‘Shoot like a girl’: Country’s youngest competitive horse archer inspires Ashland community

Human Interest

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 12-year-old girl is awing the local and international community after competing in an world-wide athletic tournament inspired by ancient warriors.

Arwen Adams is the country’s youngest competitive horse archer and calls Ashland, Virginia home.

“Horses are a part of my heart and so is archery. So if you combine them together, it just makes it even better,” Adams said.

She shoots like a girl and wants everyone to know it. “I have beaten many boys. I have beaten grown men, I’ve beaten grown women,” Adams said. “What matters is the skill that you have.”

Over the summer and into this winter, 32 countries competed at the World Grand Prix competition. Adams is the youngest person on the U.S. team.

“Even if we’re competing against each other, we’re still rooting for everybody,” Adams said.

Because of COVID-19, the athletes didn’t all meet in one country. Instead, they stayed in their home countries and official results were reported.

“It was really fun,” she said.

The U.S. team scored second place in the youth category. Adams and her horse Prince scored some personal first places as well. “He’s a really good horse. I’m proud of him,” she said.

Arwen began the sport about two years ago, when she was 10. With help from her mom, dad, and trainer, she’s grown to be quite good at it. She said it’s her favorite hobby.

Now, she’s starting a club called “Heart of a Warrior” to get others interested in horse archery. She said several people have already joined, including some people more than 10 years older than her. She said some as young as 8-years-old are picking the sport up quickly.

“We’ve helped all of them along and now most of them have their own bows and arrows. They’re practicing at home and they’re doing their best to get better,” Adams said.

The 12-year-old said she hopes horse archery is an Olympic sport some day.


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