CROCKER HILL – Sixteen-year-old Myla O’Dell of Crocker Hill was recently named one of eight recipients of a $500 bursary from the New Brunswick Equestrian Association (NBEA).
O’Dell, who rides with Stewart Sport Horses in St. George under the tutelage of Jane Stewart, as well as Reba and Stephane Fournier, began her foray into riding at the age of 13, with what her mother, Kamilla O’Dell refers to as “sporadic” lessons.
After the nonchalant beginning, by the age of 15 O’Dell was ready to take a more serious approach, and that’s when she started working with Stewart Sport Horses.
Since making the shift, O’Dell has been focused, and has not only begun competing, but has earned her Canadian Equestrian Federation Rider Levels 1 and 2, and is working towards level 3. The program itself goes to level 10,
“The bursary will help with some of the expenses of riding lessons and the rider level testing,” said Kamilla.
And assisting with training, education, and competition costs is exactly what the bursaries were designed to do. To apply, New Brunswick riders must be between 14 and 18-years-old, be attending school in New Brunswick, have completed at least one rider level, and ride under an Equine Canada certified coach.
“Myla is naturally talented,” said coach Reba Fournier, “which is always a treat for coaches who teach all abilities, but more importantly is eager to learn all aspects of horsemanship and riding.
She is always asking questions about horse care and about her own athletic development. After every lesson she asks for stretching and fitness homework to help her improve between rides.”
O’Dell hopes to soon begin competing, and wants to focus on jumping. “She loves every aspect including the barn work,” said Kamilla, “but her favourite is jumping.”
“She is a talented and determined young rider,” said Fournier. “I think she has a bright future in the sport.”