Meet Amber Cherry Meeker


Amber is serving as the 2019-2020 Youth Reporter for SCQHYA.

Amber is a freshman at Hammond School in Columbia, SC and has been riding since the age of 5. She loves everything equestrian and has ridden on IEA western teams (Horsemanship and Reining) since 6th grade. In the 8th Grade, Amber branched out into ranch riding through ARHA / GRHA and crossed over to IEA Huntseat Equitation on the Flat and Over Crossrails. (Draining her parents pocketbooks, but having a great time… ) Last year, Amber also began coming to AQHA / SCQHA shows and completed her first year at the October Spooktacular with her partner “Fancy” (UGA Flippin’ Dun It).

Amber is active in her church life at Riverland Hills Baptist Church, where she attends regularly and volunteers for Vacation Bible School, a Christmas Party for Jesus, and other activities. She is an intern at Riverbanks Zoo through their “ZooTeen” program. She is on the honor roll at Hammond and received a National Spanish Merit Recognition Award in May of 2018. She holds a black belt in karate and is currently working on her second degree.

Amber’s faced some challenges to her riding – the summer of 2016, her beloved horse Coosa (Coosa Classic) kicked out at a fly and hit her by mistake, moving the growth plate and fracturing the femur in her leg. For 10 weeks of her summer, she was practically immobile. However, through perseverance, she pushed through the recovery, physical therapy, and continued IEA competition to make it to Nationals that year. This past December, she faced another surgery: corrective spinal surgery for scoliosis. This 8 hour procedure was harrowing, but she’s recovering well and looking forward to riding this season. Her first horse show since surgery is coming up June 2019.

SCQHYA / AQHA Accomplishments

Amber started competing with her partner, Fancy (aka “UGA Flippin’ Dun It”) in March of 2018. She has really enjoyed SCQHYA and her favorite classes are Ranch Riding and Reining.

  • Circuit Champion, Novice Youth Reining, March 2018
  • SCQHA 3rd place, Novice Youth Reining, 2018 (tied with her sister, Piper)
  • SCQHA 6th place, Novice Youth Ranch Riding, 2018
  • SCQHA 5th place, Youth Ranch Riding, 2018
  • SCQHA 9th place, Youth Reining, 2018
  • SCQHA 2nd place, Youth Aged Mares 2018
  • SCQHA 5th place, Aged Mares 2018

IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association)

IEA is an association designed for riders who do not own their own horse to compete as both an individual and a team for riders in 6th-12th grade. They have Western, Huntseat, and Dressage and next year are expanding to include 4th and 5th grade riders. Coaches bring horses to the competition and riders draw a horse and, with no time to practice, take the horse into the show pen.

In IEA, Amber has competed both as an individual and on a team. She is currently a member of the Flamekissed Equestrian Team (Western) with Amanda Pope and Creekside Equestrian Team (Huntseat) with Adrian Mack.

Individual Accomplishments (2018/2019): (Season runs from August 2018 through June 2019) with Flamekissed Equestrian Team

  • Regional Qualifier, Varsity Intermediate Horsemanship
  • Regional Qualifier, Varsity Intermediate Reining

Team Accomplishments (2018/2019) (Season runs from August 2018 through June 2019) with Flamekissed Equestrian Team

  • Regional Qualifier
  • Semifinals Qualifier

Team Accomplishments (2018/2019) (Season runs from August 2018 through June 2019) with Creekside Equestrian Team

  • Regional Qualifier

Individual Accomplishments (Previous Seasons):

In previous seasons, Amber has been a regional, zone, and national qualifier every year for the three years she has participated, last year attaining a 5th place individual ribbon for horsemanship. Her team has also made it to Nationals each of the last three years and last year was the first place middle school team in the nation for IEA.

ARHA (American Ranch Horse Association)

(from their website) The American Ranch Horse Association ‘ARHA’ is a national association that promotes and values the true versatile working ranch horse. Our association provides a friendly and family orientated environment where ranch horses can compete at an elite level to exhibit their versatile skills and abilities. We are open to western stock-quarter type breeds and we encourage participation from horses on the ranch, trail, or in the show ring.

Amber competes in ARHA through the Georgia Ranch Horse Association. Some of her favorite classes include Ranchmanship, Ranch Reining, Reining, Trail, and Horsemanship. She placed 9th at the 2018 ARHA World Show in Ranchmanship and was voted Most Improved Youth Rider for her region.

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