A local young lady has seen tremendous success in the equestrian world over the last years.
Olivia Robertson of Speedwell has been riding since the age of five. She began competing full-time at the age of nine. Robertson competes in both Western and Huntseat riding. She rides in Western Horsemanship and Reining and in Hunt Seat Equitation and Over Fence.
After winning the Eastern Region Over Fence Classes at the 4-H Regional Horse Competition in 2013 she was approached by Coach Sandra Elder to compete on her IEA team at the Last Lap Ranch in Maryville, Tennessee. IEA is the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. IEA is a nationwide program that prepares middle and high school equestrians for college riding.
Robertson has qualified for regionals, zones and nationals for the past three years where she has competed in Savannah, Georgia, Perry, Georgia, Clemson, South Carolina, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and this year at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
In 2015 she placed sixth in the nation in Western Horsemanship for her team ride in Oklahoma. In April of 2016 she qualified for a trip to Nationals in both Western and Hunt Seat divisions as an individual competitor in the Hunter/Jumper Over Fence Class and as the team rider for Western Horsemanship.
IEA has a membership of over 12,500 riders nationwide. Only two girls in the entire country in the 2016 competition season made it to Nationals in both divisions and Robertson was one of them. She placed Top 5 in the nation in her Hunter Over Fence division.
Robertson has also won three state classes: One in 2012 with her pony Wetherby in Working Pony Hunter Over Fence and this year with her horse Winston, aka “That is Our Policy” in Halter Hunter Gelding and Green Working Hunter Over Fence.
“Olivia has been blessed with some amazing trainers that have invested endless amounts of time, their wisdom and knowledge into her,” said her mother, Cindi Robertson. “Mrs. Mary Wells of Lenoir City, Tennessee, trainer at Willowind Horse Farm, as well as Roger and Sandra Elder of Last Lap Ranch in Maryville, Tennessee. This is where we drive an hour and 45 minutes every Tuesday for a one-hour lesson.”
Most recently Robertson has had the privilege of riding in AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) under Karen Mundy of Mundy Quarter Horses. Mundy has a record eight All-Around Amateur AQHA World Championships, 19 World Championships and 22 Reserve World Championships.
“She is also the trainer for the current AQHA World Champion Over Fence, Sarah Chabot, who is the daughter of Roger and Sandra Elder and Olivia’s idol!” exclaimed Cindi. “Needless to say, she is in good hands!”
One fun experience horses have brought to Robertson outside of competition is that she flew to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in April where she was a riding stunt double for the main actress in an upcoming Christian film called “Beautifully Broken” set to release in the spring of 2017 by the same producers of the movie, “I Am Not Ashamed,” the Rachel Scott story that was released nationwide in October.
Robertson has her goals set on riding and competing in a college program after she graduates from J. Frank White Academy, where she is currently a junior. Olivia is a 4.0 student who is also involved in Beta Club, cheerleading, Student Leadership University where she was chosen as program Ambassador this year, the Tri-State Youth Choir and she represented JFWA and the USA in Tokyo, Japan at the International World School program at the end of October.
“We are proud of Olivia and her accomplishments. She is a hard-working young lady. From getting up early before school to feed and care for her horses to balancing her academic responsibilities with her training obligations, she is very dedicated,” said parents Cindi and Adam Robertson. “What makes us happier than any of her accomplishments is that we are watching her live out what we know without a shadow of a doubt, the Lord has put as a passion in her life. He has provided her with great trainers, has blessed her with success and safety and opened doors to many exciting opportunities. It’s fun to experience this with her and give God the Glory.”