Brandi Bernard taking a higher jump |

Brandi Bernard taking a higher jump

staff reports

MINDEN – Many 12-year-old girls find a fascination with horses. The grace and the beauty of the horse as it runs can be nearly hypnotic. Equestrian jumping puts the animal soaring gracefully through the air.

So when 12-year-old Brandi Bernard was given an opportunity to ride and train for competitions, she was thrilled.

“It was something that I thought I’d like to do,” she said. “I didn’t think that I’d get to do it so soon.”

Brandi, a student at Pinon Hills Elementary School, said she’s loved horses all her life. Her mother, Susan, said the family has been lucky to have horses at their home in Johnson Lane.

Brandi’s chance to ride in competition was piqued by trainer Chris Bell-Malysheff at Galena Farms in Johnson Lane.

“We have some horses, but they don’t do anything like Remington Steel and Thunderheart Stallion,” Brandi said.

She said that when she rides her horses they are mostly for pleasure, but to get on the horses with her trainer is something else.

“My trainer has given me a wonderful opportunity to be a part of one of the biggest horse shows around,” she said.

The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is for purebred, half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian horses. It is a nationally acclaimed show that draws from across the nation during its four-days of jumping events. It’s open to all ages and ranges of horsemanship.

Susan said that her family has put aside some money to send Brandi to the contest, but said it’s still not enough. She said that several businesses in the area have been great in holding raffles and donating to her.

“It’s not like we’re asking everyone else to pay for her trip,” said Susan. “We just need a little help getting it the final things.”

Douglas County Bar & Grill at the Minden Airport, Nik-n-Willies on Johnson Lane, and Flying Start Aero have all helped out.

“Brandi’s selling coupon to help pay for the trip,” she said.

Brandi added: “I’ve even got some friends who are helping me out.”

With the work she’s done so far, she has raised enough money to pay for a portion of her lodging, horse lodging but there are a number of other little fees that have to be covered.

“I feel very excited and honored to be riding two championship horses,” she said.