Teenager is galloping to success

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  • <B>Khaleb Tota</B>, 15, has dreams of competing as a horserider at the Panama Games and the Olympics.

    Khaleb Tota, 15, has dreams of competing as a horserider at the Panama Games and the Olympics.
    ((Photo by Akil Simmons))

  • <B>Khaleb Tota</B>, 15, has dreams of competing as a horserider at the Panama Games and the Olympics.

    Khaleb Tota, 15, has dreams of competing as a horserider at the Panama Games and the Olympics.
    ((Photo by Akil Simmons))

  • <B>Khaleb Tota</B>, 15, has dreams of competing as a horserider at the Panama Games and the Olympics.

    Khaleb Tota, 15, has dreams of competing as a horserider at the Panama Games and the Olympics.
    ((Photo by Akil Simmons))


Olympic hopeful Khaleb Tota, an avid horseback rider since childhood, is just 15-years-old, but already passing on his expertise to younger students.

“Once you get to know horses, the fear goes away,” explained the Warwick resident, who’s been teaching at the Spicelands Equestrian Centre since the last summer camp.

“I’ve always liked horses. Some are big and scary, some are big and gentle. You just get the hang of being around them. It doesn’t take long to understand. You just pet them and get to know them.”

Added Khaleb: “Riding is a rush for me. The adrenalin rush of being able to jump high — you feel free.”

The young rider has enjoyed a successful year with his horse Hey Dude, a Quarter Horse thoroughbred mix from the US whom Khaleb acquired just in time for last year’s Agricultural Exhibit. The two have become a regular fixture at Bermuda Equestrian Federation (BEF) shows.

“I’ve had a few falls — not many,” shrugged Khaleb. “The worst was in an Ag Show when the pony didn’t have any studs. We slipped coming up for the jump and went down. It wasn’t bad.”

He’s taken the overall junior prizes at the BEF prizegiving in 2011 and 2010, and dreams of taking part in the Panama Games — and someday the Olympics. In the meantime, Khaleb said, he hopes to attend the Gera Summer Meeting in Germany and the Hamburg Derby.

For now, Khaleb teaches younger students throughout the week at Spicelands, where proprietor Liza Outerbridge extolled him as “a shining example of a child that has dedicated himself to the sport of horse riding”.

Despite his young age, Khaleb was taken on last summer as a camp counsellor at the school.

Ms Outerbridge said: “Khaleb’s been a great role model to the children. He is extremely dedicated to his horse and shows the other children on a daily bases what commitment is required to achieve success.

“Around Spicelands, Khaleb is always smiling and willing to help any of the children with their ponies — from the littlest ones who struggle to tighten the girth on the pony, to the older ones who might be learning a dressage test.”

Working with horses relieves stress, she said, and builds self esteem and responsibility in younger people.

Khaleb’s next show with the BEF is coming up on January 20, at the January Jumping Show held in Devonshire’s National Equestrian Centre.

Useful website: www.bef.bm

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Published Jan 12, 2013 at 7:55 am (Updated Jan 12, 2013 at 7:54 am)

Teenager is galloping to success

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