By Jeremy Wallace
TROY — A big brother is letting his little sister fill his boots — and take the reins — next year at the Miami County Fair.
Austin, 18, and Sera Rush, 9, are siblings and so are their horses, Paris and Booker. Austin began his love of horses when he was only 4 and has had a passion for them ever since. Austin won the overall Showmanship championship, Western Horsemanship Championship and Overall Champion this year at the Miami County Fair.
Breaking in a horse is something that is usually done by trainers or professionals, but Austin took on the task himself. There is a lot of difficulty with teaching them to trot, walk properly and even be able to ride, he said. This can take many months or even years for some horses, according to Austin.
“Most horses are broke in by trainers, this is something most teenagers don’t normally do. It only took me a year to train Paris,” Austin Rush said.
Paris 6, and Booker 11, who are double registered as Paint and Pinto, were both at the fair this year. Austin used Booker, who is brown and white, to win his trophies. Sera used Paris, who is gray, to win her trophy.
“I got Austin Paris for Christmas a few years ago to train and break to ride. This horse came directly out of a pasture and knew nothing. Austin wanted a challenge,” the duo’s mother, Bobi Konicki said.
Austin Rush is on his 10th year of 4-H. He will soon going away to college at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, where he will take business management and entrepreneurship later this month.
He also won second in the nation for youth halter in Tulsa, Okla. The U.S. Nationals were held in Columbus at the Ohio State Fairgrounds before it grew too big.
He let his sister use his horse, Paris, this year to show and she won first in her class at the fair during her first year of 4-H.
“I think I can handle it because my brother has helped me and he helps other 4-H members, too,” Sera said.
“I seen my brother working with horses and I wanted to do it, too. I also like wearing the outfits and make-up,” Sera said.
Austin still wants to train and help other members of 4-H when he can. When he completes school, he wants to come back to Miami County and start a business where he trains horses and gives lessons. Another goal Rush has after he graduates is to breed Paris and train her offspring.
He is currently training two horses for a friend — a stallion and a mare.
“He takes time out of his busy schedule to help his sister and other young 4-H kids with their projects. His hard work has paid off,” Konicki said.
Jeremy Wallace can be reached at 937-552-2199 or follow him on Twitter @TroyDailyNews