Road to Houston: Florida teen travels year after year to compete in Horse Show

March 12, 2021

Road to Houston: Florida teen travels year after year to compete in Horse Show

Each year, competitors travel from all over to compete at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™. Some have a farther journey than others.

For Dana Thomas, 15, distance is only a number when it comes to showing her horse. Dana traveled from Groveland, Florida, to compete at the 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Youth Horse Show.

“I’ve been showing horses with my trainer for about 12 years now,” Dana said. “This is my sixth year at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.”

She said that showing this year has looked very different in light of the pandemic.

“It’s safer for sure,” Dana said. “We’re not getting in big groups of people and we’re wearing masks.”

Despite the additional regulations and changes in the 2021 Horse Show, Dana said the event still provides impactful life lessons.

“I’ve learned a lot of responsibilities, gaining hands-on experiences of how to handle the horses on my own,” Dana said.

Dana and her horse, Mo, competed in the Western Horsemanship and Showmanship classes on Friday, March 12. Anytime she shows, Dana said there is a lot of preparation to make sure she exhibits her horse to the best of her ability.

“It’s a lot of work getting ready to show,” Dana explained. “I mostly ride a lot and make sure I know my patterns so that on show day I can execute it without any problems.”

No matter the distance, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo provides a learning environment for all competitors to display their skills and gain valuable experiences.