Western Wayne freshman Rebekah Palko recently placed second in the walk/ jog intermediate competition that was part of a regional competition hosted by the Interscholastic Equestrian Association that took place in Skippack, Pennsylvania, the weekend of March 12. Rebekah now will move on to the National Competition to be held in Harrisburg from April 28 through April 31. She will compete in her event on April 30.
Rebekah has been horseback riding since she was a young girl. She has always loved being around horses and riding them. She has been involved in the IEA program for the past three years. This is the furthest she has gotten in a competition of this nature.
“Competing has really helped me to grow,” Rebekah explained. “It has helped me to build confidence in myself as both a rider and person. I have more skills in riding and in life about opening up and not being afraid to take on new challenges.”
Rebekah works with local trainer Charlotte Walsh. Walsh helped to get Rebekah involved in the IEA competitions. Rebekah discussed how she really enjoys learning from Walsh, because each week they work on new skills to help her develop as a rider.
“Learning new skills helps me be prepared for what I could face when I ride in competition on any given day,” Rebekah explained. “I always feel prepared but am never totally sure what’ll happen in the moment due to the nature of riding an animal.”
Rebekah is looking forward to the upcoming IEA National Competition. She aspires to work hard at her riding for the duration of her high school career in the hopes of earning a college scholarship for her equestrian work.
Any other local middle and high school riders can join IEA. Students do not need to own a horse in order to be a part of a team. The link for more information is https://www.rideiea.org/