Name:  Sarah Torti, 15
Family:  Parents Steve and Diane Torti; sister Rebecca, age 12
Hometown:  Bentonville, Ark.
School:  Bentonville High School

Who is your biggest inspiration?
“My mom is and always has been my biggest inspiration. She has been riding since she was little and has always supported my dreams. She bought me my horse and let me pick it out when I was only 11. My mom still competes and is also a trainer at the Legends Equestrian Center where I ride. She keeps the competitive edge in me.”

Why did you choose English saddle over Western?
“I’ve always grown up with it, as did my mom. I had a choice of switching over but I always kept with English because I like feeling like I am flying. I like being one with my horse all of the time.”

What is your best competitive memory?
“My best memory is when I was competing against my friends at the Jubilee in March. Competing against my friends kept the competitive edge sharp. We all wanted to show off and be the best. The Jubilee was a three-day event: dressage, stadium jumping and cross country. I really had to put a lot of trust in my horse that day.”

What are your future plans?
“I want to go to college and become a child psychologist, but I also want to be on the school’s equestrian team which limits my school choices. I also always want horses in my life. As a dream, maybe I will make it to the Olympics.”

What advice would you give to younger riders?
“Keep your head high, both physically and psychologically. Always trust your horse because they know what you are doing more than you do.”

Story and Photo by Terry Ropp


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