Happy trails for Graceon Ehrman

Graceon Ehrman, daughter of Dustin and Lilly Ehrman of Steubenville, earned sixth place during the 2014 Built Ford Tough American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship Show on Aug. 5 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Ehrman, a 2014 graduate of Catholic Central High School, showed her American Quarter Horse Dontskipmygoodimage. The 2005 sorrel gelding, sired by Don’t Skip Zip and Out of Zippos Good Image, was bred by Jan Pittman of Florida.

In the horsemanship category, 192 entries competed for world champion honors. Sixth- through 10th-place winners received a prize package that included a bronze medallion, top-10 patch and Professional’s Choice product.

She is ranked fifth in the nation in that event as well.

Graceon also earned a 15th-place finish on the same horse in western riding. She was one of 74l entries competing for world champion honors. Finalists received a prize package that included a finalist ribbon and patch.

The Ford Youth World is the pinnacle event for American Quarter Horse exhibitors ages 18 and under around the world, who must qualify for the event by earning a predetermined number of points to compete in each of the classes representing halter, English and western disciplines.

More than 2,500 entries from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Venezuela competed for 35 world championships at this year’s event held Aug. 1-9 in Oklahoma City.

Graceon was featured in a Dec. 15, 2013, Valley Life story in the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times on her having been awarded an athletic scholarship to be part of the 2014 New Mexico State University’s equestrian team, making her a New Mexico State Auggie. She received the scholarship based on her academic record, riding experience and success in the arena.

She began team practice Monday at NMU for its first meet on Sept. 20 against Texas A&M at home in Las Cruces, N.M.

In joining the horsemanship squad, Ehrman, who is majoring in speech pathology, communication disorders, is one of about 25 girls on the team and brings with her many major American Quarter Horse event achievements.

Ehrman has been Top-10 at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and rode for the state of Ohio in the 2013 National Youth Activity Team horsemanship competition. Ehrman has earned an AQHA Youth Superior in Horsemanship and is an AQHYA World Championship qualifier and semi-finalist, that story had noted.

“I’ve competed all over Ohio, in Oklahoma, Georgia, Michigan, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and many others,” Ehrman had said of her competition resume that has not only brought her success in the ring but has fostered friendships, too.

On the competing end of things, there is a fall season at NMU that runs from September to November, then a spring season beginning in February and continuing through April. Graceon has been a horse enthusiast since she was 6 and got her first horse named Shadow.