We hear about pageants such as Miss Indiana, Miss America, Miss USA and so forth. One Evansville Native took this pageant to a whole new industry!

Evansville native, Gabi Hurley has been around horses her whole life. Her mother owns Night Sun Stables here in Evansville and she was a 10 year 4-H member. Growing up around horses it was inevitable she would take to the equine industry, quite nicely. Gabi is a marketing student at USI who maintains two part time jobs and still finds time for her passion, horses. While that may only mean feeding them during the week and riding on the weekends, she still finds the time.

Photo: Kendra

Growing up in the Equine industry, Gabi competed in several local shows and even traveled for some as well, winning several trophies, ribbons, and buckles! Yes, if you aren't familiar with the equine industry, you can earn "buckles" in place of a trophy. Hence the "western" style of riding theme. Gabi's mom, Carmen Hurley, has always pushed her because as any mother would say, she knows her potential. Carmen introduced Gabi to the Indiana Horse Council which is a non-profit "dedicated to the well-being of the horse industry." There are several scholarships, resources, and benefits to being a member of the IHC. Carmen knew Gabi had the opportunity to be part of something special with IHC.

Photo: Kendra

When Carmen first brought up competing in the Miss Indiana Horse Council pageant, Gabi shot it down. She thought she wasn't the pageant type. After much persuasion, Gabi agreed to give it her best shot. After several trips to Indianapolis, where the Indiana Horse Council is headquartered, several rounds of cuts, Gabi was in the top ten and had to compete in the horse portion. Of course, this wasn't just any pageant because most pageants don't involve a "horse" round. Due to a snow storm, Gabi couldn't take her horse, Nitro. She had to borrow a horse but in the end it all worked out. She was crowned Miss Congeniality of the Indiana Horse Council.

Photo: G. Hurley

Since being crowned Miss Congeniality, Gabi has made several appearances locally and statewide. In fact, 2018 was the second year in a row she was crowned Miss Congeniality. In my opinion, that says a lot about someone to win the same title two years in a row.

When asked of her future plans, Gabi plans to graduate with her college next December and obtain a job within sales. In the mean time and foreseeable future, Gabi and Nitro will be at as many local shows as possible.