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CO - OP LIVI NG Horse Showing: The Oklahoma pastime with a huge economic impact By Laura Araujo S aturday mornings begin early for Cas-


sidy Terrell, when she’s showing her Appaloosa, Princess. Before each show, Cassidy gets her horse ready by cleaning her feet and making sure she’s perfectly groomed. The 10-year-old East Central Electric Co-op member has been competing in horse shows for the past three years, but her love for horses started long before that, having grown up riding her grandfather’s horses from an early age.


“When she was three, I took her on a weeklong trail ride and she rode in a buddy saddle next to me all week,” Cassidy’s mom, Kim Terrell, said. “From then on she’s been hooked.”


At the shows, Cassidy participates in several com- petition classes including poles, fl ags, and horse-


manship. However, Cassidy’s favorite event is bar- rel racing and when asked about her goals for the future, she replied, “I want to be a profession barrel racer.”


Her parents are supportive of her pursuits and attend every show alongside her.


“It’s fun to encourage her and see the fruit of her practice,” Kim Terrell said.


Cassidy and her parents are among the 200,000 Oklahomans who take part in equestrian activi- ties annually. In addition, Oklahoma horse shows regularly draw contestants and spectators from 47 states and several foreign countries including Aus- tralia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand and Venezuela.


“The industry has a huge economic impact for our state,” Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese said. “I often don’t think we’ve paid enough attention to it.”


Continued on Page 12


Ten-year-old Cassidy Terrell, a member of East Central Elec- tric Cooperative, competes in horse shows. Approximately 200,000 Oklahomans take part in equestrian activities annu- ally. Courtesy photo


See sidebar to the right for a listing of equestrian events in Oklahoma


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