Local Equestrians in Jumping Contest

Nina Thornton jumping El Divino. Photo courtesy of Chanel Keyes

Three Laguna Beach students competed at the Orange Coast Coolers horse show held at Sycamore Trails, each of them winning medals and qualifying for the year-end championship show next month.


Laguna Beach High School senior Nina Thornton won a blue ribbon in a horsemanship class. Sophomore Paige Toro qualified in long stirrup hunters. Thurston Middle School seventh-grader Makenna Grierson won first place in the OCHSA equitation medal.


All three girls ride with different trainers, but they couldn’t help cheering for each other. “There’s a special bond between horse lovers naturally, and then you add to that the close bond of living in Laguna,” said Makenna. “It would be strange if we didn’t root for each other.”


“I knocked a rail in the equitation medal class and it put me back to 3rd place.  So I was thrilled Makenna took first.  She really rode a great course! “ Nina added.


Nina Thornton, left, and Makenna Grierson, right, all smiles after winning blue ribbons. Photo courtesy of Gwen Grierson.

The three girls will compete against the county’s top equestrians at the 28th annual championship show, Oct. 19–23, at Oaks/Blenheim Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano.




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