BELOIT - Julia Prouse is taking her show on the road. And she's bringing her horse, too.
The 15-year old Beloit Turner student has, along with her Morgan horse Wes, qualified for the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show, to be held beginning Saturday in Oklahoma City.
Prouse has experience with Wes at the show, as the duo took third place in the 2017 show in the Hunt Seat on the Flat Equitation category.
Since then, Prouse and Wes have been working not only on flat ground, but also on a cross country course with natural obstacles, and on show jumping, which takes place on a course already set up within an arena.
Prouse began her riding career early in life, and she says it was love at first sight.
"I have pictures of me on the back of a horse at three years old," Prouse said. "And I started lessons at age five. It's something I've always loved to do."
Prouse says Wes, who is housed at Lake Geneva Equestrian Center and owned and trained by Madison Wingate, has been a joy to work with.
"What I like most about him is that he's willing to work with you," Prouse said. "He's got his own mind, like all horses do, but we've really worked through whatever hiccups we've had."
Prouse was born in Italy and moved to the United States when she was nine years old.
It took a little while for Prouse to adjust.
"The first time I went to Olive Garden, I started speaking to the waitress in Italian," Prouse said. "I figured since it was an Italian restaurant, they would speak Italian there."
Prouse didn't have any issue jumping back on a horse after her trip across the pond.
"It's something I just love to do," Prouse said. "When I'm out there on the course, jumping and galloping, it's so fun. When things get tough, those are the times that I can think back on and know that it's all worth it."
Prouse said she has a few goals for her time in Oklahoma City.
"The first thing is that I just want us to have a clean ride," Prouse said. "But of course, you have goals and after placing third two years ago, I would love to come home with a reserve or a world title."