Reason to strut

Ellie Parsons

Photo By Leslie Williams

Ellie Parsons will soon be able to drive a car, but for now she’s content with riding around on her horse, Ima Struttin’ Machine. After all, he did help get her a trip to Fort Worth, Texas. Last month, the 15-year-old sophomore at Pleasant Valley High School traveled to Fort Worth to compete in the Ford American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship Show. Ellie, with Ima Struttin’ Machine, was a top-10 finalist out of 1,921 contestants.

How did you come up with your horse’s name, Ima Struttin’ Machine?

That’s his registered name; we bought him with it. His father’s name is A Good Machine, so that’s how the original owners came up with it. I’ve had three horses before this one. I first started out with Super Design, then I went to Boss Flash, then Mos Salty. They already had their barn names; we usually don’t call them by their registered names. Mickey was the only one that I actually got to name.

How long have you been racing horses, and what got you started?

I’ve been riding horses since I was 5, so about 10 years. I got started through one of my really good friends.

Describe the event you won, Hunter Under Saddle.

You are on the rail, and you go at different speeds along the rail. I have to make the horse look good—he’s getting judged more than I am.

What was your favorite part about the World Championship Show?

It was all really fun. Probably just seeing everything and actually getting to watch the different events that were going on; that was really fun. My whole family went, and we were there for five days.

Do you plan to take Ima Struttin’ Machine to future competitions?

Yeah, definitely. I’m going to Congress in October, which is the largest show in the world, and then it goes the world show. Everyone can go to Congress, so it’s a big one. We won it last year.