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Youth Spotlight: J. Parker Watts




(Editor’s Note: The following Q&A took place between the Walking Horse Report’s editorial director Sadie Fowler and youth rider J. Parker Watts.)

WHR:
Tell me about yourself in a nutshell. 

Watts:
My name is J.Parker Watts. I am nine years old. I’ll turn 10 during Celebration this year. I live in Summit, Mississippi with my mom, dad and my little brother, Jackson. I’m in the 4th grade at Brookhaven Academy. The most important thing to me is my family.

WHR:
Tell me about your journey into the horse world. How did you get started? What has riding taught you?

Watts:
I’m in the horse world because my papaw and my dad train walking horses. Riding has taught me to focus. When I ride, all my papaw and my dad tell me is to focus J.Parker...focus, focus, focus! 

WHR:
Tell me what it is about the Tennessee Walking Horse that attracts you most. 

Watts:
I like the horse show people.

WHR:
Who is your favorite horse of all time? Tell me in your words what makes this horse so special to you. 

Watts:
Erica. She’s special to me because I have never lost on her.

WHR:
What do you most enjoy about the show horse industry in terms of what it provides you with things like friendships and new experiences (outside the show ring). Do you have a best friend you’ve met through your participation in horse shows?

Watts:
The thing I enjoy most about the horse show industry is the people I have been able to meet. I enjoy traveling to the shows. I like playing with other kids at the shows.

WHR:
Who is your trainer? Describe to me what he or she is like, from your perspective as a student of riding. 

Watts:
My trainer is my dad. He’s a basketball coach when he’s not at the barn, so he likes to yell a lot.

WHR:
What has been your most special moment in the show ring?

Watts: Any time I win!

WHR:
Tell me about your world outside of horses. What do you do for hobbies? What grade are you in and what comes next for you in terms of education? What do you want to do professionally? 

WHR:
I’m taking tennis lessons now. I like swimming and driving my little brother around in the woods on my rzr. I’m in the 4th grade now, so I guess 5th grade comes next. I’m looking forward to that because my nana will be my teacher. When I grow up, I want to be an American Ninja Warrior.  

WHR:
What is one new thing you would love to learn?

Watts:
I would love to learn how to jump with my horse.

WHR:
Who is someone you admire and why?

Watts:
I admire my Uncle Ryan, because he does neat movie stuff.

WHR:
If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be and what would you have for dinner? 

Watts:
Donald Trump. We’d have spaghetti.

WHR:
Who is your favorite American president and why?

Watts:
Donald Trump. He’s the only president I know.

WHR:
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone brand new to the horse show world?

Watts:
When you just start riding it may seem hard, but if you keep practicing it gets easier.

WHR:
What is one of your goals for the upcoming year in regard to horses? Non-horse related goals?

Watts:
My goal when it comes to horses is to win.  My other goal is to make good grades. My mom told me I’ll get $10 for every 100 I make at school, so I want the money! 

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