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Cat Zimmerman of Morristown, practices with her wild mustang, Comancheria and instructors from Fred Astaire Dance Studio ahead of her national competition in Wisconsin.
Bob Karp

On Tuesday morning, Cat Zimmerman, a 14-year-old from Morristown, and her wild mustang, Comancheria, are headed to Madison, Wisconsin. She’s one of five youths selected nationwide to participate in the Midwest Horse Fair’s Epic Night of the Horse, Youth Star Search Competition.

The event, which runs from Friday to Sunday, is the largest three-day horse fair in America. Some 300 clinics, seminars and educational events will be presented by some of the top horse professionals from around the country. This year, youth trainers were asked to submit an application and video for consideration to perform in the Saturday night grand performance, Epic Night of the Horse. Zimmerman was one of five who were invited.

“I’m so excited,” Zimmerman said. “The other youths are such amazing riders. And while I’m a little nervous about the performance, I’m just glad that I was invited. It’s such an honor, no matter what happens on the night of the competition. Plus I get to hang out with other people who love horses, especially mustangs, as much as I do.”


At 12, Zimmerman began training wild mustangs as part of the…