By Deirdre McCrohan
Three years ago, when Constantine Mavromihalis of Tiburon was turning 10, he spent a week at the Utah ranch of a family friend who shares his birthday. He got to ride horses all day — every day — and hang out with cowboys.
After watching the boy's ease in the saddle and his affinity for horses at such a young age, the ranch owner told Constantine's father: "He's the real horse whisperer."
The ranch's owner happens to be actor and director Robert Redford.
"He said I was a very, very good rider," Constantine says.
Now 13 and in eighth grade at Del Mar Middle School, Constantine is as passionate about horses and riding as ever. Earlier this year, for the princely sum of $1, he bought a 20-year-old Arabian mare being considered for retirement and helped teach her to jump for the first time.
Last month ago, he and Bellamy, his beloved mare, rode and jumped to champion success, taking eight first-place medals, two second-place medals and two third-place medals at a show-jumping competition at Morningstar Farm stables in western Novato.
They also brought home the champion trophy for racking up the greatest number of overall points.
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