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May 9, 2013

Derry middle-schooler earns riding honors

Derry eighth-grader takes horsemanship seriously

(Continued)

“She gets to experience everything, too,” Allen said. “Nana goes to every single horse show.”

Another big fan is Taylor’s great-grandfather, Frank Joyce, who lives in Louisiana and can’t get enough of the horse world via Facebook. At 85, he’s becoming a whiz on social media to keep track of his great-granddaughter’s success.

“He’s her biggest fan,” Allen said. “Taylor literally keeps him alive. He gets on Facebook and all he knows is how to scroll down to see Taylor. Then he calls me to say how proud he is.”

Adams said she often worries about her daughter during competitions when there is so much jumping, galloping and uncertainty about riding a 1,000-pound horse and its unpredictable behavior.

The slightest glance at a bird could send Leroy off on a gallop in an opposite direction.

Still, the good outweighs those worries, Allen said. Her daughter is learning a lot sitting on Leroy’s back.

“She learns responsibility, hard work and many good lessons,” she said. “It’s a special connection with Leroy. They bond.”

That bond will someday end as Taylor grows older. She will someday need a larger horse for her competitive work.

Adams said her daughter is working hard both on Leroy’s back and in the classroom. She has drive and passion, her mother said.

“She puts in 100 percent,” she said. “She has goals.”

Taylor is also excited about taking her equestrian talents to the high school circuit once she attends Pinkerton Academy.

For now, she and Leroy are a team.

“I talk to him; he is awesome,” Taylor said. “Horses are also therapeutic, they can calm you down.”

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