Shooting rifles and riding horses. Both are rather common occurrences in Moffat County. However, fifteen year old sophomore Dakota Ahlstrom has made an art form out of both. Between school and studying, she is working on refining her skills and competitiveness in both.
For shooting competitions, Ahlstrom shoots a .32 caliber long rifle. She has been competing for two years against her own age group and would like to continue for as long as she can. Ahlstrom has been in six competitions so far and placed first in one of them. She has also won trophies and ribbons in other competitions. Ahlstrom competes in Craig, Meeker and Pueblo. It is possible to receive a scholarship for this sport and Ahlstrom may attempt to earn one.
Ahlstrom also enjoys competing in horseback riding competitions through 4H. She rides Quarter horses including her horses, Jessie and Goose. She has been riding horses since she was a little girl but started riding in 4H when she was 10. Ahlstrom competes in most events including barrel racing, patterns, and gymkhana.
After 15 competitions, Ahlstrom has won first place and received ribbons, a plaque and a belt buckle. Although Ahlstrom has been competing for five years, she doesn’t think that she is going to continue riding competitively after high school. She cites the expense as the main reason. She figures she has spent at least $10,000 in the last five years, two saddles were $1,500 alone. Competing in Craig, Grand Junction, Rifle, Meeker, and Hayden in front of judges who critique Ahlstrom has made her a stronger, more focused competitor.
Ahlstrom was born and raised in Craig with her father, Jason, her mom Stephanie, the secretary at the high school, her sister Kaitlyn, and her two younger brothers, Cody and Wyatt. Ahlstrom said that her favorite sport is shooting competitively.