Big Walnut-area equestrian fans who attend each years’ Delaware County Fair Junior Fair Horse Show would remember Samantha Armbruster, a former member of JJ’s E-Z Riders 4-H Club. Many 4-H competitors continue riding as they age out of their 4-H eligibility, but a few, like Samantha Armbruster continue to compete in the arena as an adult.
In August, Armbruster travelled with her horse, Oops I Am Good (a.k.a. Hudson), to the NSBA (National Snaffle Bit Association) World Championship Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to compete in four classes, one class being Novice Amateur Trail.
“After 36 total runs of the Nation’s top competitors, I was called back into the Top Ten for the awards ceremony,” Armbruster said. “The show does not release the scores until after the results are read, so I had no idea at this point that I had won the class. Once they got down to the final two placings, I was proud either way, regardless of the outcome.”
Armbruster said it was only the second time that she had shown outside of Ohio; and that traveling all the way to Oklahoma for the World Championship show was already a large feat in itself. Then she wins her class, and earns a purse of over $1,000, along with a World Championship trophy and belt buckle. “Just being able to compete at this high level is a blessing in itself,” Armbruster said. “I would never have gotten to this point in my horse showing career without so many supportive people standing behind me. I have to thank my parents, Darin and Rebecca Armbruster, for allowing me the opportunity to continue to follow my dreams and the ability to continue to show horses on the national level.”
Armbruster said she also thanks her long-time horse trainer, Holly Donkelaar, for teaching her over the past 10 years.
“This dream would not be possible without Holly,” Armbruster said. “Growing up in Sunbury has given me so many opportunities to train and learn from some of the best in the country; and being raised in the Delaware County 4-H program has also taught me so much about leadership, sportsmanship, dedication, and hard work that I still apply to my everyday life, inside and outside the arena.”
One final note: The other nine of the 10 finalists in Novice Amateur Trail at the NSBA Nationals were from Texas, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, and Saskatchewan, but right at the top of the results list in the number one spot is “… Back Number 1219, riding Oops I Am Good, Samantha Armbruster, Sunbury, OH.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.