For a talented young Andover woman, sports competition is nothing unusual. Except that 17-year old-Emily Buchanan's sport made her a world champion.
Last year Emily won the World Championship and Grand National Morgan Horse Competition. Not many are even aware of it, but like all other sports, it takes talent, years of competition and training, and a love of horses.
"Ok boy, got it?"
The horses name is Irish O'Ryan and he likes treats.
"After he gets it, he smiles. Kind of like his version of thank you."
Perhaps it was always meant to be. A little girl, never far from a horse. It was nine years ago when Emily Buchanan was given horseback riding lessons - a gift from her grandmother. A gift that was to change Emily's life.
"It's kind of an indescribable passion that really has no description."
From there, she took it all the way to a World Championship Morgan Horse Competition. Originally bred for strength, Morgan horses are one of the oldest breeds in America.
"They judge the riders on their form and their ability to control a horse and on the horses that are more high stepping and spirited and we're judged on how well we can control it or maintain a standard position. I think some of the most memorable things you get out of it is the training."
A senior now at Trinity Academy in Wichita, Emily is planning to attend college at Mid-American Nazarene University in Olathe.
"I believe in God and I have a relationship with him and that is part of how I got this far."
But the stables are another classroom from which she'll never graduate. It's just part of her life.
"The competition is the culmination of all of it."
(Announcer) "The 2007 Champion comes from Andover, Kansas."
"You come out of there and you keep thinking….Did I really just do that?"
"No one can get there without the training and after I won the World Championship in the past, I always remember the moment of having your number called."
"But when I think about it, I come out of the ring as the same person."
"It's the training who changed who I was."
Much of her training was in two locations; Wichita Riding Academy located in Southeastern Sedgwick County and in Kansas City. Emily worked for years under well-known trainer Cheryl Manahan and Kansas City Trainer Sandy Sessink.
"When I go to college I'm going to take my horse, Ryan, with me. He was my first horse that I ever got and he's like my little baby."
"I'm determined and when I get my mind set on something I want to do I don't quit until I do it, like riding, I got my mind set on winning a world championship and I'm not going to stop.."
"It's my favorite thing to do."
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