through the course at a horse show in Pima County, Feb. 22. Keegan rides every day with the long-term goal of eventually competing at the national and international level. She is the daughter of Col. Trey Rawls, 355th Fighter Wing vice commander, and his wife Scotta.

Lauren Pickett, left, and Gianna Banning pose for a picture in front of the riding arena at Ashbrook Farm in Tucson, March 10. Lauren and Gianna have been riding for three and four years respectively, and both love the sport. Lauren is the daughter of Maj. Michael Picket, 354th Fighter Squadron A-10 pilot, and Gianna is the daughter of Lt. Col. Scott Banning, 47th Fighter Squadron A-10 pilot.

The city of Tucson, and it’s always sunny climate, allows for a plethora of outdoor sports options for military families to participate in, such as soccer, football, tennis or hiking.

However, some Davis-Monthan families have found their niché in the less common, but also accessible, sport of horseback riding.

Keegan Rawls is one of those few; the daughter of Col. Trey Rawls, 355th Fighter Wing vice commander, and his wife Scotta, she began riding eight years ago and now competes in jumping shows throughout the state.

“I started riding when I was seven years old in New Mexico. I rode an old quarter horse in a little western barn, and I’ve loved it ever since,” said Keegan. “It’s different every time, normal sports can get repetitive, so I love that this is a challenge and always exciting.”

She rides at Ashbrook Farm here in Tucson. It is owned and operated by trainer Ashley Stannard and is home to a variety of riders, from young children to adults, Western Pleasure riders to English jumpers.

 

 

Keegan is not the only military rider at Ashbrook. Senior Airman Jessica Morris, a weather forecaster with the Arizona Air National Guard, as well as the daughters of Lt. Col. Scott Banning, a Reserve A-10 pilot with the 47th Fighter Squadron, and Maj. Michael Pickett, an A-10 pilot with the 354th Fighter Squadron, also ride at the barn.

Gianna Banning has been riding for approximately four years, and Lauren Pickett for more than three. At just eight years old, they’re taking care of their horses on their own.

After their ride each night, together the girls unsaddle, wash, dry, and lead their horses into their stalls for the evening.

“We like the lessons of work ethic and taking care of an animal that came with horseback riding,” said Lt. Col. Banning.  “At Ashbrook Farm, you’re part of a team. It’s like a tennis team – individual competition and team results, but it requires a lot of practice, learning, growing and competing to get better.”

“Tucson provides the perfect outlet for riding, not only because of the beautiful weather for the outdoor sport, but also because of the abundance of horse shows in the area,” said Maj. Pickett.

“While I was deployed in 2011 from Moody Air Force Base, my daughter started taking Western and English lessons at the age of five,” Maj. Pickett said. “What started out as something to keep her busy, ended up being her favorite sport and activity. Hanging out with the horses, grooming, cleaning out hooves and mucking stalls became her passion.”

These families have discovered it’s possible to explore other sports options for children, even with the challenges of being a military family.

In fact, while one might think being in the military, with the consistent moves every few years, would make riding difficult, Keegan has actually found it advantageous to her riding career.

“I actually think I benefit more from it, I get more experience with different trainers,” Keegan said. “I can go to another place and gain more knowledge, so I’m not just learning from one trainer.”

While it may still be a few years down the road, Keegan has long-term goals of eventually competing at the national and international level. She rides each and every day to reach that point, and is well on her way with the level of competition she is participating in now.

“My big goal is to make it to the Olympics one day, that’s what I’m really aspiring toward,” she said. “I’m working really hard so hopefully one day I can make it there.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

The new fight: Writing cyber into the science of war

Every year, the Aspen Security Forum brings together the top minds in defense, intelligence and homeland security. This year, more than ever, the conversation is turning to cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and everything attached to them. Cyber is constantly changing the way conflicts and combat unfold. Here, former U.S. Navy Rear Adm. William Leigher offers insights...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Local Briefs July 31, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park.. Final deadline for sign-ups is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more information. White water rafting and camping Aug. 20 – 24 – Grand...
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Relationship building by means of the F-16

  America’s stars and stripes and Arizona’s lone copper star always wave proudly at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing. But it’s the adjacent flags of coalition-partners – from the pacific island-nat...
 
 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>