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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Gen. “Hawk” Carlisle to assume ACC reins Nov. 4

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – Gen. “Hawk” Carlisle will assume command of Air Combat Command from Gen. Mike Hostage in a change of command ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 4, at JBLE.  The ceremony will be of...
 
 

Trick-or-treat safely this Halloween

Excitement is in the air and ghosts, ghouls, monsters and princesses will be out in mass, October 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Accidents and mishaps increase during this event. To prevent them use common sense, be aware of potential hazards, and take precautions. Halloween Costume Safety: · Wear flame retardant costumes. · Hem your costumes so you don’t...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by: Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz)

355th CES spread the “I am energy” campaign

October is Energy Action Month throughout the federal government and in the U.S. Air Force. Airmen, here, educated themselves and future generations on base and in the local community about the importance of saving energy. This...
 
 

Exchange service to extend return policy for holiday purchases

To make gift giving easier, the Army & Air Force Exchange service is extending its return policy for items purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, 2014. The Edwards Air Force Base Exchange’s standard policy allows returns anywhere from up to 15 to 90 days of purchase with a sales receipt. The holiday return/exchange policy...
 
 

Airmen lead the way in last pre Ranger course

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada – Twenty-one Airmen from around the Air Force were put to the test both physically and mentally in their pursuits to attend the U.S. Army Ranger school during the Ranger Assessment Course Oct. 2-16, 2014, at Silver Flag Alpha range, Nevada. The course has existed in Nevada since the early 1980s, and...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin