PERRY, Okla. — Chloe Patterson, of Perry, has been awarded U.S. Dressage Federation’s bronze medal, becoming the youngest person to ever win the award in the state of Oklahoma, and one of the youngest in the nation to achieve the recognition.
Patterson, 13, is the daughter of Bud and Deb Patterson, of Perry, and granddaughter of Coy and Barbara Patterson, Ames. Dressage is an equestrian sport focusing on the execution of precision movements in response to barely perceptible signals from its rider.
Patterson combined the bronze medal with additional awards she won recently during the Central Plains Dressage Society Recognized Open & Championship Show held in Stillwater at Valley View Equestrian Center. Patterson took home the championship titles for two categories: first level junior rider and second level junior rider. She also received the first-level highpoint individual junior rider and second-level highpoint individual junior rider.
Patterson says she has “loved horses my whole life,” stating in her personal stories on her website that it all started when her parents gave her two horses when she was 6.
“Those horses, Peaches and Turbo, were my complete responsibility,” Patterson said. “I fed, watered and worked them; I met the farrier, I cared for them. My parents made sure I did every bit of the work, and I loved it.”
Patterson did not begin formal riding training until she was 10, and by age 13 had accomplished awards mostly won only by adults. Medals in USDF are awarded on a compilation of scores from numerous types of USDF recognized competitions. Patterson is mentored and trained by Robin Hessel, a USDF gold medalist, an “L” Judge with Distinction, and owner of the stables where Patterson trains, Valley View Equestrian Center.
“Chloe works hard at bettering herself in the sport,” Hessel said. “She has the mental discipline and maturity of someone much older — which pairs well with learning how to understand a horse. This is important because the horse assists in training the rider, and Chloe is learning the skills to excel in dressage.”
Patterson said she has future goals of becoming a trainer and international horse judge. She said on her website she pursues these goals by participating in horse judging competitions, where she finds giving reasons to be the most challenging part of the contests. In 2019 she won 4-H first and high-individual junior at Northeastern Oklahoma State University and third place 4-H junior team at Oklahoma State University.
Patterson plans to continue competing. She has her sights set on both the USDF silver and gold medals she said. She hopes to one day compete in the Olympics in dressage.