Local 4-Her Blair Bowling knows about perseverance and hard times. She is not afraid of hard work and works to accomplish her goals in the show ring and school.
Bowling loves horses, and had the opportunity to show her passion during the Kentucky 4-H State Horse Show on July 8. She competed for the fifth time — this time riding her horse Bully.
Painted on Bully’s side was ‘R.I.P. Chunky 6-21-15,’ to commemorate a beloved riding companion.
“When I lost Chunky, it was hard. He wasn’t just a pet, but to me he was a family member and I could tell Bully was lonely too because they’d traveled together for years,” said Bowling.
Just days before the show, Bowling’s horse Chunky was euthanized due to a series of fatal illnesses. She learned to be strong in the process and continue her efforts through a difficult time.
“It gets confusing when you try to work a social life on top of everything. There were times I would want to go hang out with my friends, but I knew I needed to ride and practice for upcoming shows or do a lesson,” said Bowling.
Her efforts paid off at the horse show, where she won Reserve Grand Champion over nearly 70 other competing horses.
Many little girls dream of having a horse, but Bowling’s dreams became a reality at age 6 when she got her first horse as a Christmas present. Her interest grew when she began taking riding lessons at T & T Stables and she eventually started barrel racing.
Years later, Bowling rides for fun and for competition but she has a self-proclaimed ‘girly-side,’ too.
“When I’m not riding, I’m a normal girl. I love hanging out with friends, getting my nails done and going shopping, of course,” said Bowling.
Bowling graduated from Middlesboro High School and has plans to attend University of Kentucky in the fall. She has been a 4-H member for seven years.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardmbdn.