This time of the summer typically coincides with an important milestone- high school graduation. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when the summer show season is just getting started. So, what’s a die-hard equestrian to do when your commencement ceremony and a horse show overlap? Well, two equestriennes came up with a creative compromise.
AQHA youth competitors, Ellexxah Maxwell and Shelby Pearson, are high school seniors. They also planned to attend the Indy Circuit and IQHA State Show in Newcastle, Indiana this week. When they discovered that their commencement ceremonies would overlap with the show, they had to make a decision…
“I decided not to walk in my graduation, because I didn’t want to miss the horse show!” Ellexxah says. “I’m a trainer’s kid at heart, for sure. I feel more at home at a horse show, because it’s where I’ve lived most of my life. Plus, being homeschooled, I don’t know many people from my school. I felt like I would remember my experience more at a horse show with friends and family.”
Ellexxah is graduating from the Ohio Connections Academy, while Shelby is graduating from Franklin County High School in Brookville, Indiana.
“I actually did walk in my graduation on June 2nd,” Shelby says. “I would’ve liked to have skipped walking at graduation, because it was Halter and Showmanship day! I ended up missing the entire show day. But, I also had family from the East Coast in town to see the graduation, so I couldn’t disappoint them.”
“I actually had mine shipped here, because I’d forgotten to order it, but I knew I wanted to ride in my cap and gown like a true horse kid,” Ellexxah says.
As it turns out, both ladies are competing at the IQHA State Show this week: Ellexxah with Zips Bossy Chip, Best Cowboy Around, Doin It Best, Crank Up The Band, and A Chic In A Jersey, and Shelby with Getin The Goods. Their friends and family decided to have a special graduation party for the ladies complete with food and decorations. But, it was decided that no graduation would be officially complete without a commencement walk. So, with Walter the dog leading the way, Shelby and Ellexxah donned their caps and gowns to stride down the barn alleyway, past the wheelbarrows and groom carts, to the sound of the traditional graduation song, Pomp and Circumstance, playing on an iPhone speaker.
“We were really just having a party, but everyone was egging us on to have an actual walk, so they decided Walter, the dog, would lead us out. The graduation music was our group’s doing. Personally, I think it was to embarrass us!” Ellexxah laughs.
“Us walking together was sort of just something we came up with,” Shelby adds. “We had pizza, cupcakes, drinks, bubbles, and plenty of decorations.”
Click on the link below to watch the girls’ graduation walk at the horse show.
What major event have you missed in order to go to a horse show? Prom, a friend’s wedding, a holiday celebration?