Name: Courtney Hilty
Where do you live and with who?
I live in Huber Heights, Ohio and I live with my sister Natalie and my parents, Tim and Gretchen Hilty. Walnut Hills Farm is also the home of our three dogs Bridget, Bandit, and KateSpade as well as our six horses and six chickens.
How did you get involved in horses?
I became involved with horses when I was eight years old. We took lessons at the Sullenberger farm in Piqua, Ohio. We started in 4-H at the Miami county fair and later became AQHA members in 2014. Soon after we joined IEA and eventually YEDA. We also joined a rodeo drill team called Midwest Express that later became Silver Lining Drill Team. We now show at the Clark County fair and show with Piper Performance Horses.
What discipline(s)/class(es) do you show in and why did you choose that discipline or class(es)?
When I started out in 2012 with horses, I showed in the barrel racing and pole bending classes. Moving onto an AQHA level, I began with horsemanship, western pleasure and showmanship. This past year in 2017, I showed the all-around which included horsemanship, showmanship, western pleasure, trail, ranch riding, western riding, hunter under saddle, and equitation. I showed the Novice and my age group for nearly all of my classes. I thoroughly enjoyed the all-around and I feel that I have had a great experience for all of these classes. My favorite classes are western pleasure, horsemanship and trail.
What would be possible for you to give up? (something that is not horse related)
I value my school and my friends very much and having the social part of my life at school is very important to me. My school is very unique and the amount of interesting people I meet is incredible and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Tell us something that no one knows about you.
Something that not a lot of people know about me is that I have three older sisters. Natalie is 16, Abby is 29 and Heidi is 31. I am an aunt of two nephews, Graham and Rhett.
Where can we find you when you aren’t at a horse show?
When I am not at a horse show I love to have my friends over and swim in my pond. Hanging out on the farm is a blast and my friends make it all worth it.
What do you see your future self doing?
I would like to attend a school that allows me to ride on a team and compete with other schools in college. I would also like to attend vet school and see where medicine and animals take me.
If you could ride any horse, who would it be and why?
If I could ride any horse, I would ride Wimpys Little Step. I absolutely love reining and i've been to his barn before but I would love to ride him.
What is a goal that you want to accomplish during your time showing horses?
My main goal that I am working towards would be to become a Congress champion by the time my youth years are over. Congress is my favorite show, and there is nothing I love more than watching Congress champion rides and what their strategies are. I learn a lot by watching Congress or World show rides and seeing how they control the horse and how they control their body.
Who is your hero/role model?
My role models are the Tordoff girls. Olivia and Alexia are humble and show grace when it comes to their accomplishments. Their passion towards this association is inspiring and makes me want to be more involved. They not only lead, but they reach out to new members and encourage others to be more involved. I feel lucky to know them and compete in the same state with them.
What is the biggest dream you have accomplished showing horses?
One of the biggest dreams I have accomplished showing horses is placing in the top 15 of novice horsemanship and showmanship at the Congress. In 2016 I was bronze champion in western pleasure at L1 Championships. I also was Reserve Champion at IEA Nationals in 2016. All three of these goals that I accomplished are very special to me and I am blessed to have such an opportunity.
What accomplishment have you achieved outside of the show arena?
Besides riding or showing my horses, I am very involved with my school. I enjoy representing a lot, so this year I was elected the Sophomore’s FFA class president and I also represent our class in personal growth. Another accomplishment I am very proud of is testing into college classes for my sophomore year. I am taking college English and Spanish this year and I hope to take on more for my junior year as well as bump my 4.0 gpa up to a 5.0.
Interviewed by Emma Brown