Sungkharom finds horse riding passion without competing


Submitted Leona Sungkharom

Sophomore Leona Sungkharom continues to take riding lessons every Saturday at Lil Folk Farm in Holliston. After 11 years, Sungkharom has continued to be a recreational rider only.

Srishti Kaushik, Staff Writer

English horseback riding has been an important part of sophomore Leona Sungkharom’s life for 11 years. She chooses not to compete to focus on her passion for the sport and her connections with the horses.

Sungkharom’s interest in horseback riding sparked when she was four during a friend’s birthday party at a stable, and she began taking lessons at Lil’ Folk Farm in Holliston.

“I thought it was fun so I started riding as well,” Sungkharom said.

Sungkharom has lessons on Saturdays for an hour but has to arrive there half an hour early to groom and tack her horse, which involves putting all the riding equipment on her horse. 

In her lessons, Sungkharom, who rides a different horse each time, works on getting the horse to listen to her along with various horseback riding skills. 

“Recently we’ve been doing verticals [a type of jump], so that has been fun,” Sungkharom said.

Sungkharom’s favorite part of riding is the opportunity to work with the horses. Although she does not compete, she diligently practices her horseback riding skills.

Sungkharom’s father, John Palmer, is proud of her continued interest in horseback riding.

“She doesn’t ride competitively, rather for herself,”  John Palmer said. “There must be something that she truly loves about horseback riding, for she has chosen to continue it for over 10 years, without our prompting and, I imagine, for the pure pleasure of riding and being with her horse.” 

The bond and connection Sungkharom has formed with the horses is an important part of her life that she says she will remember in her future.

“The main reason I still ride is because of the horses,” Sugkharom said. 

Palmer appreciates the continued interest his daughter shows in riding and how it gives her focus and concentration.

“I just hope that she carries this love of riding with her for the rest of her life,” Palmer said.