The Arkansas State Championship Horse Show was held over Labor Day weekend at the Barton Coliseum in Little Rock with many Faulkner County kids, ranging from under 6 years old to high school juniors, in attendance.

The championship event, which was established 58 years ago, is held every year where over 1,800 qualified exhibitors all across the state compete in judged and timed events.

“Exhibitors qualify for the Championship Show by competing all year in association shows and finishing in the top five in their event,” Janice Thessing, a spokesperson for the event, said. “The top 60 competed at Barton Coliseum to crown the top ten in the State and the Champion for each event. Each contestant from Faulkner County Saddle Club are also members of Arkansas Valley Horse Show Association.”

Abigail Lewis, a 15-year-old student at Conway High School, competed in six events and placed top 10 in every single one as well as becoming the high point winner for all youth showings this year and won a saddle from it.

Lewis placed first in the youth ranch riding, second in the youth western pleasure, and third in the open walk trot as well as in the youth horsemanship. Lewis also placed eighth in the youth ranch rail and the youth reining.

Greenbrier High School Junior Landri Aultman won the youth barrels, place third in the junior speed, fourth in the keyhole, and seventh in both the junior flags and stake race.

Ariellel Appleby, a Junior at Conway High School, tied for first in the hunter under saddle. She also placed as the Reserve champion, got fourth in the youth horsemanship and sixth in the youth western pleasure.

Fifth Grader Annie Kravitz from Simon Middle School in Conway placed sixth and seventh in the Pony Pleasure classes.

In the 10 and under age division, Alli Jo Carr placed fifth in the pony flags while Hagen Bradway placed seventh.

Many younger Faulkner County kids in the 6 and under age division were also in attendance at the competition including Mattox Ballard, Hunter Thessing, Charlie DuVall, Lillie Jean Crossland, and Adelyn Stone.

“Faulkner County Saddle Club are very proud of these contestants who showed up and shined,” Thessing said.

Jordan Wooodson can be reached at

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