Young girl triumphs over tragedy - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Young girl triumphs over tragedy

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Equestrian Hallie Rush with her horse. Equestrian Hallie Rush with her horse.

(WMC-TV) - To be a great equestrian, many say you have to love your horse and your horse has to love you.

For 10 year old Hallie Rush, that love is clear.

"They're just wonderful animals, and I just really bond with them," she said.

At the recent U.S Pony finals in Lexington, Kentucky, Hallie, and Pony "Just Desserts," racked up the accolades. They placed in the top 10 in three separate categories, and 4th overall among child riders 11-years-old and under.

She was also the only rider from Tennessee to place in any division, and she won the Emerson Burr Horseman Scholarship.

All of that was in her very first trip to the competition.

"It was our first time, and she's never been too. And she's a green pony, so did really good for what she placed at, and it was a really fun experience," said Hallie.

A devastating injury could have ended Hallie's horse's career in the ring before it even started.

Impaled on a fence as a baby, Just Desserts broke her dock bone and has a large scar that's still visible on her side.

Hallie's mom, Trecie Wallace, says careful therapy and time healed the pony's wounds. After just six months together, the duo of Hallie and Just Desserts have proven they belong together.

"Hallie went and did April, May and June shows here in Memphis, and went undefeated in the greens and averaged about 465 points a show which is really unheard of," said Wallace.

The ultimate goal for Hallie, is a trip to the Olympics. She says that is a goal that not only takes a lot of practice, but a lot of sacrifice.

"She gave up going to a regular school, she's home schooled here, and she rides six-seven hours a day, six-seven different ponies and horses, says Wallace. "I'm really proud. I cry every time she rides, and I know the amount of work she has put into it daily. She sacrifices so much, and we did not go out and buy her a 200K pony, we took a green pony that had no experience and put the work in. She worked."

Hallie says practice makes perfect.

"I just need to keep riding and doing my best and trying as hard as I can," she said.

If she does that, no doubt the ribbons will continue to pile up.

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