By Brandon Henry

Youth essay contests usually come in the form of scholarships, with winners finding themselves with some extra cash for college. ShowBiz Arabians of Lithia, however,  is offering something a little different for its essay contest.

The grand prize winner will receive a purebred Arabian horse.

The essay contest is open to children ages 12-18, living in either Hillsborough or Polk counties

Lisa Loring-Powell, owner of ShowBiz Arabians, explained the purpose of holding such a competition.

“I want to find the right youth that will love this horse. That’s my goal- to have somebody thrilled to have that quality of horse,” she said.

While she stresses that the winner will not be obligated to any sort of contract with ShowBiz, the winner will have the chance to win a lot more than just a horse, but a lifestyle in continuing the foal’s training.

“They can keep him here in training, and the winner will learn everything there is to learn,” said Loring-Powell.

In this spirit of learning, the grand prize winner will be awarded free weekly riding lessons on one of ShowBiz’s trained show horses.

“He’s only a year old, so he’s not old enough to ride,” Loring-Powell said of the horse being offered as the grand prize. “So anybody who gets him is going to get bored and go ‘I own a horse but I can’t ride it.’”

However, in the meantime, the horse can be still shown in halter classes or “in-hand” classes.

“If we give lessons for free, they’ll be coming along, so when the horse is old enough to be trained and ridden, they’re going to be ready for anything.”

“But there’s a lot more to learn than just how to ride your horse,” added Loring-Powell. “From feeding it to farrier care to veterinary care.”

The second place winner will receive three one-hour riding lessons, a chance to participate in a local horse show and compete with trained horse. The third place winner will receive three, one-hour lessons.

ShowBiz Arabians got its start in 1986 in western New England before relocating to Georgia in 1992. ShowBiz made its final move to Lithia in 2002.

Loring-Powell has been raising horses her entire life. She got her first pony when she was only 6-years-old. By age 10, she had three horses. By age 16, she was already training younger children on how to ride them.

For details, entry forms, and rules for the essay contest, visit ShowBiz Arabians is located at 8731 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Lithia.

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