MAYVILLE - Ashley Crandall took two firsts and a second in riding and other horse-related competition at the New York State Fair in Syracuse and plans to compete in the 4-H Eastern Regional competition in Lexington, Ky., Nov. 7-11.
The Chautauqua Lake junior placed first in the state in Dressage at Syracuse in the very difficult "First Level-Test 3" competition riding her 15-year-old mare, Kyla, an American Paint who has been in the Crandall barn for six years.
Crandall and Kyla practiced the various test moves "pretty much every day since April - over 80 times."
Chautauqua Lake junior Ashley Crandall is pictured with her horse, Kyla; during the New York State Fair in Syracuse.
Her dad, John Crandall, called out her tests in Syracuse.
She also placed first in the regional hippology competition which included contestants from Alleghany, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties. Her performance and knowledge earned her second place in the state. Hippology is a broad study of horses including tack, biology, feeding, best health practices and riding.
The 4-hour competition this summer included solving problems as a team, horse judging and a 100-question written test.
"One of the questions concerned identifying poisonous plants," Crandall remembered.
She was confident about Dressage. "I had a good feeling about it." However, she wasn't sure about the hippology. "It was a complete surprise, "she said.
Her father added, "She was pretty shocked."
Ashley has been riding since she was seven and according to her dad, "She always had a love for horses."
She is a member and president of the Chautauqua County Trail Riders who meet at the fire hall in Stockton.
"Four-H has taught me so much," she commented during the interview at the Mayville village office where her dad is village clerk.
Future plans include pre-veterinary studies and, she hopes, veterinary school where she would like to specialize in large animals.
Meanwhile, she is taking advanced classes at CLCS and getting ready for the competition in Kentucky.
"The fun continues," her dad said as the interview concluded.