The Secret Life of McKenna: Whatever you set your mind to

In this week’s column junior blogger McKenna Oxenden sets her sights on a new goal: being a groom at the 2013 North American Junior Young Rider Championships.

From McKenna:

This week has been pretty exciting for two reasons.

Reason #1:
It’s Morven Park!!!!!!!!! Now I know what you’re thinking: “McKenna you’re not competing. Why could you possibly be this excited? Shouldn’t you be sad?”

Well, Horse Nation, the answer is: Why yes. I am a super bummed that I’m not riding. It sucks to be sidelined especially when it’s the beginning of the event season; HOWEVER, I will get to live vicariously through the awesome, ever-amazing Courtney Sendak! That’s right kids, Court is riding Gigi in the novice division! I am super super super excited to be able to watch them go. It’s always nice to be able to see someone else ride your horse–since you normally spend all of your time riding your horse it’s not a normal occurrence so I am actually beyond thrilled that I’ll get to see someone else compete her.

Gigi’s flatwork has improved a million plus since she has been in training so I also can’t wait to see her go in the ring. Actually, let’s just be honest, I am excited for everything!!

Reason #2:
I am extremely excited to announce that one of my big goals for 2013 event season is to groom at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships. It’s something I’ve had my eye on for a very long time as a goal and being that my hope is to make the 2014 CCI1* team, I think it would be a phenomenal experience.

With this commitment, every individual is required to raise a minimum of $500 to be considered for a groom or rider position. This past week I launched the beginning of my fundraising and I am thrilled to say that I have already successfully raised $365, only a mere $135 away from the goal!!!! I am so lucky to have several people who believe in me and want to help fund my dream. Everyone has always been supportive and it’s great to know I have an army behind me that believes I have the ability, willpower, and talent to make it to the top of this sport. I can’t thank everyone enough for their generous donations and kind words—without the support I would be nothing.

Despite the fact I am only required to raise $500, I have a lot of great thoughts to help Area 2 reach our total of $40,000 that we are aiming to raise. I am looking forward to tons of fundraisers, hard work, and some photography! 🙂 I have a ton of ideas and I can’t wait to begin implementing them.

If you, or anyone else you know is interested in helping me, or the area 2 young riders, please visit my site at

Thank you again to all that have helped me and thank you in advance to those who will decide to also help!!!!

Let the games begin! Go eventing, go area 2, and go young riders!

About the Author

McKenna Oxenden is a 16-year-old junior in high school, hailing from Columbia, MD. McKenna is a training level event rider and is currently campaigning the 15.1 Trakhener Cross, “Gossip Girl” a.k.a. Gigi and previously competed 13.2 pony superstar, Dorito Cooler Ranch, through training level. She has worked for CCI4* event rider, Emily Beshear and currently trains with Courtney Sendak of Defying Gravity Eventing. She is also an active ambassador to JustWorld International. When McKenna isn’t busy writing or riding, she is taking photographs and playing in Photoshop. You can see some of her work by liking her Facebook page (Mckenna Erinn Photography).



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