Bryce Nickells is already making her way into the horse industry. At the age of nine, she participates in nearly everything horse related around Anderson, Ind. and was recently featured in the December issue of “Youth Beats,” the special section of “Hoof Beats” produced by the U.S. Trotting Association.
The article talks about Bryce’s love of horses and her involvement in harness racing. She currently owns four horses, including Casper, a 30-year-old white rescue that has been a teacher to her in learning to ride and care for horses. She also gets instruction from her mom, Brooke, a trainer-driver at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, as well as her grandfather, Bruce, who is a Hall of Fame trainer in the Standardbred racing industry.
Bryce is also an owner on Willey Bite along with trainer Tim Clevenger for the Nickells barn. Willey Brite gave Bryce her first win as an owner Nov. 3 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, paying $24.60 to win with John DeLong in the race bike in 1:53.2. Bryce was trackside to welcome her horse into the winner’s circle.
Bryce and her mother always participate in all equine costume contests at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Their creative costumes have ranged from a race car driver, dressing a horse up as a race car, to Cruella de Ville, dressing up Casper as a dalmatian. This year’s Halloween costume entry was a birthday party featuring Casper as a pinata, Brooke as a birthday cake and Bryce as a clown.
Bryce also competes in the show ring and rides English and is working on her skills for the event classes. She often accompanies her mom on trail rides and showcased her love of horses in her school class projects the past two years, dressing up in her mom’s colors and her grandfather’s helmet. In the article, the nine-year-old Bryce noted, “Some people don’t have as good a world as we do. Horses make a difference whether you ride or take care of them. They make you feel better.”
Wise words spoken from the next generation of stars in the Standardbred racing industry.