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Mischievous Horse Helps Teen Become The Youngest Woman To Win The Tevis Cup.

Samona and Goober cross the finish line at the Tevis Cup in 2019, just a horse ahead of the rider behind them, making them the winners.

Ever since Samona Blakeley was a kid, she’s had a deep connection to animals, especially horses. In fact, she was riding them long before she could walk. Before long, she was entering endurance races at just 7 years old. These types of races are no joke — they last anywhere from 50 to 100 miles.

At 12 years old, she entered the Tevis Cup. While this wasn’t her first endurance race, it was her first time entering the most prestigious one in the world — and it certainly wouldn’t be her last. Over the years, Samona has trained to become even better at what she does. Then, an unexpected horse came into her life: Goober.

Samona when she was a baby. She's riding on a horse with a little boy.

The horse’s original owners had so much trouble with him that they decided to give him away for free on Craigslist. When Samona and her family discovered Goober, they couldn’t resist giving him a new home.

“So much personality,” Samona said. “He’s got personality for three horses bottled up into one. So he’s a character.”

From opening gates to ripping blankets, Goober is quite a mischievous fellow. Still, with lots of rehab and training, he’s become another family member. By 2019, he had yet to finish a race with Samona, but that didn’t stop them from entering the Tevis Cup.

Samona smiles as she ride her horse, Goober.

It was clear to the then 18-year-old that the other competitors underestimated the two of them, but that quickly changed in the last mile of the 100-mile race. Samona and Goober found themselves neck-and-neck with the person in the lead. This person had already won three times before.

Still, the trek from Taho to Auburn, California wasn’t able to slow them down. By the length of one horse, Samona and Goober won, making her the youngest woman to do so!

“It was unreal for so long that I always had to pinch myself and be like, ‘Wow, I actually won!'” Samona shared.

Samona and Goober cross the finish line at the Tevis Cup in 2019, just a horse ahead of the rider behind them, making them the winners.

Now, four years later, she’s released a book to help encourage others with her journey. It’s called “Chasing Dreams: The True Story of the Youngest Female Tevis Cup Champion.”

“I hope it inspires people that some things aren’t just handed to you, but you really have to work for it,” she said. “But also to set a dream, to have a goal in life — something to work towards, maybe a passion you want to pursue.”

Watch more of Samona and Goober’s journey in the video below.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here!

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