Amber Burchfield Staying Busy with Equestrian Competitions


Donated to the Digest

AMBER BURCHFIELD STAYING BUSY WITH EQUESTRIAN COMPETITIONS– Burchfield pictured with her horse BC Royal Zanalyst (Nikki).

MacKenzie Farner, Staff Writer

Central’s very own Amber Burchfield  is making her way as a champion equestrian here in Tennessee with several wins at various competitions and an impressive tryout at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

Burchfield has been an equestrian for close to eight years now and participates in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, also known as the IEA. As a member of the IEA, Burchfield has to compete in five shows over a span of four to five months where teams from across the region come to compete and riders draw a random horse they’ve never ridden or met to show, and are judged on how well they can show a horse they’re never seen before. After the five mandatory shows, if you’ve placed high enough and scored enough points, you can be invited to compete in the regional championship in Statesboro, Georgia, and if you place high enough at the regional championship, you can also be invited to compete at the national championship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“I went to regionals last year, but sadly did not make it to nationals. I had a lot of great riders in my class, but the experience was amazing. I have already qualified for regionals this year, and I am working hard to make it to nationals.”

Burchfield was originally a dancer, but in fourth grade after seeing her PE teacher’s daughter participating in horse riding lessons, she decided to try it out and quickly fell in love with the sport. Last month, Burchfield was invited on a tour and try out day at Berry College in Rome, Georgia with the Berry Equestrian team.

“The experience at Berry was amazing. I love the team, and they were so supportive of us high school girls as we rode,” expressed Burchfield.

Burchfield’s trainer, Denise Talley, was a Berry Graduate and helped set up the tryout for Burchfield and her team. Prior to the tryout, Talley and the riders all trained together and practiced their patterns for the tryout. Following the tryout, Berry Head Coach, Margaret Knight Ellington, expressed to Burchfield that she would love for her to come back next year and watch her ride again.

“Amber is an athlete any coach would enjoy on their team- she possess excellent sportsmanship and leadership while always showing professional horsemanship that her teammates mirror. Amber is a beautiful rider and takes coaches critiques to fix her weaknesses,” commented Talley.