Courtney Amat, 12, has been making some impressive progress as an equestrian competitor. A rising sixth-grader at Foundation Academy, Amat competes for Dirty Jeans 4H and trains at Timacuan Farm in Winter Garden. At an area show in May, Amat won ribboned in three categories and she also placed ninth in the Jr. Western Pleasure category at the Florida State 4-H Show last weekend in Tampa.
How old were you when you began in equestrianism?
I was 8. I think my friend, Sarah, she rode, and she started before I did. I think that kind of influenced me, so my mom found an equestrian summer camp for me, and I loved it. So I started doing riding lessons.
What do you specifically enjoy about the sport?
I like having a sport where you can do something with an animal, and it would still be a challenge.
Which competition has been your strongest so far?
There was one in May (2017) and in one class I got first out of 14 (competitors). I was really proud.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to begin working with horses?
To be patient with the horse and to not give up.
Tell us about your horse.
The horse that I compete on, her name is Babe. She’s a Bay Quarter Horse. She’s calm and she’s good at teaching you how to ride her and helps you along.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
I really love history. … My teacher was Mrs. (Amy) Reynolds. I really liked learning about the Gold Rush in California — just to see how different things were back then.
Who is your role model?
Probably my mom (Lisa Amat). She also likes to do stuff with animals and she doesn’t give up.
What is your favorite place you have visited?
Last summer, I went to the Grand Canyon. We got to ride mules, and it was fun to ride the mules and see all of it.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
I really like 2 Timothy 4:12. … I like it because I don’t like how sometimes people thinking younger people can’t do stuff just because they’re young.
What’s the last good movie you saw?
The last good movie I saw was “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” I like dinosaurs, so that was cool. It was really action-packed.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I probably want to continue with the horse stuff — be a trainer and teach other people how to ride.