At home atop a horse, Colorado Springs' Dominic Gibbs is on the ride of his life.
"It has taken me 17 years to become an overnight success so I think every little thing has helped me so much," Gibbs said. "I'm thankful for all of the people who helped me get here."
The 17-year old made history earlier this month, becoming the first in the Centennial State's history to win the Maclay National Championship at the National Horse Show in Lexington (KY) for his pristine equitation work.
"I think people now know that I'm on the map and it's going to open a lot of doors," Gibbs said.
The award is the sport's equivalent of the Heisman trophy and the Equestrian athlete had to compete with 266 other riders to bring home the honor.
"It's the best-of-the-best and one of the most coveted awards for junior riders," Gibbs said.
The former Cheyenne Mountain junior and high school student is currently enrolled in online classes as he pursues his ultimate goal: To become a professional equestrian and one day represent the United States at the Olympic Games.
"I'm on the road for 10 months out of the year," Gibbs said. "It takes a lifetime to accomplish that goal and I'm just hoping to get there eventually."
The only rider to finish "Top 5" in every national equitation final this year, Gibbs is soaking in each opportunity to prove he's not horsing around with his future.
"It has been a long ride, a lot of work but I think it really paid off," Gibbs said.
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