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Abby Santini: Making History

Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 11:30 am

By Lee Santini & Tracy Harris

Abby Santini has been riding horses since the age of 5. She started with dressage and cross country then fell in love with speed barrels and poles. She excelled in Bridle Clubs in Maury County, Triune, and Fayetteville.

In 2021-2022, she joined the TN High School Rodeo. She went on to win State Champion in poles that year and in 2022-2023! She performed in Gillette, Wyoming and claimed 6th in the world in 2022-2023. Abby made history this year with the High School Rodeo. No one had achieved three years in a row as State Champion in a speed event – until now! She is heading to Rock Springs, Wyoming next month.

She has also held the following titles: Sweet Dixie Barrel and Pole Champion 2021, Star Rodeo Barrel and Pole Champion 2023, and NBHA Barrel World Qualifier 2023.

Alex is a Quarter Horse that everyone had given up on until Abby came along. People told her to get a “better, more qualified horse” but she refused to listen. Instead, she poured her time and energy into Alex and they became a team – perfectly in sync with one another. She trained Alex herself and has competed with him for the past five or six years.

Alex is turning 21 this year and has just as much grit and fire as a young horse. He takes care of Abby, just like she does him. She’s in the arena five or six days a week training him and her other horses; but, always puts him first.

Abby finished high school through TN Connections Academy earlier this year and will be attending Casey and Son’s Horse School in Georgia. There, she will learn Ferrier work, which is how to forge her own shoes and special skills in shoeing. She has received her pro card and will be competing in bigger arenas.

Her heart beats for the horse community. She loves working with kids and their horses, training and prepping them to reach their goals and dreams, just like she has. She has a huge heart and maintains her small town mindset. Abby’s roots run deep in Marshall County and Lincoln County.

If Abby could give any advice to others, it would be, “Hold true to who you are, in or out of the arena. Never give up. If you fail, find the mistake and fix it – dust off and get back on. Your dreams are what you make them. Never stop reaching! There will always be naysayers – prove them wrong in the arena. Always pat and love your horse, you wouldn’t be here without him/her.”