World Renowned Eleven-Year-Old Equestrians The Pegasus Riders



Frank J. Buchman

It will be a return engagement for the Pegasus Riders to the EquiFest of Kansas.
That’s the horse extravaganza at the Saline County Livestock Expo Center and Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina, March 16-19.
Two 11-year-old equestrian performers Maddy Gatrel and Liberty Cunningham specialize in trick riding, roman riding, dance, and horse liberty acts.
These multi-talented kids have performed alongside leading equestrian performers with polished, fast-paced, dynamic acts stunning audiences around the world.
Horses are an essential ingredient of their Pegasus Riders attractions and they have seven show horses. Included are three Paint Horses used for trick riding and roman riding, a Quarter Horse for trick riding, and a Shetland, an Andalusian, and an Arabian used in liberty acts.
Their coach is Jennifer Gatrel, Cowgill, Missouri, who has been obsessed with creating equestrian productions since childhood.
“I grew up trick riding and training horses,” Gatrel said. “I’ve spent much of my adult life performing and training performers and performance horses.”
Gatrel has worked with the Rodeo Kids youth entertainment group, the legendary Dixie Stampede, ostrich racing, and now the Pegasus Riders.
“I love collaboration with talented horse people, and the art of storytelling using shared love of the horse,” Gatrel said. “I believe that a great show makes the audience feel a wide range of emotions, fear, love, joy, and sadness.”

Her shows can be custom designed to suit any audience. She has worked with diverse themes from a Christmas show to a Masquerade Ball on Horseback.
“I have a full inventory of unique costumes, and friendships with many of the leading performance artists in North America,” Gatrel noted.
“Not only are the Pegasus Riders dynamite in the arena or stage, they also are extremely articulate and friendly,” Gatrel said. “They absolutely love meeting and connecting with the audience.”
The elite riders have been clinicians throughout the nation where their clinics have filled the bleachers with standing room only.

That includes Horse World Expo, Equine Affaire, Indiana Equine Roundup, North Dakota Horse Expo, and American Royal.
The girls have done many media interviews and promotion work including television, newspaper, and radio. even featured in Cowgirl Magazine.
“They also have a large social media fan base with more than 35,000 followers,” Gatrel said. “They post daily, including promoting the events they perform.”
Some of their photos have been shared globally with videos receiving more than over 1 million views.
“These two young gals exhibit their skills throughout the country,” Gatrel commented. “They are so excited to make memories and share their passions with audiences.”
Maddy Gatrel has received several personal accolades. One highlight was being named the 2019 International Liberty Horse Association (ILHA) Freestyle Youth Division Champion.
An accomplished contortionist, Maddy can twist and bend her body into strange and unnatural positions. Doing this, she was won the third place with her pony, Razor, at the International Finals Rodeo (IFR) Contract Act Showcase.
An award-winning dancer, barrel racer and rodeo princess, Liberty Cunningham was the 2021 3-C Arena Trick Riding Competition Youth Division Champion. She also winner of 2021 3-C Arena Showcase and top scoring trick riding act at the 2021 IFR Contract Act Showcase.
Pegasus Riders won the 2021 3-C Arena Showcase and was the top scoring trick riding act at the IFR Contract Act Showcase.
Additional Pegasus Riders performances include: Breyerfest, Horse World Expo,
American Royal, Las Vegas Tuffest Junior World Championships, Professional Armed Forces World Championship Rodeo, and Priefert Patriot Best of the Best Invitational Roping.
In addition to Pegasus Riders successes, Gatrel coached Bethany Iles to claim the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Dress Act of the Year. Karla Switzer, another Gatrel trainee, was honored as the Multiple-Discipline Award-Winning Horse Woman.
Pegasus Riders can be followed on social media and are now booking for expos, fairs, rodeos, wild west shows, conventions, and more.
“We would absolutely love to customize a show to meet your unique environment,” Gatrel said. “We would be happy to customize a package to exceed your expectations.”
More about the Pegasus Riders is available from Jennifer Gatrel at 660-232-1280, emailing [email protected], and at
Their schedule and other activities planned for EquiFest of Kansas are available at



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