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Young Rider Mia Duke


By Heidi Duke

Young Rider Mia Duke is 9 years old and has grown up riding horses and ponies. She comes by her horse habit naturally since her mom has been riding and horse showing hunters and jumpers with Spring Mill Farms for 30 years.  Mia lives on a small farm in Hernando, Mississippi with her family, where she is home schooled. She also rides and trains her pony at Spring Mill Farm in Eads, Tennessee. 

Her earliest days in the show ring were in the Lead Line class at the Germantown Charity Horse Show, Germantown, Tenn., in 2014 and 2015, where she was led by Spring Mill trainer Dave Pellegrini. Her latest success was winning Champion in the Short Stirrup division on “Anna” at the 2021 Germantown Charity Horse Show. She was also 2020 Mississippi Hunter Jumper Association Year End Champion in the Walk/Trot division, riding medium Paint pony Queen Cleopatra. She has also competed in Pee Wee barrels on her Grammy’s (Barbara Davis) horse “Reba.” 

Heidi Duke interviewed Mia about her involvement with horses and ponies.

1.         Who influenced you to ride hunter/ jumpers?
My mom.

2.         What was your most celebrated moment?
When I won my first short stirrup division on a pony named “Anna.”

3.         What is your favorite clothing item to wear in the show ring?
        My green show coat, but I can’t wait to wear my new shadbelly!

4.         How would you describe yourself?
Funny, nice, hard working, and caring.

5.         What grade are you in?
I am in third grade.

6.         What is your favorite subject?
Language arts; I love to read! [Her current favorite books are the Warrior Cats series.]

7.         What is your most overused phrase?
“Yes sir; I heard you daddy.”

8.         What is your favorite horse show you attended?
Germantown Charity, Germantown, Tenn.

9.         What was the name of your first horse or pony?
Dr. Pepper was my first horse. [Dr Pepper is her 30 year old Quarter Horse that she has been riding since she was 2. He’s always perfect.] 

10.      What do you like to do besides ride horses?
I like to ride my dirt bike, go swimming, and ride my hoverboard.

11.      Who is your favorite singer?
Bruno Mars

12.      How many siblings do you have?
I have two older brothers: Matthew, 24 and Micah, 17.

13.      What do you want to be when you grow up?
A professional horse rider like my mom

14.      What was your favorite Halloween costume over the years?
When I dressed up as an equestrian with my stick horse.

15.      Who are your best friends?
Joshua, Delaney, Ellis, Penelope, Isla, and Grace.  I don’t have a particular favorite.

16.      Do you have other animals besides horses?
I have two dogs, a bird, and my cat Pikachu.

17.      What is your favorite movie?
“The Black Stallion”

18.      How old were you when you rode in your first horse show?
I did the Lead Line at the Germantown Charity when I was 2.

19.      What division are you riding in now and what is your division goal?
I want to go to Pony Finals in the Small Pony Division with my Welsh pony “Nugget.” 

20.      What is your goal with horse riding?
To be a jumper rider like Madison Hill, but still ride ponies and get catch rides.

[Madison Hill is a Junior rider who trains with Dave Pellegrini.]

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