MYAKKA CITY -- A contingent of seven competitors from Myakka City dominated the competition in their age groups at the 12th American Miniature Horse Registry national championships at Expo Square in Tulsa, Okla., coming home with three national championships and several top 10 finishes.
The AMHR national championships, the biggest miniature horse show in the world, crowned national champions in 380 categories, said Zona Schneider, AMHR director of operations.
The lofty national showing at the 11-day event concluded Sunday was no surprise, said Erin Kehoe, mother of one of the national champions and owner of DADSASAP Miniature Horse Farm in Myakka City.
"We knew we could do this well," Kehoe said. "We worked very hard and these kids work all year to get to this level. Last year, we did a phenomenal job and this year we did even better."
Never miss a local story.
Shannon Kehoe, 18, and in her last youth year, was the oldest competitor from Myakka City. She collected a national championship in junior gelding, along with a reserve in versatility and senior gelding and 13 top 10 finishes in other categories.
Tatum Basista, 11, also took home a national championship in the hunter category out of 77 horses, a reserve in country pleasure driving and 14 top 10
Emma Cline, 7, won a national championship in pleasure driving for ages 7-under, a reserve in showmanship and halter junior gelding and six top 10 finishes.
Other results included:
Alex Kirkley, 17, had multiple top 10 finishes.
Cianna Russ, 12, in her first year showing brought home a reserve in showmanship and hunter categories and five top 10 finishes.
Jaed Jones, 8, collected two top 10 finishes.
Tristen Jones, 5, a top 10 in showmanship.
"These kids work all year long to get ready for this national show," Kehoe said. "We show in Ocala at an AMHR show three times a year, and the kids also compete in 4-H shows locally in showmanship, jumping, halter obstacle, driving and driving obstacle. Horses require daily attention and these kids are dedicated to these horses.
"I am very, very proud of their accomplishments."
Information: Go to shetlandminiature.com or call 309-263-4044.