McKenna Priebe Competes in State-wide Equestrian Competition


Sophia Simmons

SONC Equestrian Story

By: Sophia Simmons

Senior McKenna Priebe is not only a student, but a competitive equestrian rider who competed at the Special Olympics North Carolina Equestrian competition in October, leaving with an extraordinary experience and many new memories.

“I have been riding horses since before I can remember,” Priebe said.  “I started because I rode for fun and enjoyed it a lot, so my mom decided to let me start competing,” Priebe said.

While she isn’t new to riding, competing is a new adventure that she didn’t embark on unprepared.

“I practice twice a week for an hour each practice, doing things like free trail riding, riding on my horse Gio or Skunk sometimes. I work on trotting the most because you use that during competitions in all of the events,” McKenna said.

The long practices are inspired by someone she once competed with who pushed her to her limits.

“My friend Rachel, I met at a competition, inspires me the most. She is a really good rider and works super hard in order to be the best. She competes a lot and has earned a lot of medals, so I want to be like her,” Priebe said.

Priebe’s endless dedication and hardwork does not go unnoticed at her competitions.

“I won the gold in barrel racing, silver in trail riding and silver in western equation,” Priebe said.

After winning these medals, she was also given the opportunity to speak during the opening ceremony.

“The pledge I lead during opening went like, “let me win if I can not win; let me be brave in the attempt.” That was fun, and everyone was really proud of me.”

The long practice hours, hard work and dedication aren’t the only things she has to thank for getting her to where is today.

“I can thank coach Jessica for always helping me train hard, telling me not to play around so I don’t mess up,” Priebe said. “My mom also is always at my competitions and practices. She tells me when I do good and pushes me to work hard.”

Reflecting upon her experience, not only competing, but riding for leisure, she has learned a lot from her competitors, coaches and supporters.

“I have learned to work hard for what I want and to not give up even when things get really difficult because you still have a chance at winning,” McKenna said. “I would tell anyone who was just starting to ride to practice a lot and try your best at everything especially the practices.”