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Isla G. Paone on Rock of Ages at CFHJA TAMPA

Isla G. Paone - January 2022

The horses weren't the only thing being bitten at horse camp that summer week when Isla Paone was 8 years old; however, instead of being bitten by horseflies or mosquitos, Isla, like many little girls, was bitten by the "horse bug." She left the little backyard horse camp in Odessa, Florida, in tears, knowing that she would never love a horse like the one she loved at camp. Today, she barely recalls that gelding's name was Hulk, but he did leave an indelible mark on Isla's life. For if it weren't for this forgotten gelding, she wouldn't have begun riding Lorenzo, the palomino warmblood who not only taught her to fall gracefully, but also accompanied her with the debut of her ribbons and garters... or Sammy, the spirited Arabian pony, that taught her to hang on tight because ponies can spook at a blade of grass. Between these valuable lessons, Isla rode and showed as much as she could, finding a home away from home with her horse at the barn.

Today, Isla and her best friend, her 11-year-old Thoroughbred, Archie (known in the show ring as Rock of Ages) refer to home away from home as Kingsmeade Farm in Lutz, Florida where they both are blessed to be trained by Clair Kellner. Isla currently competes either in the short/long stirrup or 2" division and was honored recently by being placed 3rd Overall at the 2022 CFHJA Award Banquet in both the Short/Long Stirrup Hunter and Equitation divisions. Although Isla loves showing and progressing in the ring, her true love of the sport remains in the relationship and bond she has with her big red boy and her teammates.

Isla is currently 13 years old and is 7th grade at Lutz Prep Middle School. She resides with her family, two dogs and 4 cats in Tampa, Florida.

Isla G. Paone on Rock of Ages at CFHJA TAMPA