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SECTION 2 May 26, 2010 ■ News of local people and events. A LSO INSIDE O P E R A R E V I E W 24 |C LA SSI F I E D S 27 |R E AL E S TAT E S 30 International Abby Woodside’s Abby Jorgensen, 13, jumps for the U.S. Hoof Beat Living in horse country About the author: Maggie Mah Johnson lives and rides horses in Woodside. She is writing this as a member of WHOA! (Woodside Horse Owner’s Association), whose mission is to promote and preserve the equestrian lifestyle. For more information on WHOA!, go to whoa94062. org or call 380-6408. I By Maggie Mah Johnson t might sound like a movie plot: A girl who loves to ride more than anything else becomes the sole representative of her country at an international riding competition in a faraway land. But it really happened to 13-year-old Abby Jorgensen of Woodside, who recently was the only U.S. rider to qualify for the International Children’s World Show Jumping Finals in Abu Dhabi. Abby is tall and slender with a broad smile and wheat-blonde hair pulled back in a no-fuss knot. The gaping holes at the knees of both legs of her jeans are from romping around on all fours in the backyard. She loves school and, in addition to riding six days a week, plays basketball and volleyball. This first impression wouldn’t likely provide many clues but this eighth-grader at Woodside Elementary is a tough competitor. Her recent experience at a prestigious inter- Photography by Michelle Top: Abby Jorgensen with her horse at the Horse Park at Woodside. Above: On her first day in Dubai, Abby (on camel at left), tours a beach with a local guide. Abby’s mother, Sara Jorgensen, took this photo. On the cover: Abby practices jumping at the Horse Park. national competition demonstrated that winning isn’t just about walking away with the top Le prize. She is polite and appears refreshingly unaffected by pop culture. When she talks about what it’s like to compete, Abby’s expression becomes serious, her gaze turning inward as she appears to focus on something deep inside. “I just think about what I have to do and get into a ‘zone,’” says Abby, who began riding as soon as she could walk. “Horses have taught me about dedication and committing to something that brings results.” Abby’s mother, Sara Jorgensen, a top competitor for many years, added: “Abby is very competitive deep down but she has also become a great sportsman. In the classroom she is always encouraging the other kids.” From the time Abby was little, says her mother, she loved horses, and it wasn’t just about riding See ABBY, page 23 May 26, 2010 N The Almanac N21

The Almanac 05.26.2010 - Section 2

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