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Two teen girls horsing around the world

June 12, 2006|By Lauren Vane

Two teenagers who regularly ride at the Orange County Fairgrounds' equestrian center will take their competition to a new level internationally at the end of the month.

Taylor McClung, 14, and Brittney Allyn, 15, have been chosen to ride in two prestigious equestrian show jumping competitions.

Taylor, a student at Corona del Mar High School, will fly to Bogota, Columbia for the World Children's Championship. Brittney will travel to Calgary, Canada for the West Coast Active Riders Childrens Amateur Jumper Team competition.

Both girls spend a lot time after school and on weekends at Fox Pointe Farm, at the fairgrounds. Their horses live at the farm, but the girls are responsible for taking care of their horses, doing everything from brushing to feeding them.

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"They know their horses inside and out," said Kathy Hobstetter, owner of Fox Pointe Farm.

Being selected to attend the competitions is a significant achievement, Hobstetter said.

"It's a pretty exceptional deal for these kids," Hobstetter said.

Brittney's horse, Angelo, will travel with her to Canada. Taylor's competition is different. Since it's in South America, Taylor will not bring her horse, but instead will ride horses provided by the competition.

These girls are more than just hobby horse riders. Their sport takes drive and dedication, much more than most people realize, Hobstetter said.

"Somehow it's born into them, just a passion for these horses," Hobstetter said. "It's a lot of work."

Brittney, a Seal Beach resident who goes to Los Alamitos High School, said she started riding when she was 6 years old. Angelo, a Oldenberg horse imported from Germany, has been with her for nearly a year.

"I'd seen the Olympics on TV and I was like, 'I want to do that,' " Brittney said.

Taylor fell in love with riding when she was 3 years old, said her mom, Maria McClung.

"She took her first lesson at three and she never wavered from it," McClung said.

On Saturday, the girls practiced with horses Angelo and Ceres. After warming up, they jumped the horses over various height obstacles. Farm trainer Dave Totten remained inside the ring, critiquing the jumps and instructing the girls on what they could do better. dpt.12-horses-1-C.1PhotoInfo1J1RSJ4K20060612j0px66ncMARK DUSTIN / DAILY PILOT(LA)Taylor McClung, 14, of Newport Beach, jumps over an obstacle while riding Ceres Saturday at at the Orange County Fairgrounds. dpt.12-horses-2-C.1PhotoInfo1J1RSJ4V20060612j0px6nncMARK DUSTIN / DAILY PILOT(LA)Brittney Allyn, 15, of Seal Beach, jumps over an obstacle while riding her horse Angelo Saturday at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

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