Ninth grader Alexandria Desiderio had her dreams come true last month in Nampa, Idaho at the Arabian Sport Horse National Championships. Competing with elite riders of all ages in head-to-head contests of their equestrian skills, Alexandria was named National Champion in 5 different divisions on three different horses.
Riding horses since she could walk, Alexandria is trained by her parents, Ricci and Stephanie Desiderio, owners of Tranquillity Farm in Chester, NJ. Her two older brothers, Michael and Anthony, are multiple National Champions themselves. Their family works, trains and shows together at both open and breed competitions.
Alexandria exhibited her family’s Arabian stallion “Oration,” and was awarded two Championships with him, both in hand and under saddle. She also rode her brother’s horse “TL Foolin Around” to a Championship in Amateur Working Hunter.
But her greatest accomplishment was earning Championships in both the Equitation Not to Jump and Equitation Over Obstacles classes. These classes are judged on the rider’s form and riding ability while performing a course of eight jumps and a precise pattern of movements on the flat. The judges, Randy Neumann and Chrystine Tauber, both recognized Hunter judges, chose her unanimously as the winner of these two classes.
Alexandria also showed her own horse, “Simply Irrisistible,” to several National titles at this show and earlier in the year at the Arabian Youth National Championships in Albuquerque. These wins were bitersweet, as Alex had recently lost her retired gelding, “Ser Imanask.”
These prestigious wins for a young lady of her age is quite remarkable. The hours of practice required shows a dedication and focus usually reserved for adults.