TAYLOR COUNTY— Bearcat alumni Skylar Wooddell is representing her alma mater well at the University of Findlay in Ohio, not only academically but also as an athlete taking to an arena and using much different skills and talents than those of most other sports.
Wooddell graduated from Grafton High School with the class of 2021 and was awarded with an Academic and Christian Fellowship scholarship, totaling $114,00, to the University of Findlay during her senior year.
In her freshman year at the University, Wooddell is majoring in Equine Studies, English and Spanish, and all the while keeping up with her demanding task load academically, she also excelling as a member of the school’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Equestrian Team.
Growing up, Woodell lived and breathe the majestic animals, showing with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) from the age of four.
As a young Equestrian, she has placed top five in the world at the American Paint Horse Association World Show.
In addition, Wooddell has earned several top 10’s at the National Snaffle Bit Association World Show and also placed top five and top ten at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, which is the largest single breed horse show in the world.
Adding to the already impressive list of accomplishments Wooddell made, she also received the title of All-Around Western Champion at the AQHA Novice Championships.
She has also assisted her mother in the selling of World Class Pleasure Horses at Sky Ten Ranch, the same horses she had once competed on herself.
Now, she has taken her passion to the next level competing at the collegiate level.
Wooddell’s talents in the sport landed her a spot on the varsity team, being chosen to compete in Horsemanship and Ranch Riding.
And despite being new to the level of competition seen at the college level, she has shown extreme dedication to perfecting her skills, competing in every meet of the season. Not only did she participated in all of the season’s meets, but she placed in all of them, as well.
During her final meet of the season, Wooddell earned a second-place finish in the morning show, and made it all the way to the top, placing first in the afternoon show in her Ranch class, which had not competed prior to the 2022 season.
While at the meet, she also found herself in a four-way tie for the High Point Rider of the meet among five schools. To break the tie, cards were drawn and Wooddell was presented with the Reserve High Point accolade.
Wooddell shared that she devoted these wins to a very special cause.
“I dedicated my wins last weekend to University of Findlay alumni, Maggie Howell, who is battling brain cancer,” she revealed.
The University of Findlay’s Equestrian Team is no stranger to winning. In 2018 and 2019, the team received back-to-back National Championship and has won six National Titles and Reserve three times since 2001.
With a regular undefeated season under their belts, the team has its sights set on the 2022 National Championship, and Woodell is sure to make an impact during post-season competition.
And despite all of her wins and accomplishments, Wooddell noted that it’s not the winning that draws her into the sport, but something much deeper.
“My favorite part of being an equestrian is the level of communication required between horse and rider that sets the sport apart from others,” she explained. “To be successful on horseback, you have to be able to read what horse you’re on and change your cues to match what suits them to the best of your abilities.”
Which is a talent she says requires great amounts of self-control and awareness, vital skills that she was able to hone in on riding younger horses.
“Riding many of my mom’s ‘green’ or inexperienced/young horses while growing up taught me a great deal in terms of being patient and working with less broke horses. I think the ability to ride so many younger horses, while still learning, trained not only them but also me,” Wooddell commented.
Congratulations Skylar! The Mountain Statesman would like to wish you and the rest of your team the best of luck during post-season events.