January Horse & Rider of the Month – Hannah Whray & Appotobe Rowdyote

HannahWhray01aThis month, we are featuring a young Equestrian with outstanding accomplishments at our recent 2015 World Championships; Hannah Whray and Appotobe Rowdyote (Rowdy). Bringing home three World Champion and two Reserve Champion titles, Hannah Whray is no regular competitor. At just 12 years old, this talented young lady trained her handsome 16-year old Quarter Horse gelding, Rowdy, all by herself.

Two years ago, Rowdy was purchased to be a trail horse for a family member. But Hannah and Rowdy connected immediately; “I fell in love with him, we just clicked!”  Little did she know that this little bay gelding with a background in team penning, working cowhorse and trail would become her multiple World Champion.

HannahWhray02aHannah got her start in Western Dressage because she liked riding patterns; “Western Dressage allows me to ride patterns and grow with each of my horses – all on different levels.” She says the most challenging thing about Western Dressage is learning new dressage elements. “Remembering that my horses all learn on different levels is challenging to me,” she says. She trains all of her five horses herself, with the help of her coach and grandparents – including a 6-year old wild mustang that she is currently helping to break. She says that her horses are all very willing to learn. “I spend a lot of time with each of them and we always work on our ground manners.” Hannah says that it’s important for her and her horses to work together as a team. She reflects that western dressage has helped her horses to be more athletic and herself a more balanced rider. “Western Dressage builds us to become a team.” Her advice to other Western Dressage riders? “Relax, have fun and enjoy the ride! Take the time to bond with your horse, because having them as a partner is the best thing ever. They return your love, unconditionally.”

She explains that the 2015 WDAA World Championship was a great experience for her. “I loved meeting new people from different places.” Hannah says that the hardest part about riding at the world show was getting over her nerves; “It was overwhelming when I saw the property and when I walked into the arena and saw the television screen.” But the welcoming environment and friendly competitors helped calm her. “I felt like we all wanted each other to do good!” Hannah and Rowdy’s hard work paid off and they returned home undeniably rewarded with multiple titles for all their efforts. We can’t wait to see what this pair has in store for 2016!

2 Responses to “January Horse & Rider of the Month – Hannah Whray & Appotobe Rowdyote

  • Paula Walker
    2 years ago

    Congratulations Hannah!! This is awesome!! We need many more youth like Hannah in the wings.

    • Hannah Whray
      2 years ago

      Rowdy and I are very excited about being recognized. What a priviledge and honor!
      “Thank you so much!!!