Samantha J. Mende, who studied early childhood education at Carroll Community College, had also ridden together with Ms. Cook at Tack 'N Trot since she was 6.
"She was an absolutely beautiful and talented rider. She had great positions and was always smiling and had her focus," said Ms. Mende, who lives in Hampstead. "And she always gave her students her full attention."
The two young women enjoyed casual rides across the fields together.
"Kara was just a great person to be around and with," said Ms. Mende.
Ms. Cook was also a talented artist.
"She loved to paint abstractly and was not limited to canvas. She painted large-scale murals that represented the many facets of her relationships," her father said.
"She also painted ceramics," said her mother.
Ms. Cook enjoyed vacations and spending time with her family.
"Kara loved the outdoors. She said she always wanted to go sky diving. She liked challenges like going to a race track and racing horses. She thought that would be neat," said her mother. "She had a bit of a wild spirit but was never afraid."
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at St. John's Episcopal Church, 3738 Butler Road, Glyndon.
In addition to her parents, Ms. Cook is survived by her sister, Caitlin Cook of Annapolis; paternal grandparents, Roy and Jean Cook of East Berlin, Pa.; maternal grandmother, Shirley Miraflor of Jacksonville, Fla.; and her boyfriend, Paul Hogan of Reisterstown.
Kara Marian Cook
Competitive rider also enjoyed teaching children horseback riding
Kara M. Cook (Baltimore Sun / April 25, 2012)