Wells graduate goes to national contest in Kentucky with Cazenovia team
WELLS — Nineteen-year-old Gabrielle Tebo never had formal training in horsemanship.
“I did my own thing,” said Tebo, who got her first pony at 12 and now has two horses.
“I always liked horses since I was a little kid,” she said.
Still, with her as a team member, a Cazenovia College equestrian team went to the western national competition in Lexington, Ky., in May for the first time in 12 years.
“This was very significant for our college,” she said. Individually, she scored sixth, and her team, eighth.
The western style they used required them to be very still in the saddle and guide the horses without the judges being aware of the cues, she said.
The 2015 salutatorian of Wells High School and a junior at college, she said she is primarily self-taught, never having taken formal horsemanship lessons. She did take classes in equine science while in high school through the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Johnstown, which taught about various riding styles and anatomy and physiology of horses. She also learned that different horses have different training needs.
Before the national competition, her college team hosted a regional competition of private colleges in which she scored third individually and her team got the highest number of points.
That qualified the team members for a higher competition in Hamburg, which gave them enough points as a team to go to nationals.
The daughter of David and Teresa Tebo, she has so far earned a grade-point average above 3.8 and is majoring in equine business management. The major gives her a range of possibilities for employment, from running a horse barn to office management, she said.
Fifty Cazenovia students are on equestrian teams and “all support each other,” providing great camaraderie, Tebo said. “My favorite part is to meet any new people,” she said.