Clinton native Abby Gates is a sophomore at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky.

Recently, she was a featured scholar and talked about her dreams. Gates founded the VBC HERO Ride for Life in Van Buren County when she was in the EAST Initiative program at Clinton High School.

"I dreamed of being an Equine Scholar since I first discovered the program at Rolex Kentucky," Gates said. She said she stumbled upon the Equine Scholars’ booth at a trade fair. The program, she said, provided her with "an outlet to learn about and network within the equine industry."

The trip to Kentucky became an annual family vacation, Gates said.

While in school at Clinton, Gates was involved in 4-H. The Ride for Life event was a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Gates has two horses, Rocky, a 13-year-old paint, and Jack, a 3-year-old quarterhorse. Her family also has six more horses, Tennessee Walkers and a Missouri Fox Trotter. After a lifetime of western riding, Gatets began riding English about six years ago.

"I ride for pleasure," Gates said in the school interview. "I enjoy trail riding, and simply taking care of my horses. … Maybe someday I’ll try competing."

Gates majors in Environmental Science, and will pursue veterinary school after graduation.