Dodge City Community College (DCCC) student Briana Alderson came to Dodge City with a mission.
“I've always wanted to come out west and do something with horses,” Alderson said. “I made a goal that I wanted to win a buckle within two years and I did it.”
Dodge City Community College (DCCC) student Briana Alderson came to Dodge City with a mission. “I've always wanted to come out west and do something with horses,” Alderson said. “I made a goal that I wanted to win a buckle within two years and I did it.” Alderson won the Most Improved Rider buckle from the National Versatility Ranch Horse Association. As someone enrolled in the equine program at DCCC, Alderson was made aware of the association and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. The National Versatility Ranch Horse Association's goal is to raise appreciation for the versatility of the ranch horse and to help preserve western culture and heritage. It does this through educational clinics and competitions. Classes cover skills that would be needed in working a ranch, including information about the horse's conformation, cutting and cow herd work, trail courses and obstacles, and reining patterns. Awards are offered yearly at novice, limited, intermediate and advanced levels. Alderson said she was nervous about the competitions, but calmed down once the event got underway. “As soon as the judge called my number everything went away and it was just like another day practicing,” she said. She says she owes much of her success to DCCC Professor of Animal Science and Versatility Ranch Horse Coach David McCollum. “I know I couldn't have done it without Dave because he pushed me on days I didn't want to ride,” Alderson said. “I think Briana did a terrific job representing the school,” McCollum said. “… She was also riding a young horse that she rode and had trained. She improved her own skills but she also improved the horse quite a bit.” The equine studies program at DCCC offers classes on horses with emphasis on reining, cutting and showing. As for the award, Alderson said she was glad to receive something to recognize her efforts. “I just called my mom, dad and brother and I was ecstatic,” she said. “I felt like I had really accomplished something.”