The crowd was not expecting the magical twists, turns, and glitter (all literal!) that they got when 23-year-old Laura Sumrall, of Summit, Mississippi, took to the floor of the Kentucky Reining Cup. The already reining “Miss Rodeo Mississippi” entered wearing a dramatic purple cape on her stunning horse, Wimpys Top Model, and what happened next took the crowd (and the judges) by storm.
The Kentucky Reining Cup is a celebrated annual showcase of skill and athleticism in the world of trained ranch horses and their exceptional riders. Laura, who at the time of competing was still a student, was senior captain of the women’s equestrian team at Texas A&M University. Her performance was masterfully inspired by Disney’s Frozen and was set to the iconic tune of “Let It Go.”
It was a choice that Laura wouldn’t regret.
In a video posted by US Equestrian on YouTube, the young rider slowly removes her mysterious purple cape to reveal her amazing costume underneath; a sparkling blue gown of several layers, covering the horse’s rump, and perfectly emulating the outfit of the seminal Disney character Elsa from Frozen. Laura begins her performance with an impressive stationary spin on the tall, graceful horse before breaking into an elegant trot to cross the floor. As the song rises and falls and eventually hits its peak, Laura and Wimpys’s movements magically reflect the ebb and flow of the music.
Laura and Wimpys are clearly old friends; the young girl handles her horse companion with skill and confidence, and their performance is not only seamless but joyful. “That actually gave me chills,” one commentator shares as the performance ends and the audience bursts into riotous applause.
The judges’ final score is delivered after a brief and expectant pause: an amazing 224.5! Or, in other words, good. Very, very good. “You go girl!” Laura can be heard saying to her beautiful horse, while laughing joyfully and tousling the horse affectionately on its neck. It will come as no surprise to anybody who watches the glorious footage of Laura and Wimpys’s performance that the pair came away as the winners of the whole competition.
But where on earth did the idea to dress up as Elsa come from in the first place? Laura attributes this genius idea to her mom, and it has stood the test of time. To this day, horse lovers, Frozen lovers, and kids around the world adore Laura and Wimpys’s performance so much that the video has been viewed over 14 million times. Four years down the line, viewers are still talking about it. “This really gave me the chills!” wrote one. “Such a deep connection between those two.” Another agreed wholeheartedly, saying: “Amazing horse and so responsive! What a lovely creature. Rider was very impressive with her reining skills, wow! Makes it look so easy.”
Some chimed in with humorous and very relatable comments, such as: “That horse is living what has been my dream since I first saw Frozen.” Oh, we concur!
Laura herself was delighted that her performance reached and inspired so many. “I’ve inspired a lot of little girls to really go out there and ride their ponies,” she said, “which makes me really happy.”