Cumberland Now Volume 1, Issue 8 - Page 10

At left, Chloe Casteel enters the show at the Celebration in 2019 riding Central Park. This was the photo used on the Celebration ticket this year. Above, Chloe also enjoys trail riding with her horse, Rebel. Chloe began showing when she was 7 years old. At age 9, she entered the performance horse category riding Cut A Rug. the Fentress County Horse Show. She moved up to the performance horse division when she was nine riding Cut A Rug. She likes horses, but it’s the thrill of competition that she loves. “There’s a lot of excitement,” she said. Walking horses have three main gaits: the flat-foot walk, run-walk and canter. Youth classes don’t require a canter. Chloe prefers the run-walk. “I like to go fast,” she says, smiling. It’s a lot of work. The horses have to be fed, exercised and bathed daily. Before a show, the horse needs to be bathed and its tail and mane washed and trimmed. Chloe’s active in school, 4-H Club activities and her church, Grace Community. She rides about two times a week, but her horses get exercise daily. Her 4-H activities include horse judging, Horse Bowl and Hippology. Chloe likes Horse Bowl and Hippology, which asks questions about horse facts, with either a buzzer quiz format or a quiz. They’ve gone to state for the past three years. The judging team looks at horse confirmation and anatomy and evaluating gaits. “It helps you know what the judges are looking for in the ring,” said Robbie. Robbie previously worked for the UT Extension Service in Cumberland County before becoming a teacher, and she has continued to volunteer with the horse projects. The family also enjoys trail riding with her pleasure horse Rebel. She likes getting to be out in the woods and relax. While horse shows usually begin in March, they were delayed until May due to the COVID-19 health crisis. That’s kept the Casteels busy this summer, with shows in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. Many of the Upper Cumberland shows have been canceled this year. Chloe competes in the youth pony class with Sweep and the youth 12-17 class with Carolina Con. Sweep is officially named Central Park following a name change by the former owner. He’s 17 years old. A pony is a horse 15 hands tall or less, and Sweep just makes the cut. “He’s got a big personality,” Chloe said. “He’s really fun to ride, but he’s full of expression.” Robbie said Sweep is always ready to work. Chloe and Sweep have been competing together for three years. Carolina Con is a six-year-old horse. They got him last fall and Chloe’s shown him only a few times. He’s a lot bigger than Sweep. “He’s completely opposite from Sweep,” Robbie said. “Sweep has a ‘go’ button. He’s all about his job. Con needs a lot more direction.” Each horse offers an opportunity to build new skills and new challenges, which Chloe welcomes. 10 | Cumberland Now • September 2020