Thirteen-year-old Chloe Patterson, of Perry Oklahoma, has been awarded the United States Dressage Federation’s Bronze Medal. Patterson is the daughter of Bud and Deb Patterson. Dressage is an equestrian sport focusing on the execution of precision movements in response to barely perceptible signals from its rider.
Patterson is 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. She combined the USDF Bronze with additional awards she won recently during the Central Plains Dressage Society Recognized Open and Championship Show held in Stillwater, Oklahoma 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 six.
“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 began formal riding training when she was ten, and by age thirteen 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 now 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 says she has future goals of becoming a trainer and international horse judge. She pursues these goals by participating in horse judging competitions. In 2019 she won 4-H 1st and High Individual Junior at Northeastern Oklahoma State University and 3rd place 4-H Junior team at Oklahoma State University.
Patterson credits her parents with teaching her how to work hard. She says her trainer, Hessel, has taught her many additional things including, “how to act courteous and look courteous in absolutely every situation, no matter the circumstance.” She explains, “This takes lots of practice.”
Patterson plans to continue competing. She has her sights set on both the USDF Silver and Gold Medals. She hopes to one day compete in the Olympics in dressage.