8-year-old cowgirl wins championship

This graphic, provided by The Patriot and the Townsend family, shows Ava Grace Townsend on her pole horse, Robin, in competition. Her time of 39.387 over two runs, a full second over her closes competitor, cinched the championship.

Ava Grace Townsend, 8, of Natchitoches was named champion of the 19 and Under High Stakes Poles in The Patriot in Las Vegas earlier this month. The Patriot is the host of America’s richest combined equine events. Each year it brings together the past, present and future of the most entertaining of competitive cowboy events.

In addition, Townsend ran at Glen Rose, Texas, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. She qualified for the Jr. American in March and won the high stakes on Wednesday. Her pole horse is 14-year-old Robin. She also qualified for the Jr. American in barrels on her horse, Josey. Townsend and her equine athletes will compete at the Jr. American in Fort Worth, Texas, the first week in March.

She is sponsored by Bleach Baby, OE Nutraceuticals, Team Tin Haul and Troxel Helmets. She competes regularly in the National Little Britches Association.

Townsend is in the third grade at Magnolia Bend Academy.

She is the daughter of J.C. and Nora Townsend.

Ava Grace Townsend and Robin
Courtesy Photo
Ava Grace Townsend at The Patriot in Las Vegas, Nev.