Chamisa Kolk, 14, is a freshman at Ramona High School. During spare time hours, she often can be found with her horse Slick, a 16.2-hand, 20-year-old thoroughbred that took her to the next level in the junior division at the Copper Meadows Horse Trials.
Kolk has been riding for six years and owned Slick for two. Beginning by borrowing horses, she was introduced to the sport through the Ramona Vicente Pony Club.
“My cousin, Kali Varnado, was in the pony club and my grandmother offered to take me,” she said.
Deciding to give the club a try, Kolk borrowed Varnado’s pony, and a passion was born.
Eventing at Copper Meadows in Ramona is sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) as well as the United States Eventing Association (USEA), the regulatory organizations for international (USEF) and national (USEA) equestrian sports. The recognition from regulatory agencies brought recent entrants from as far away as Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Canada, and even Germany.
As Kolk continues active participation in the pony club, testing has proven the positive results of the training received through the club. Progressing through the levels, she has moved up to a “C3” rating in the pony club over the summer as well as moving up in the levels of competition.
Copper Meadows owner Carolyn Hoffos noted this was Kolk’s first time competing in this division.
“She just moved up from a lower division,” explained Morrow.
Kolk placed fourth in dressage, third in cross country and fourth in the stadium.
“She held the same level of performance across three different styles of riding, a very respectable performance ... out of 15 she is in the top 4, so this is quite good,” said Morrow. “Not only is this Kolk’s first time at this level, but she moved up and placed fourth!”
The scores come from a culmination of three different kinds of riding over three days. After doing three kinds of riding, maintaining the same performance level demonstrates Kolk is a “pretty well-rounded rider,” said Morrow.
“I’m just enjoying myself for now,” said Kolk, who plans to continue the sport through high school. “It would be nice to continue after high school, but I don’t know if I will stay committed to equine events.”
In the meantime, Kolk plans to continue into another year as competition gets more challenging.