At 4 feet, 10 inches tall, 17-year-old high school junior Alexandria Cedrone may look small when she’s standing on the ground.But when she’s riding Champion Stonecroft Ring Leader, not only is she tall, but she and her horse are a championship team. Cedrone and her horse, called Ringo, live off Ramah Church Road in Huntersville, and they train and ride in Cornelius and throughout this area.“We bought Ringo in Louisville, Ky.,” Cedrone said. “That’s where the world’s championship is. It’s a scary place. There’s a lot of competition.“We’ve competed in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia. There are shows all over the nation, but we usually compete on the Southern east coast. We’ve made friends from all over the country,” Cedrone said.At age 7, she started “being a hunter jumper, but when I turned 8, I switched to American saddlebreds.“I ride because it’s my passion. It’s what I love to do. I’m good at it,” Cedrone said. “It’s not a choice. It’s a lifestyle. I was literally born to ride. At least that’s what I think.”Cedrone and Ringo won Juvenile of the Year in 2012 from the American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas. The award recognizes both horsemanship and service. She has been ASAC Youth president for the past three years, has been first in North Carolina for the past three years, and was first in the nation last year for her division.Cedrone tried to explain the sport of exhibiting American saddlebreds. “We are judged on our posture, etiquette, manners, different gaits, cleanliness between gaits. Ringo and I are judged as a team, not as individuals. We can’t have any mistakes at all. “I use my hands to communicate to Ringo. He can feel what I do through the reins through the bit. I also communicate with him with my feet.”Cedrone called Ringo “one of my best friends.”“We have a silent communication, a silent language,” she said. “He’s like another member of the family. He’s also really sweet and loves to work hard. He knows when he wins. He loves to take pictures. He does this little pose with his ears.”Cedrone wants to continue showing and “do the best that I can do.”One of her friends, Matt Crowell, overheard our interview and chimed in: “Hey, Alex, you can’t horse around anymore.” She looked at him, smiled and groaned.
Friday, Sep. 27, 2013
Huntersville 17-year-old is a national American saddlebred champion
Lisa Daidone is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Lisa? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less