Kara Kaufmann grew up around horses in Stroudsburg with her grandmother since she was 4. In 2013 Kaufmann named the American Quarter Horse Association Rookie of the year in horsemanship. She's won 28 national titles from 2007 until this year and competes in barrel racing and jumping.
"I don't think my grandparents knew how much it would actually become a sport for me. My grandparents breed and raise appaloosa horses in Stroudsburg. It just started as something that I would go and do with them, and it just involved into this thing where I wanted to do it every weekend, and I became very competitive at it and it was just amazing how much I just connected with the sport," said Kara.
Kaufmann joins the Equestrian team at Auburn University in the fall fresh off an SEC title and national championship.
"I 'm like thrilled to be joining a great team and the leaders on the team are just amazing, and the coaching staff. When you pick the right school you just go on campus and you just know that's the school and you just have that home feeling and that's what I felt when I immediately stepped on Auburn's campus," again said Kara.
Kara's graduates here from Notre Dame East Stroudsburg in a few weeks then she heads down to Georgia to start training with her horse Absolute Good Time, but she likes to call him "Mikey".
"The whole point of horsemanship is to make it look like you are actually not telling the horse to do anything. So the whole purpose of it is to show that the horse actually knows the pattern on its own. So it's a lot about position and how you work with your horse, and communication, and having that bond with your horse," added Kara.
At only 18 years old Kara has competed all over the US, now she trains to someday represent her country in the Olympics.