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The Langley family: Along for the ride

Showing horses competitively is a family affair for Anna, Jimmy, Avery and Addie Langley of Oxford.

The Langleys spend their time training horses and traveling to compete in both English and Western riding competitions. Avery, 15, and Addie, 10 both compete across the country with their horses Gib and Hottie.

For Avery, going to competitions is more than getting a prize ribbon or a trophy, she said.

“My favorite thing is the competitive nature of the show. Not only am I working at being the best I can, I’m also focusing on making my horse perform to the best of his ability,” Avery said. “I also love meeting new people at every show and sharing a common passion in a sport and an animal.”

That common passion is something the girls’ mother, Anna, said reminds her of herself and her sister when they were younger. Born in Oklahoma, Anna started showing horses competitively at age 13 and continued through her sophomore in college. Her sister, Heather Van Hooser, still lives in Oklahoma and shows horses.

After moving to the Oxford area with her husband almost 20 years ago, Anna said she turned her attention to other pursuits besides showing horses. However, once her daughters got old enough to decide they wanted to hop in the saddle, she got involved once again.

“I always hoped they would get involved in it, but I never pushed it,” Anna said. “To be honest, I’m tickled, because they’re having the opportunity to see what I experienced when I was their age.”

In the last three years, Avery has shown Gib at the American Quarter Horse Association Level 1 Championships, where she won a bronze medal in Hunter-Under-Saddle, out of 50 horses. She finished 4th in Trail out of 60 horses and was 12th in Hunt Seat Equitation.

She then followed this show with the Redbud Classic, which is a Top 10 National AQHA show spreading over 14 days. Avery won several circuit championships and was over high point in her division. She’s also placed well in horse shows in Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.  Avery said her goal is to get a scholarship on a large nationally known Collegiate Equestrian Team.

Addie and Hottie, a bay American Quarter Horse mare, currently compete in the 10 and under division. Addie showed Hottie at the AQHA Level 1 Championship, where she won two silver medals in Hunter-Under-Saddle and Trail, as well as third in Hunt Seat Equitation. She also showed in the Redbud Classic and won 2 Circuit Champions Trail and Horsemanship in addition to being overall high point in her division. In addition to showing Quarter Horses, Addie also enjoys competing with her Welsh Pony, Sassy, in hunter jumper shows.

The girls spend as many as 10 hours per day with their horses during peak season in the summer. When they’re not riding and caring for their horses, Avery can be found on the volleyball court or hanging out with her friends. Addie, however, said there’s nowhere else she’d rather be.

“I love riding and playing with horses and that is my favorite thing to do because the whole family is involved,” Addie said. “Other than that, I do like playing with friends and swimming.”

Showing horses competitively is something Anna said she hopes her daughters take with them throughout their lives.

“My biggest thing is, I hope as they continue to flourish in this sport, they stay well-rounded and stay focused,” she said. “I hope they’ll do something like I have done, that they’ll always have a passion for it and continue to use it in some form, shape or fashion within their lives as they mature and grow.”