As a kid, did you ever dream of running off and joining the circus? Well, that is exactly what Altoona native Ashley Pletcher did...well sort of.
Ashley began riding ponies when she was about eight years old. Of course, she started with simple riding lessons. Then, she saw trick riding for the first time at The Pennsylvania Horse Expo in Harrisburg. That is when she first saw Tommie Turvey, who specializes in training and working with animals for entertainment.
After talking with Tommie, she discovered that he would be at a trail ride facility near Clarion, PA. So, when she turned twelve, her mom took her to visit and take lessons from Tommie when he would visit the area. He taught her both trick riding and roman riding.
After her seventeenth birthday, she signed on to do an internship with him at his facility in Illinois and then was hired on full-time when she turned eighteen.
This opportunity opened many doors for Ashley. After awhile, she joined a wild west show, where she traveled across he country the for 3 1/2 years.
For the complete interview with Ashley, please check out the upcoming book They Came From Blair County due out by the end of 2020.
**Information for this interview was obtained through an in person interview with Ashley Pletcher
**Photos are from the personal collection of Ashley Pletcher's