Mounting a horse she had never worked with before, equestrian rider Nadine Van Zomeren rode out into the William Woods Arena at William Woods University with a team of riders, competing in the trials for a chance to compete in the International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup, a world renowned competition for Saddleseat English Riding.
She had just seven minutes to acquaint herself with the horse before riding out into the arena with a team of competitors. After riding with a team and individually in front of a panel of judges, shaking with excitement Nadine Van Zomeren heard her named called over the loudspeakers as a winner of the trials to compete in the World Cup in Asheville, North Carolina.
The Pella Community High School 2013 graduate has been a rider all her life along with her parents Mark and Renae Van Zomeren, and twin sister Avis Van Zomeren. Growing up as an equestrian rider on a farm with horses, Nadine Van Zomeren knew she wanted to try out for the challenging competition.
“Since I am the daughter of horse trainers, I have been accustomed to riding a variety of horses and adjusting to them. I have also been consistently at the top of the ranks in the U.S. in saddleseat equestrian competitions, which has been thrilling in itself,” Nadine Van Zomeren commented, “My mom has judged the trials twice and I have gone with her to watch and admire the best riders in the country. I vowed that I would someday try to be one of them. Making the tryouts was an honor in itself, but making the team with the highest score was unbelievable.”
The Van Zomeren family has spent their life running the family farm, Timber Hills Farm, near Leighton where they raise horses, teach people how to ride and take fellow riders to various competitions.