It is not every day that a teenager has the opportunity to address the Georgia House of Representatives but sixteen year-old Brianne Bielecki of Logansville, Georgia was the first person in the state of Georgia to be recognized for her sport of horseback riding earlier this year. Bielecki was honored with a resolution and spoke to the House which was featured on RFD-TV.
"Since she won two PHBA world championship titles, they decided to vote
on a resolution honoring her achievements as a youth equine athlete," states Rebecca Hardman, who is Brianne's proud mother.
"She is the first youth equine athlete in Georgia to be honored with an
official state resolution. She was given the opportunity to witness the
resolution being passed, and invited to speak to the House of
Representatives. It was a great honor and so exciting! I was really
proud of how poised and articulate she was, because she wasn't expecting
it at all."
The multiple PHBA World Champion has her special golden partner, Dunit In Our Class (Vista) to thank for this impressive award and life changing experiences over the past several years.
"Reaching my dream of becoming a world champion with Vista is probably my proudest accomplishment. I owe much of my success to Vista because without him, I don’t think I would have had the courage," Brianne states. "He has been an inspiration in my life. It’s also very humbling to know that Vista and I have so many supporters--one in particular is Maggie Bellville. She rides as a select in AQHA. Her encouragement, advice, and love for the youth has been an inspiration to me and I love her to death."
One thing to note is that her palomino horse, Vista is reiner bred and by Hollywood Dun It. He doesn't have the "look" of a pleasure horse, but Brianne's mother, Rebecca Hardman, says that her daughter really wanted to show him at AQHA shows, so Hardman contacted trainer Rob Meneely from Stockbridge, Georgia.
"I knew no one from the AQHA world and used the 'locate a trainer' tool on the AQHA website. We were lucky to find him because he allowed her to show her own horse, even though Vista had a lot of work to do to become competitive," Rebecca recalls. "In her first year, she didn't have much success at all, and got discouraged, but she refused to give up and worked many hours with him to improve."
This proud mom adds, "I want to emphasize that without that hard work, none of her success would've happened - it doesn't just happen by chance. This process developed a mentally tough youth with a strong character and great sportsmanship."
Brianne says that Vista is a very special horse to her family. "He always takes care of his riders. He has a very business-like personality and loves having a job to do. He hates being loved on but he is very gentle, kind, and forgiving of mistakes," she explains."Vista is so calm that I never lunge him at horse shows. He’s always been a safe and good horse to take out on trail rides. He’s so much fun to ride because he’s so smooth. I spent a lot of time riding him bareback."
Even though his roots are in reining, he can do it all from jumping to trail. Vista’s developed so many nicknames over the years including: Golden Boy, Vista Cruiser, Mr. V, or “that little yella horse!”
Bielecki says that Vista is very food motivated and loves bananas. This duo has been multiple state champions, all-around winners, five-time AQHA Regional Champions and four-time reserve Regional Champions as well as winning both the Novice and the Youth 14-18 High point saddles. Other awards include, PHBA World Champions in Showmanship and Horsemanship, and Reserve Golden Horse for Novice Youth at the PHBA World Show. The team was also finalists in Horsemanship at the All American Quarter Horse Congress.
"I love showing palominos. I’m so honored to be able to own and show one because there are not many out there," says Brianne. "I always get compliments on Vista--not just because of his beauty but his demeanor. I’m very grateful for the horse show industry--mostly because they offer the youth so many opportunities. I’m very lucky to be a part of so many great associations like PHBA, AQHA, and GQHA."
At the end of last year, Bielecki decided to lease Vista to an 11 year-old young girl from South Carolina so that he could make another girl's dreams come true. "It's so rewarding to know that another youth will have a partner who can teach her and take her to new heights," says Brianne's mother, Rebecca.
Bielecki is now leasing a new horse, Wrappdnchocolatchips, who is owned by Doris Distel and showing on the AQHA circuit in the all-around events.
"He's a sweet horse and he's making me a better rider. I've already won a few Youth All Arounds with him and he earned his youth ROM with me in five shows. I'm really looking forward to a great year with him," she says.
This current Georgia Youth Quarter Horse Association President said she would like to continue riding in college on an equestrian team.
"I want to be an inspiration for those who have big dreams of their own. I’d like to inspire and encourage people of all ages," she says.
Bielecki says she would like to thank her trainers Dawn Lovern and Rob Meneely, Maggie Bellville, and PHBA President Terry Goble for giving her the opportunity to be recognized by the state of Georgia as well as the Georgia Equine Commodities Commission.