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Flight Path – Paige Rogers

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124 – March/April, 2024

By Brittany Vermeer

When Paige (Stawicki) Rogers was four years old, she finally received her first horseback riding lesson. “My mom had tried to get me into any other sport–gymnastics or tennis–to steer me down a different path, but that obviously didn’t go as planned! On my eighth birthday, she broke down and got me a Paint Horse,” Rogers says.

Young Rogers had big plans to become a barrel racer, but her horse was more of the Western Pleasure variety, which led her in a decidedly different direction. “Everyone in the barn was going to horse shows, which then of course led to me going to horse shows, and that led to my Paint Horse career,” she explains.

From the age of nine until her last year in the 14-18 division, Rogers competed in a variety of Western and English all-around events including Showmanship, Horsemanship, Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Equitation, and Western Riding. She accumulated six World and Reserve World Champion titles and was named the number one 14-18 APHA Youth rider in 2010 with HR Zip Me. In addition, she partnered with other talented mounts like Mighty Redi, Ima Gallant Titan, and A Spot In Heaven.

Like most young equestrians, her path took a detour when she graduated from high school. “My mom always told me she would support my riding through my youth career, but if I wanted to ride horses after that, it was going to be on my own dime. At the end of my 14-18 career, we sold my horse and I went off to college thinking that would be the end.”

Rogers rode on the University of Georgia Horsemanship team during her four years in college and, during her freshman year, was named the Most Outstanding Player at Nationals. She was also part of the National Championship team as a junior and SEC Championship team in her senior year. “It probably worked out well that it was the only riding available to me, because being on the team was very time consuming,” she says. “We had meets from August until April, so the girls who tried to compete on the regular, all-around circuit–while also riding for the team–had a lot of conflicts.”

Taking A Detour

Click here to read the complete article
124 – March/April, 2024

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