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February 21, 2017 • Sports
Seated for Letter of Intent signing by Jac-Cen-Del High School senior Natalie Owens is her archery coach and mother Samantha Mull. Standing are Union College Archery Coach Cody Kirby and JCD AD Mark Meyer. GARY FRANKLIN PHOTO
Recognized South Ripley Raiders senior hardwood personnel of the 2016-17 Boys Basketball program pictured above from left include Danielle Baugh, Emma Wilhoit, Cory Walker, Derek Turner, Kylie Werner, and Haley Jansen. GARY FRANKLIN PHOTO
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Kyla Jeffries named Indiana Quarter Horse Association ‘Rookie of the Year’

Gary Franklin

Kyla Jeffries, Versailles, a 13-year-old student at South Ripley Middle School reached the highest of honors and recognition as she and trusty horse and partner “Impulsive Ben” captured the Indiana Quarter Horse Association 2017 “Rookie of the Year” Award.

Kyla stands beside the trophy for a most prized accomplishment, as she earned the coveted 2017 IQHA “Rookie of the Year” Award.

Jeffries, and her horse have participated in numerous events across the state culminating in the earning of many prestigious awards along the way. She was recognized by the Indiana Quarter Horse Association on January 21 at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites during the IQHA annual Awards Banquet Program. The duo has achieved many impressive honors at some of the major competition accomplishments in the show arena. Their disciplined hard work has paid off.

Among the major winning steps along the way to earning 2017 IQHA Rookie of the Year prestige were: 2015 All American Quarter Horse Congress Finalist in Showmanship and Hunter Under Saddle, 2016 Valley Riders High Point 13 & Under Youth Franklin IN, AQHA All Around Youth, Novice Youth and Performance Grand Champion Youth Gelding AQHA Salem Exchange Club Fall Show, Salem, IN, earned an AQHA Performance ROM, 2016 Ripley County 4-H Fair Reserve Grand Champion Halter Gelding, Grand Champion Showmanship, Grand Champion Horsemanship, and High Point Junior for year-long work and accomplishments.

Kyla, along with her mother Bonnie Jeffries, know they owe much to the intelligence of partner “Impulsive Ben” who has done everything asked of him and beyond. Some may think it is all on the horse, and obviously, he has an important role; however, it is Kyla who feeds him at 5 a.m., cleans his stable, exercises him through warm-ups, and performs in events when just sleeping in would appeal to most teens.

Kyla and Bonnie have great respect for trainer and friend Kristi Sharp of Sharp Performance Horses for all of her help and expertise.

Kyla is a six-year member of the Ripley Wranglers 4-H Club. She also recently received an invitation to attend in the AQHA Level 1 Championships Raleigh, North Carolina the first week of May in hopes of capturing yet another all-around.

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