Boston Heights resident Kiernan Skolnik, a freshman at Nordonia High School, recently earned her first high school varsity letter in a very unorthodox fashion.

Skolnik has been riding Western-style equestrian for years as a member of the Saddle Seekers 4-H club in Twinsburg and through the Summit County Saddle Horse Association.

So far this season, Skolnik has competed in three competitions, scoring two first-place finishes, two fourth-place finishes, two fifth-place finishes and two sixth-place finishes.

Because there are no sanctioned high school equestrian programs in Ohio, the United State Equestrian Federation -- the country's governing body -- established the USEF High School Varsity Letter Program. To be eligible, high school age riders must record 100 hours of riding and compete in at least three competitions during a program year (June 1 to May 31).

Skolnik met these requirements and received her varsity letter from USEF.

When word of this accomplishment reached Nordonia High School principal Casey Wright, he sought to recognize Skolnik. With the permission of superintendent Joe Clark, Wright designed the Nordonia Letter of Excellence and presented it Skolnik.

Wright noted his letter will presented in the future to Nordonia students who excel outside the realm of normal varsity letter accomplishments.

Wright also presented Skolnik with a personal letter congratulating her on her accomplishments.

Skolnik next plans to compete at the Summit County Open Show July 13 and the Summit County Fairgrounds July 22 to 28 in Tallmadge.


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