A Wheatley Heights teen has worked to excel at both competitive horsemanship and being a volunteer firefighter.
Jaden Diggs, a senior at St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington, became involved in the equestrian field just two years ago and has been paying for lessons and show fees by working in the stables at the Thomas School of Horsemanship in Melville. Equestrian shows typically cost about $400, he said.
Diggs' equestrian-related achievements include riding with the Thomas School's Farmstead Equestrian Team and placing second as a member of that team at a regional competition hosted by the Interscholastic Equestrian Association in 2019. He also has been named "Champion of the Day" in multiple shows at the Thomas School and "Reserved Champion" of his competing division at a Winners Circle Hunters Isle Horse Show in 2019.
"I enjoy the competitiveness," Diggs said. "To be able to compete against people who have been riding for multiple years and win a round or a horse show meant the world to me."
Diggs, 18, is also a volunteer firefighter for the Wyandanch Fire Department and a volunteer emergency medical services member for Bay Shore Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance, the latter for which he volunteers up to 100 hours a month. In addition, he is president of his school's Students Against Destructive Decisions Club.