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Alumni Spotlight: Equestrian Excellence

2016 Tyrone graduate Bella McCracken competes for the Seton Hill Women's Equestrian Team

Photo's courtesy of Bella McCracken
Bella McCracken riding Tony

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Bella McCracken has been horseback riding since she was six years old. “My mom and I were in the car and I saw girls riding. I told her that I wanted to do that,” said McCracken, “and I’ve been riding ever since.”

McCracken has spent 12 years under the instruction of Sharon and Edgar Jodon, and five years in United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) under instruction of Sharon Jodon.

This fall, McCracken began competing on the Seton Hill Women’s Equestrian Team, under head coach Rebecca Bloom.

Now that she is competing and riding for Seton Hill, her skills and confidence have improved quite impressively.

“Last year I did not have a good show season,” said McCracken, “This year I have showed a lot of growth as a better rider and have proved to myself and others that I am where I need to be.”

Despite being just a freshman, McCracken is already a valuable asset to her team. Her best finish of the season was a first in Novice Fences, and first in Novice Flat and was named the Reserve High Point Rider of the Day at a competition this spring.

Her current position the team is Novice Fences and Flat. Novice Fences is when the rider jumps the horse over a required height of rails. Flat is when the rider and horse are judged on their ability to work together when the horse is given commands to walk, trot, canter, halt, and turn around and proceed in the other direction.

McCracken recently traveled to Syracuse, New York to support her team in Zones, which is the qualifying show for Nationals. It was the first time in Seton Hill history that the team has won the regional championship and competed as a team at Zones.

“I’m very excited [for Nationals]. I can’t wait to see the horse park because I’ve never been there and I’m hoping they have quality horses too,” said McCracken’s teammate and fellow freshman Lexi Kupic.

Going to the Zones show was also a first for Coach Bloom, and she could not be more proud that her team was able to qualify. “I am very proud of all of the work that the team put in to get us to where we ended up,” said Bloom.

“I am very proud of all of the work that the team put in to get us to where we ended up,” ”

— Seton Hill Women's Equestrian Team Head Coach, Rebecca Bloom

Bloom, who was named head coach in the summer of 2014, is the owner of Bloomfield stables in Belle Vernon and served on the Board of Directors for the international Horse Show Association from 2005-2015.

Although McCracken enjoys many things about horse back riding, there is one thing she loves the most. “My favorite part is the adrenaline I get from getting on a horse and laying down a ride that myself and my team can be proud of,” said McCracken.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Alumni Spotlight: Equestrian Excellence”

  1. Candy McMullen on April 28th, 2017 4:58 pm

    Great job Bella. Good luck hoping for more good things in your future.

    [Reply]

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The voice of the Tyrone Area High School
Alumni Spotlight: Equestrian Excellence