July 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

NMQHA Youth Sweetheart Captures Reserve National Championship at Lexington’s IHSA National Finals

"Watch for Makena at this summer’s New Mexico shows"

By Susie Morgan

Hoof Prints in Santa Fe

Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.

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Local gal Makena Lawrence, was chosen to represent her varsity college team, The University of Findlay, Findlay OH, as a freshman at the IHSA National Finals. She had won 1st place at the semi-finals prior to the National Finals.  Over 13 colleges competed in May at the IHSA finals with the University of Findlay taking 4th place overall.  Makena won Reserve National Championship in Team Novice Horsemanship.  Each rider had to blind-draw a horse, get on and show.  Makena’s mount happened to be named “Lucky”.

Makena’s youth trainer was in Lexington to watch Makena compete and was impressed with the program at Findlay and with Makena's coaches.  Beth said, “The coaches have already taken Makena to the next level and I know she will continue to grow and represent the college proudly.  While the coaches were impressed with Makena’s strong equestrian foundation, I was impressed with the Findlay program.”  Makena’s three coaches are Head Coach Cindy Morehead and Assistant Coaches Clark Bradley and Jake Bowman. Makena has scholarships from the University of Findlay and the American Quarter Horse Foundation's Scholarship Fund.

Makena has had a passion for horses since the age of 6 when she started riding in Beth’s youth program.  Beth says “Makena is one of the most talented and committed kids I have had the pleasure to train and cultivate.”  Makena was active in the NMQHA Youth Program for over 10 years, and served as President of NMQHA Youth Program for two years. She has received many High Point All Around awards and year end awards at NMQHA, and was a 2008 leadership delegate for the Youth World Cup Team in Canada where the US won 1st place. She has also shown at the Youth World Horse Show in Oklahoma City. 

She is back at home here for her summer internship with Beth Longanecker Performance Horses before returning to Findlay in the Fall. She is carrying a double major in Equine Business and Management and Equine Studies with a career goal of becoming a full time horse trainer and coach. Watch for Makena at this summer’s New Mexico shows.

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