Clinton G. Depew, Frazier Jr, Ralph L., Van Osdell, Mary Ann | 9/11/2007 6:30:49 PM
News Release Distributed 08/17/07
Dani Anderson of Oak Grove was only 11 when she won first place in barrel racing at the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships in Memphis July 31-Aug. 5.
Dani, who turned 12 on Aug. 10, competed in the 19-and-under category with 101 mostly older 4-H’ers from 13 states.
“The Southern Regional is an all-age combined event, and usually the younger exhibitors aren’t competitive with the older contestants. But Dani demonstrated that hard work and commitment have no age limit. She will be setting the standard for a lot more years,” said Dr. Clint Depew, LSU AgCenter horse specialist and coordinator of horse education programs.
The competition was stiff. All had earned their way to this regional show by first winning state events. Anderson came in first at the annual Louisiana 4-H and FFA Horse Show in July at West Monroe, an event coordinated by the LSU AgCenter.
Dani was the 100th person to ride out of 101 in her competition. She said the wait was boring, but she didn’t get nervous. Her father, Bozo Anderson, said she prays before every run.
This was Dani’s third time to attend regionals. She has also competed in Montgomery, Ala., at age 9 and in Raleigh, N.C., at 10. She attends Forest High School in West Carroll Parish.
She has won 25 saddles and belt buckles too numerous to count. Her cousins, Lauren and Anna Claire Creech, call her “unbeatable.”
Dani rides her horse, Hustle, every weekend in various clubs around North Louisiana. She has been the youngest winner in some of those clubs and has even had scores 15 seconds ahead of the person who comes in second. In regionals, she scored an average of 16.3 seconds on her two rides, with second place coming in at 16.65 seconds.
Dani said she joined 4-H to ride horses, and every now and then does a horse demonstration. Her parents credit LSU AgCenter agents with keeping her schedule in line, reminding her of dates and deadlines.
Dani has also competed in the Martha Josey Junior World Championships in Karnack, Texas, in May, placing third in barrel racing among competitors from 18 states.
She first sat on a horse at age 2 months at a birthday party pony ride, said her mother, Theresa. She got her first pony at the age of 2. Both of her older brothers, Chase and Tyler, rode. Her father and grandmother, Margie Anderson, also participated in riding clubs.
Dani also enjoys basketball, softball, tennis and soccer. Her goal is to go to regionals again. There is no national competition. She wants to be a pediatric nurse or participate in professional rodeo when she grows up.
“We are proud of Dani and her accomplishments with her horse project,” said R.L. Frazier, West Carroll Parish agent for the LSU AgCenter. “We have had winners in numerous activities, but this is the first in a horse project in my 18-year tenure. It goes to show what dedication can do. I am proud any time our kids do well and get recognition.”
Writer: Mary Ann Van Osdell at (318) 741-7430, ext. 1104, or firstname.lastname@example.org