January 22, 2018

Mackenzie McGehee – Outstanding Homeschooled Teen

This month, I am featuring Champion show jumper, Mackenzie McGehee.  Mackenzie, another outstanding homeschooled teen, has just finished several months of national competitions with her horses and I’m excited to share part of her story here with you.

Mackenzie McGehee

Absolutely amazing!

I’ve known Mackenzie for a couple of years and I notice that she always lights up when she starts talking about her horses.  She says that she has been in love with horses her whole life and she has been riding competitively since age nine! Her specialty is show jumping.  In show jumping competitions riders are required to lead their horses through several complex maneuvers – including jumps over various sets of obstacles.

As Mackenzie has gotten older, she has been able to compete in higher and higher competitions and this past year she competed for the first time in three national events:

  1. The Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals in Harrisburg, PA
  2. The Washington International Horse Show in Washington, D.C.
  3. The Maclay Finals of the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington, KY

At Mackenzie’s various competitions she and her horse(s) are judged in three separated categories;  (1)  the rider’s abilities, (2) the horse’s abilities and (3) how fast and how well the horse performs.   Depending upon the competition, Mackenzie has five or six different horses that she works with – taking advantage of each of their strengths.

In this year’s competitions, Mackenzie was able to place 5th and 23rd  in the nation with two of her horses allowing her to continue to the Washington D.C. competition where she placed 13th in the nation.  And, with a separate horse, she qualified for the two competitions in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

She had such a great experience this year (she was beaming every time I saw her) and wants to continue growing and moving up through the ranks in the country.  Next year, she will be able to move up to the 4’6” to 4’9” category with two of her horses.

I asked her how she got started in competitions and she tells me that her mother and older sisters were also competitors – so I guess it runs in the family.  Participating in competitions requires quite a bit of travel, so being homeschooled has allowed the family to travel and has allowed Mackenzie to ride every day (her passion!) while still maintaining her academic education.

And, as you might imagine – although Mackenzie has several horses, she doesn’t have a favorite.  They’re all her favorite, she says.

Congratulations to Mackenzie for finding her passion and succeeding in it!  Job well done!

~to your success,

Joanne

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