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Youth Spotlight: Jessica Jacobucci

Working Western is a quickly growing division. Encompassing an array of classes, it showcases the versatility of our Arabian horse and offers something for everyone. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Jacobucci is an incredible example of a talented youth rider who competes across the Working division with her versatile Arabian horses, as well as being actively involved in her local Arabian horse community.

Through her careful stewardship, Jessica worked with her Arabian horse, who she purchased while separated from her registration papers, to not only restore her identity, but to become a winning team. In 2018, Jessica and Rushcreek Swat Mystea were Region 8 Champions in Limited Reined Cow, Trail JTR and Reining JTR, as well as Reserve National Champions in Reined Cow JTR.

(Emma) Tell us about yourself?

(Jessica) My name is Jessica Jacobucci, and I’m fifteen years old. I train at Sierra Vista Training Center in Longmont, Colo. with Gary Martinez. Rushcreek Swat Mystea (Tea) was my first Arabian, and she is the reason I love them so much. We started out at walk-trot together and are now competing nationally. I am currently involved in the Junior Colorado Arabian Horse Club and have been the secretary of the club for two years. Showing has led me to make many friends who I can stick with and count on.

(Emma) Who are the special Arabian and Half-Arabian horses in your life and why?

(Jessica) I have three special Arabians in my life. The first is Rushcreek Swat Mystea. She was my first Arab. I received her for my seventh birthday. She was only three, and we did walk-trot together. I guess you could say we grew up together. I started out showing Tea in 4-H doing everything from Western, to Dressage, to speed events with her. When we bought her, she was actually sold to us as a Quarter Horse cross with no registration papers. As we got better and improved our riding, I decided I wanted to push myself more in my showing and show at the National Western Stock Show. This led to a picture being posted online. The Arabian horse community responded to the photo saying she was a Rushcreek horse, and we should look for her registration papers. We got in contact with her breeders and after blood tests and a lot of paperwork, we were able to get her papers.

We met Gary Martinez along the way, and he started Tea’s Reined Cow Horse career. She will do anything we ask of her. We even won a Reserve Championship at Scottsdale in 2017. We went to Youth Nationals last year and ended up Top Ten in Ranch Riding, Horsemanship, Trail, Freestyle Reining, Reining, Reining Seat Equitation, and Limited Reined Cow Horse. It was then that I realized that I wanted to continue showing Working Western. She has become the best versatility horse I could have.

In September, 2017, I had the fantastic opportunity to begin leasing a Cow horse mare, Aantonina SF (Nina). I knew from the first time I spun her that she was the horse for me. She is little, smart and feisty. In December of that that year, my parents bought her officially for my fifteenth birthday. I showed her at Scottsdale and won the Limited Reined Cow horse with her. We worked really hard to push ourselves to learn Trail and Ranch Riding for Youth Nationals.

We recently bought my third Arab, Atreyu. He is a six-year-old stallion. He was shown as a Halter horse. I hope to continue his Halter career. We are currently working with Gary to get him broke to ride as well. I can’t wait to see what the future hold for us.

(Emma) What are your goals short term, and long term with the Arabian horse?

(Jessica) I have lots of goals with my Arabians. I have some very simple goals for myself at individual shows. I am always looking to plus my spins or stops or to get a 70 in one of my classes. I am always striving to improve my scores with every ride. It is always fun to sometimes win a class or receive the high score for the show, but for me it is more important to improve my rides each time. In the long term, I’d like to possibly get a National Championship in my time as an amateur or youth rider. It would be a dream come true.

A bigger goal for me involves breeding Arabs. I would someday like to breed my own performance horses. I don’t want a large breeding business, just something small, maybe a couple of mares. I someday would like to breed Tea and Nina, as well.

(Emma) What would you say to someone your age who is thinking of making an Arabian their next horse?

(Jessica) Finding the right horse can take time. The Arabian is a versatile breed with classes ranging from Park to Cow Horse and Half-Arabians offer crosses with many breeds such as Quarter Horses and Saddlebreds. The first thing to consider is the discipline you’re doing. This can help decide the breeding and build of the horse. The next is to consider skill level of the rider and the horse. Some can ride a challenging young horse, while some like the seasoned show horse in the ring. The most important factor in my opinion is the personality of the horse and the rider and how they interact and bond. Some will bond instantly while some may take time. The relationship between the horse and rider shows in the ring. A good bond can lead to better patterns and scores within the ranch and cow work. I have found Arabs to be very kind and willing horses. They have huge hearts and lots of courage. Once they bond with a rider, they will do anything for that rider.

(Emma) Parent/Guardian, what has your experience of the Arabian horse as a Youth/Family horse been? Would you encourage other families to select the breed for their children/youths and why?

(Carrie Jacobucci, Jessica’s Mom) I have to admit that I was not a big fan of the Arabian breed for a long time. It took my daughter’s

horse Tea to change my mind. Growing up, I was under the impression that Arabs were spooky, hot-headed horses. When we were shopping for my daughter’s walk-trot horse, I said I wanted an older horse and anything but an Arab. We found Tea, a three-year-old purebred Arabian mare. We bought her because she simply had the best personality. She changed my mind about the breed. She was nothing like what I thought Arabians would be. She was kind and gentle. She babysat my daughter and would only go as much as my daughter asked her to go. Tea has gone from a walk-trot horse showing at small, local 4H shows to an amazing Working Western horse competing nationally.

I can admit when I am wrong, and I was very wrong about Arabians! They really are the best. I would recommend them for any family. They are very versatile horses. Whether a person is looking for a fun family horse or a highly competitive national show horse, there is an Arabian to fit the bill.

Congratulations Jessica on your wonderful accomplishments both in competitions and as an ambassador for the Arabian horse. Wishing you Tea, Nina, and Atreyu continued success!

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