MASONTOWN, W.Va. – Lauryn Patterson, of the Valley Ridge Equestrians team, is headed to nationals. She qualified last month when she placed 1st, out of 12 total, in her flat in zone finals.
“I feel like I put a lot of work to be there, and I feel like it payed off,” Patterson said. “I’m excited but I’m also nervous.”
This is Lauryn’s first time going to nationals. She came close last year when she qualified for zone finals, but it was canceled due to COVID-19.
“When they get there, they realize they’re the top 24 in the country and that’s a big deal,” Michelle Koury, Valley Ridge Equestrian coach said. “They’re always a winner when they get there, but it’s kind of hard to get them to think about it and not let the butterflies come up to the top and have them get a little nervous.”
“I’m pretty happy. It’s a goal that I’ve set for myself, and I’m happy to be going,” she said.
The best part — she’s going with the whole barn behind her.
“They’re all very supportive and that’s one of the things I like best, is how supportive all my friends are,” said Patterson.
Coach Michelle said she is glad to see all the support from friends and even parents.
“Kids, and even adults can get a little competitive with each other and they want their kid to do the thing better than everyone else. But, this has been a very good group,” Koury said. “Everyone is supportive. When one kid wins they all win, so that’s been a very refreshing situation with this team.”
Lauyrn will head to Perry, Georgia to compete April 23 – 25.