Hidden in plain sight just off busy 66th Street in Pinellas Park sits the Foxwood Farms and Saddlery. Beyond the facility's 45 stalls is a jump ring, complete with obstacles used in competition.
Every day except Monday, that's where you're likely to find Charly Miller. When Miller, 16, isn't busy with competitions, she's likely spending her free time with her horse, Stanley (or Coverboy, as he is known for competitions), practicing for the next event. She enters an average of two events per month.
Miller, who attends St. Petersburg High and is a sophomore in the IB program, recently won the Pinellas County Hunter Association Child/Adult Jumper Division at the fairgrounds in Tampa. It was her third straight win in a PCHA event, and it gets her closer to her goal of attending the National Finals in September in Saugerties, N.Y.
Miller is ranked 17th nationally and needs to stay in the top 40 before the national finals.
Miller, who has been competing for six years, works with Foxwood Farms trainer Georgann Powers. She said she has tried other sports, but once she got on a horse for the first time, she knew she was hooked.
"I absolutely love it," Miller said. "I've never been afraid to get on a horse. I've taken some pretty hard falls, but I've always got back on."
Miller has been with Stanley since January 2007. Her family bought Stanley for $55,000. Then there is the cost of traveling, feeding and keeping the horse at Foxwood Farms. That's the expensive part of the sport.
Miller enjoys the competition. In the Adult/Jumper Division, obstacles are 3 to 6 feet high, and riders must complete the course in a set time. They are judged on time and faults. The fewer the faults, the better the score.
Horse jumping is an Olympic event, but that's far down the road for Miller.
For now, she can't wait to spend her afternoons on horseback.
"I played a lot of other sports, but nothing compares to this," Miller said. "It's a lot of work, but I don't mind any of it. My focus now is to keep doing well so we can go to New York in September."
St. Petersburg's Stefan Frisch won the men's 4.0 singles at the Arbor Greene NTRP tournament May 17-19 at Arbor Greene in Tampa. Frisch defeated Musa Awan 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the final match.
Gerry Barna of St. Petersburg won the men's 4.5 singles, defeating top seed Robert Jolly 7-5, 6-4 for the championship.
• The Memories in Clearwater junior tournament was May 17-19. Palm Harbor's Anastasia Nefedova won the girls 14 singles, defeating Cortney Cesarini 6-1, 6-1 in the final. No player took more than two games in matches against Nefedova. Seminole's Mitchell Radford won the boys 10 singles. Palm Harbor's Mason Beiler came in second in the boys 12 singles. Tierra Verde's Savanna Roy was second in the girls 10 singles.
• St. Petersburg's Skyler Fanning won the boys 10 singles at the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center Local Aces tournament May 19. Fanning defeated Chase Lott 6-2, 6-0.
• Kevin Manning, tennis director and head pro at Shipwatch Yacht and Tennis Club, recently won the Southern Senior tournament in the men's 50 singles in Jackson, Miss.
The 14-under Cyclones baseball team won the U.S. Specialty Sports Association tournament May 18 in Kissimmee. The team won three games in the championship bracket after surviving pool play. The team earned an invite to the USSSA Elite 24 World Series in August. The Cyclones: Justin Disanto, Nick Mazzoni, Dominic Monda, Evan Hock, Peter Drulias, Dalton Martinez, Will Honeycutt, Ryan Valdez, Jeremy Brown, Ben Emery, Connor O'Brien and Chris Frey.
The St. Paul Panthers 9-under team finished second out of 40 teams at the state AAU tournament May 9 at Clearwater's Long Center.
The team: Danny Nuegebauer, Russell Ocampo, Paxton Wilson, Kegan Karnes, Joel Kulaga, Casey Constant, Julian Thompson, Letrell Randall and Kaleb Karns.
Former Lakewood standout Louis Murphy, who plays at the University of Florida, will hold a free football clinic for youths ages 12-15 on June 7 at the Greater St. Petersburg YMCA.
There will be two skills training sessions, one from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and one from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. To register, call 895-9622.
Rodney Page can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8810.