Isabella Steele just had her best showing in equestrian competition.
The Sierra High junior was the champion rider in last month’s Sacramento Area Hunter Jumper Association Medal Challenge at Leone Equestrians.
“I’m so proud of her – five champion ribbons in five divisions in one weekend is unheard of,” said Isabella’s mother Eva Steele. “She works so hard and is extremely dedicated (in her training).”
An honor student with a 4.0 grade point average – she’ll be among those honored at the school’s upcoming Lobo Gold Rally – Steele is also deaf.
Her mother believes the loss of that one sense enables Isabella Steele to better connect with animals. Included are her horses, Romeo and Three Wishes.
“Riding has really been good therapy,” Eva Steele said of Isabella, who competes outside of school at English Horse shows.
The younger Steele trains at the Liberty Riding Academy under Lori Clark, who learned to communicate with her via sign language.
Isabella competes on a level field in equestrian competition – her mother indicated that being deaf in this case carries no advantages.
In SAHJA series, Isabella Steele was crowned champion in both Pleasure and Equitation.
This intense two-day competition consisted of four test phases, including a written test on horsemanship, a flat course phase on the horse, and two classes of going over the fences.
“This is the best she’s done in her seven years (of equestrian riding),” said Eva Steele of her daughter Isabella.
Her next show will be next week (Sept. 7-8) in Clovis.