LIVERMORE FALLS – Kyle Gagnon, a 10th-grader at Livermore Falls High School, won big at the World Championship Saddlebred Horse Show in Louisville, Ky.

Gagnon started riding at age 2. At 10, he captured the triple crown. During that 2000 show season, Gagnon not only won the three most important shows of the year, but rode the entire season undefeated, a feat never done in the history of the saddlebred world by a boy.

Gagnon rides equitation, which means he has to maintain his form while he guides his horse around the ring. His shoulder, hip and ankle must never be out of line. His elbows must be at a 90-degree angle, with wrists slightly bent and the judges must not see his hands move.

While keeping his form and the horse under control, the rider is asked to perform a pattern with the horse consisting of circles, angles and lines. It takes strength, dedication and a commitment to be an accomplished equitation rider.

Gagnon, 14, won the Senior Saddleseat Equitation Grand Championship at the Kentucky State Fair on Aug. 28. He was the only male in a field of 11 who qualified early in the week. Gagne is the youngest male rider to win the championship in the 101 years that the show has been at the Kentucky State Fair.

Gagnon competed in the U.S. Equestrian Federation Medal National Finals in Kansas City, Mo., and finished as Reserve National Champion in November.

Gagnon recently learned he has earned the award of All-American Saddleseat Equitation Champion of 2004. To qualify for All-American point awards, a show had to be USEF sanctioned, at least three days in duration and have at least 100 horses in the saddlebred, hackney, roadster and equitation divisions combined.

He is the son of Kurt and Pauline and brother of Gavin, of Livermore Falls. Gagnon’s grandparents are Beverly and Donald Gagnon and Bill and Nancy Crooker, all of Livermore Falls.

He hopes to pursue a career as a horse trainer. Gagnon rides under the direction of Gary and Marsha Garone of Fairfield South, Richmond, N.H.


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