The Edmond Sun

Features

April 12, 2013

Edmond woman wins side saddle competition awards

EDMOND — Jo Rench got her first pony at age 7 and has owned a horse every day since. At age 70 she is still winning awards with horses in several different categories.

From a young age Rench begged and pleaded with her parents to get her a horse, so when Rench’s father came in the backyard leading a Shetland pony she was shocked.

“His name was Chatterbox and he was the oldest, meanest pony,” Rench said. “He trained us really fast don’t come into the yard without a goodie.”

After two and half years Rench got a new horse named Beauty and began showing him when she was 9 years old. Since then Rench has owned 13 horses and has named them all after baked goods including Pumpernickel and Cinnamon Roll.

“This is not a hobby, this is my life,” Rench said. “I can’t imagine not having a horse.”

Two weeks ago Rench received five awards in Elk Grove, Calif., from the American Side Saddle Association. Rench won first place in senior champion, senior exhibitionist and street cruiser. She won second place in senior trail mileage and sanity clause.

Rench also does tandem ride and drive. A tandem ride and drive is where Rench sits in a two-wheeled carriage drawn by horses harnessed one before the other.

At the end of April, Rench is going to Ohio for an award ceremony hosted by the Southern Ohio Ladies Association.

“I have no idea what I will be awarded, it will be a surprise,” Rench said.

Rench is involved in several events each year like competitive trail, endurance and fox hunting. Through these events she receives points based on her performance and at the end of the year her points are totaled and compared with other participants’ points to determine the awards she has won throughout the country.

After leaving Ohio, Rench plans to travel to Kentucky to ride in the Kentucky Derby parade with the American Side Saddle Association.  

“There is so much to be had with horses,” Rench said.

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