McHenry taking 1st big step in Dressage arena - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

McHenry taking 1st big step in Dressage arena

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Erin McHenry has been training for this opportunity for years.

The UA senior and Salpointe Catholic grad ('11) will compete next month in the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships in Lexington, Kentucky.

It is one of the premier international events for equestrians who perform the sports known as Dressage.

McHenry finally feels like she has the horse to take her to the next level in the sport.

Bailando, or Beau for short, is an eight-year old Dutch Warmblood who two years ago McHenry traveled to Holland to find.

The team of McHenry and Bailando qualified last month for NAJYRC at an event in New Mexico. McHenry will represent Region 5 which is made up of competitive riders from Arizona, New Mexico, Eastern Montana, Utah, Wyoming, West Texas and Colorado.

McHenry, who trains at Willow Woods Stables on the east side, is the long representative from the state of Arizona who will compete in the Young Riders division. She has been ranked as high as 7th in the nation this season.

This will likely be the 20-year olds last major event at the "young rider" level of dressage before she begins competing in Grand Prix competitions.

Once McHenry hits the Grand Prix level she will be able to advance at a pace that could put her in line for a shot at making the 2020 United States Olympic team.

Dressage is not a cheap sport to partake in. It will cost McHenry $4,000 alone just to transport Beau back to Kentucky for the event.

A silent auction is being held on Sunday, June 22 at Willow Wood Stables to help support McHenry. The dinner and silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. and will include demonstrations on horseback.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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