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A centerfold finish for Emma




By Sadie Fowler

The Money Tree Classic made for a big moment for first-time exhibitor Emma Wright, 8, who captured her first blue ribbon aboard José Centerfold in the Youth 11 & Under class. The daughter of trainer Casey Wright, Emma has grown up around horses but this was her first time to hit the show ring.

“Yes, she kind of just came out of nowhere,” said her mom, Lindsey Wright. “She’s always ridden with her daddy, but this was the first horse she really has ridden and practiced with on her own.”

José Centerfold is a mare owned by Bill Wright; she has an impressive résumé of her own. She’s been in training with Casey for a long time and has collected many winning ribbons over the years, including two from this year’s Celebration. She won the amateur mares and geldings class this year with Bill Williams on board and another class with Michael Wright, Emma’s uncle and Casey’s brother, in the saddle. Lindsey said Emma had been riding, and hoping to show, but plans were not actually solidified until a couple days before she actually showed at Money Tree. 

“Mr. Bill is a good friend and has been with Casey a long time,” she said. “He really wanted her to be able to show. We actually had her a suit made during the Celebrations, but you just never know. We didn’t tell her until that Wednesday and she showed Friday.”

Lindsey said she was more nervous watching Emma show than her father, who was calm and confident in the easy-going mare being the perfect fit for Emma’s first time out. 

Centerfold won her first Celebration blue with Williams in 2012 — the same year Casey won the three-year-old stake at the Celebration aboard I Am José. Centerfold was foaled in 2005, is sired by José José, and she’s always been her favorite horse at the barn. Emma spoils her with carrots and treats often. When not at the barn, Emma enjoys normal things little girls like such as softball and school. She loves Kentucky basketball. 
“She had a blast showing and the first thing she said was, ‘can I do that again?’” Lindsey laughed. The show season is winding down but horses and showing are definitely in Emma’s blood. 

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