Bainbridge horseback rider pushes to the next levelPublished 10:20am Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Parker Miller, 13-year-old daughter of Pete and Marcie Miller, has reached the top rung of the competitive horseback-riding ladder in the discipline of Eventing. According to the United States Eventing Association, Parker is currently ranked first in the nation at the level of Junior Training.
Eventing is similar to a triathlon for humans. Parker and her horse, Jos Baco must compete in the three phases of dressage, stadium jumping and cross country riding.
“Baco really likes the cross country phases,” says Parker. “He gets so excited just before the count down that I have to really be careful.” Parker’s horse is an Argentine thoroughbred that originally belonged to Jon Holling from Ocala, Florida. “I was extremely lucky to end up with such a talented mount,” said Parker.
Parker, who received her first horse at the age of 5, loved riding right away. She now trains with Rick Wallace of Cherry Hills Farm near Tallahassee, Florida. While Parker was too young to compete at this year’s Red Hills horse trials in Tallahassee she was asked by the organizers to ride a demonstration dressage test ride . Parker trains daily at the family’s farm in Attapulgus.
The junior phase means Parker competes with young people up to the age of 18. “Usually she is one of the youngest ones in her group” says her mother. “She may be one of the youngest, but she always shows up prepared and confident.”
Parker is already qualified to participate in the American Eventing Championships in September to be held in Tyler, Texas. She and her parents are now on the journey of finding new partners in addition to her current mount to take her up the levels of eventing.