photos by Shane Rux
The champion’s ribbon that had glistened in 5-year old Maguire Biggs’ dreams is now clutched between her tiny hands each night as she sleeps.
Biggs, who lives in the Chickasha area, showed her 15-year-old bay leopard mare TXS Dinas Real Miracle to a win of the Leadline 6-Under Trail class this week during the 2016 Pony Of the Americas Club (POAC) National Congress at Tulsa.
The win came on Sunday but each night since she has toted the long blue, red and gold Champion’s ribbon with her to bed.
Maguire was asked Thursday how often she plans to sleep with the ribbon next to her.
The kindergartner-to-be at Amber-Pocasset Public Schools grinned widely and replied, “A lot.”
The 2016 POAC National Congress began July 7 and continues through Friday (July 15) at the Built Ford Tough Complex at the Expo Square in Tulsa. The national show has featured 2,675 entries and about 370 ponies. Participants and family members come to the show from Oklahoma, Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, Oregon and many other states. Biggs said she heard a report in recent years that the show has an annual economic impact on the city of more than $1 million.
The POAC National Congress is just one example of how equestrian events in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and throughout the state allow children of varying ages to live out their dreams while forming a bond with their horses and making long-lasting friendships with other exhibitors.
Maguire is the daughter of State Representative Scott Biggs and Dr. Rosslyn Biggs.
Rosslyn Biggs is the show chairman for the POAC National Congress in Tulsa and she the represents the second of three generations of their family to show the Pony Of the Americas breed.
“I think every exhibitor that’s here, and we have both adults and youth, everyone dreams for titles,” she said. “Frankly, if I’m showing, I’m still dreaming for that title today as an adult.”
The awards represent more than a national championship in a particular class.
“It’s a culmination of practice and desire,” Biggs said. “Even as a small child, she’s willing to put in the hard work because she makes the connection between ‘If I practice then I do well and I get rewarded for that by ribbons.’ So, the things we’re building beyond just prizes at the end of the day are a group of exhibitors, a group of young people that understands what it takes to get the job done, understands hard work and understands determination and perseverance. Even from kindergarten age they are making that connection. Beyond the ribbons and the trophies, and don’t get me wrong those are nice, we’re creating the future of successful professionals in the workplace and in our communities.”
Maguire rides about six days a week, anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes to as much as an hour a day. Each day she’s at the back door of the house with her boots on ready to go to the barn to spend time with her friend TXS Dinas Real Miracle. On Thursday, Maguire was asked what she likes about her friend.
“She does good things and I like her spots,” Maguire said. “She likes people to scratch her legs. I do like her a lot.”
What did you think when they called your name as the champion?
The big grin returned, “I was so excited.”
Watching that excitement is gratifying to a parent whether their child is 5 years old and headed for kindergarten or in the case of Shari Clymer’s daughter Sarah, 19 years old and headed for college.
Shari Clymer of Edmond said her daughter clings to the words, “Living the dream.” Sarah’s has been an impressive dream that continues on.
“My husband and I knew nothing about horses,” Shari said. “We knew to go to the fair, stick your hand through the stall door and pet them, but she has always wanted to have a horse.”
So finally one year they decided to let her attend a horse camp in the Oklahoma City area. Sarah “loved it.”
So she started lessons and found a trainer and a POA. She has continued on with her dream, winning numerous titles and now will be a member of the Oklahoma State University Equestrian Team.
“She’s come from an accomplishment like being able to lope her pony around the arena one time to now this at OSU,” Shari said. “That really is a dream.”
As a parent she values the hard work that her daughter has put into achieving those dreams and the lessons she has learned.
Rosslyn Biggs echoed the importance of what is gained aside from awards.
“I think one of the biggest things it teaches from a personal aspect is the value of hard work, and that hard work will pay off,” Biggs said. “Another thing you learn is that sometimes life rolls your way and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you get a break and sometimes you don’t. Perseverance is a key because the hard work and the dedication will be rewarded.”