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Next Generation Cowgirl

A Greeley Cowgirl with Big Dreams

Article by Bethany Wiley, MPH, RYT

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle

“If I could be an animal, I’d be a horse,” said Sadie Lamar, a 13-year-old Greeley cowgirl with perseverance, determination and big dreams. Her love for horses began with a Christmas present from her grandparents in Michigan when Sadie was less than a year old—her first horse named Rosie. 

Sadie’s mom, Ashley, remembers Sadie as a young girl setting up picnics with her horses, talking to them and grooming and feeding them. Sadie’s fondness for horses was evident, but a trip to Texas when Sadie was 10 further fueled Sadie’s passion when she tried out competing and found her first show horse, Miracle, in Texas, an AQHA all-around horse. Some would say her interest in horse shows and competitions were in Sadie’s blood, as she follows in her mom’s footsteps, and Sadie gives much credit to Miracle. “Miracle and Sadie learned and accomplished a lot, which led to getting her Mr. Driggs for Christmas this year to help support her dreams,” Ashley exclaims.

Today, Sadie competes in shows through the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA). AQHYA is designed for enthusiasts 18 years old and younger and was established to expand youth participation, enhance leadership skills and provide opportunities to get involved with horses and meet others who are passionate about the American Quarter Horse.

Sadie doesn’t just compete in one class through AQHYA; at each show, she participates in 12 different classes with two different horses. Recently Sadie qualified to compete in the AQHYA World Championship Show, which takes place this summer in Oklahoma City. The AQHYA World Championship Show is the world’s largest, single-breed world championship horse show, where youth competitors come from around the world and must qualify for the event by earning points to secure a spot.

Sadie’s parents enjoy helping her pursue her dreams and they never miss an event. “I love supporting Sadie in her horse-showing journey,” Ashley shares. “It's completely deja vu for me and I get so much joy watching her show and grow into the cowgirl she is.” 

Supporting Sadie means spending a lot of time away from home with her horses. Her two horses reside with separate trainers in two different Colorado locations—I’m Really Classie, aka Mr. Driggs, trained by Chad Evans Performance Horses, resides in Franktown, and High Brow Jess Perry, aka Money, trained by Cody Crow at No Where But Up Performance Horses, resides in Johnstown. Since Sadie trains with each horse twice per week, she juggles time between the two locations. She also competes monthly, which takes the Lamar family all over Colorado as well as across the country. The Lamar’s come home to Greeley to regroup in between trips. “Greeley has always been home since Sadie was born,” Ashley says. “Greeley is our place of peace and rest to enjoy in between Sadie’s horse shows.” 

Some of Sadie’s future goals include joining an equestrian team at a Division 1 College. She also hopes to earn a World Show Title and compete in the Youth World Cup held in College Station, Texas. The Youth World Cup is the horse Olympics for youth and hosts 22 teams from different countries. As a dedicated next-generation cowgirl, Sadie shares the lessons that she’s learned along the way. The number one lesson is to go to bed early—before 9:00 p.m. Sadie practices this regularly because at the AQHYA shows, she gets up by 5:00 a.m. to get the horses ready. Sadie said another important lesson is, “to never give up, always try and believe in your dreams.”

While the commitment to competing and training can be extensive for the Lamar family, Ashley says the benefits are ample and the life lessons Sadie is learning, such as hard work, reaching goals, persistence, dedication and time management, are invaluable.

  • Sadie Lamar, Photography by Danja Barber
  • Sadie Lamar, photography by Alyssa Monk
  • Sadie Lamar, Photography by Alyssa Monk