SUGARCREEK TOWNSHIP — Entering the big three of the junior horse show circuit, Reagan Webb didn’t have lofty expectations.
“I was just hoping to do my best,” the 14-year-old Bellbrook Middle School student said. “Just to be better than I was the last time.”
She was better.
A lot better.
Really, really better.
In a matter of a few weeks, Webb — who rides and trains at the palatial Cape Cod Equestrian Center in Sugarcreek Township — won three national titles: the junior pleasure equitation Olympics; the United Professional Horsemen’s Association junior pleasure national championship; and the junior saddle and bridle medallion championship. Her peers also gave her the UPHA Sportsmanship Award.
Combined, the three national titles national titles catapult Webb into legendary status as a triple crown winner. It’s rare in horse racing, rare in baseball, and rare in equitation.
“It was a dream come true,” Webb said with a mile-wide smile. “I was so beyond excited. I was so shocked. I was so proud of Chloe (her horse). She did so good. Since I’ve been little my goal has been to win the triple crown.”
Equitation is all about how the rider performs on and works with the horse during the show. There are various patterns to complete and judges keep a keen eye on the rider as she rides around the ring.
The triple crown was the culmination of a whirlwind season for Webb, who won eight of the nine shows she entered and finished as reserve champion (second place) in the other. All that on a substitute horse.
Webb’s horse, Coventry’s Starbucks, died in June, leaving her without a ride.
“It was just kind of the beginning of the season,” she said. “I was really sad. It was really hard for me. I wasn’t even sure I was going to show at all.”
With entries due that month, Webb was entered on a random horse, just to get her in. Then Webb struck gold. Cape Cod client Bev Beebe offered Webb the use of her mare, She’s in Charge, aka Chloe.
The two hit of off instantly. And at the Lexington Junior League Show in July, Webb took first after riding Chloe for about five minutes prior.
“She won the very first time,” said Kathy Boggs, whose family owns and operates Cape Cod.
Trainer Erin Boggs, daughter of Kathy Boggs, then went to work on Webb and Chloe.
“Erin trained her to fit the horse,” Kathy said.
Webb credited Erin for her success.
“I have amazing trainers,” Webb said. “I really want to thank Erin and Kathy. (Erin) helped me a lot. Helps me perfect my form. She helped me so much with my confidence. (And) I can’t thank Bev enough.”
Webb and Erin will be seeing a lot of each other going forward as Webb is moving up from the 14-and-under to the 17-and-under age group for the upcoming season.
And she will be doing it on a different horse, Going Rogue, known as Rowdy around the barn. The two already have a win together this year.
To prepare, Webb can be found at Cape Cod three times a week for up to four hours a day.
“I just love being here,” she said. “All winter I’m going to train. I’ll be out here a lot. This place is my second home.”
It’s pretty much been that way since she saw a sign for the training center on the side of the road when she was 6-years-old.
“My mom took me for my first lesson and I’ve loved it ever since,” Webb said.
It was love at first sight. Much like it was between Webb and Chloe.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.