LAFAYETTE, Ind. — When Sam Evens rides on her horse, Sonee,
her worry and stress melts away. It’s just her and her horse, and nothing can
Evens, a junior and eight-year 4-H member from Lafayette,
took home first-place honors in her halter class and the title of reserve
champion western halter. She competed at the Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair and is
headed to the Indiana State Fair for more contests.
“This week is really awesome,” she said. “I get to see all
my friends. It’s like Christmas. It only happens once a year, and you get to see
everyone that you want to see. You get to be with your animals. It’s a great
Evens always dreamed of having a horse of her own, but she
thought she would have to wait until after college.
Her dream became a reality last summer when she took home
the 4-H horse award at the state fair.
After an essay, interviews and lots of hard work, she was
chosen as the winner by the Indiana Quarter Horse Association. Her prize was
“A total of 10 finalists are selected through an application
process,” Evens said. “During that one day your life changes, and I came home
with a quarter horse. It was pretty crazy. I did not expect to win.”
After winning the contest, she had 48 hours to find Sonee a
home. She boards the horse nearby and practices riding five to seven times a
week in peak season.
“It’s really heartwarming, and it makes me feel good,” she
said. “All my stress from the day is gone.”
Evens keeps busy training and taking care of her horse, but
that’s not the only thing she’s doing this summer.
She has 11 other 4-H projects, including gardening and swine
posters. She also serves as secretary for her FFA chapter.
“She’s a special kid,” said Marilyn Kerr, Evens’ friend and
trainer. “She really cares about things and is very involved with FFA.”
After high school, Evens wants to attend Purdue University
and study agribusiness.