by Jane Primerano
Warren County Equestrian of the Year Madeline Crisp came home from Texas in June as the Appaloosa Youth World Champion.
This was Maddie’s first time at Worlds, held in Fort Worth.
She placed in the top 10 in five more events as well: Third place overall high point Youth Ranch Horse, fifth place in Novice Showmanship ages 14 to18, sixth place in Youth Ranch Pleasure, seventh place in Youth Ranch Riding and tenth place in Youth Hunter in Hand Mares and Novice Hunt Seat Equitation ages 14 to 18. She also placed first in both prepared and impromptu speech contest winner.
Maddie rides with Amy Wunderlich’s Performance Horses in Lafayette, NJ.
It was also the first world show for her horse, Super Hero Assets, known as Brandi.
Maddie and Brandi have been together for two years. Maddie started lessons with Wanda Kinny when she was 8-years old, mucking stalls every Saturday morning to pay for them. Coincidentally, the house she is growing up in originally belonged to Kinny’s mother.
Although it had always been a dream of the 17-year-old to own an Appaloosa, she was thinking more of a darker, solid, taller saddle horse she could ride English and use in hunter-under-saddle events. Brandi is whitish, 15-3 and not a leggy horse, so Maddie started re-thinking her priorities.
“I was more focused on English in the beginning. It’s all I did my first show season,” Maddie said.
She was with another barn for seven years, but when she got Brandi as an unschooled 2-year-old she knew she would need more help. She found that help in Wunderlich.
“She embraced Brandi’s strengths and won a world championship,” her mother, Cheryl Crance Crisp said, “And did it with a horse who lay down the first time she sat on her.”
By focusing on the classes Brandi could handle, Maddie competed in local and regional events, including in Delaware and Pennsylvania, until she was ready for the Appaloosa Youth Worlds. In some of the ranch events, Maddie and Brandi competed against adults, “real ranchers,” as her father, John, said. Not only that, Brandi had never seen cows before the Worlds when she had to walk past them. She stopped, but Maddie got her going.
In the ranch class, Maddie had to pick up a wet slicker and put it across the saddle, lope Brandi over logs, drag a steer head and walk around hay bales.
In all, they competed in 15 classes.
Maddie explained how she was named Equestrian of the Year.
There is an application process where she had to list all of the things she has done with horses and her 4-H story, she was interviewed and had to give a formal speech and an impromptu speech.
Maddie is president of the Warren County 4-H Teen Council and of her Stablemates 4-H Club. She is going to Ireland to a leadership conference.
Going into her senior year, Maddie is thinking about colleges. She is planning on majoring in bio-chemistry because of the options it affords such as genetics, pharmacy, medical school or research.
“I’ll figure it out after I’m in college.”
Because of her horse schedule, Crance Crisp said she will take Maddie to look at the colleges she gets accepted to. “We’re doing it backwards,” she said.
But, Maddie appears to always look straight ahead. “I don’t know what I’ll do when I buy another horse,” she said. “But Brandi’s only 4.”