In the equestrian world we are seeing a vast youth movement as an ever-growing group of individuals under the age of 30 is shaping the future of the sport in and out of the competition arena. In this vein, the editors of Equestrian Magazine have decided to compile a list of 30 game changers under the age 30. Some of the names may be familiar to you, while others might be new faces. Whether it is on the field of play, in the barn, or behind the scenes, these young men and women are making a lasting impact on the sport they love and will shape the future for years to come.
We can’t encompass all the outstanding equestrians under the age of 30, but we hope to introduce you to some that stood out to us.Rachel Gottlieb
Photo Provided by Rachel Gottlieb
Rachel Gottlieb is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the top vets in the performance horse industry with a particular skill in the use of ultrasound technology to diagnose medical and musculoskeletal problems in horses. Gottlieb’s involvement with horses began at age four when she took her first riding lesson and by age six she had decided that she would one day become a vet. When she was a Pre-Vet student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she spent her summers working with Dr. Ron Genovese, who worked primarily in lameness and performance issues, as well as being known as one of the fathers of equine diagnostic ultrasound technology.
Gottlieb would go on to graduate vet school from the University of California, Davis and completed an internship at the Northwest Equine Performance (NWEP) in Oregon with Dr. Mark Revenaugh, who is the Treating Veterinarian for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team. After completing a year-long Large Animal Ultrasound Fellowship with Dr. Mary Beth Whitcomb and Dr. Betsy Vaughan at UC Davis, Gottlieb returned to NWEP where she is now an Associate Veterinarian.
“I’m fortunate to work at a clinic that dedicates itself exclusively to the performance horse. We take a team approach to cases, which really allows us to learn from each other and continue to push ourselves to a higher and higher level of medicine, and we are incredibly excited to be associated with the United States Eventing Team,” said Gottlieb. “It’s very exciting to think of where my career can go from here, and I continue to set new goals for myself moving forward.”
Learn more about Rachel here: http://equinepi.com/staff/index.htmlTori Colvin
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Tori Colvin has been setting the equestrian world alight since her time in the pony ring, making a legacy out of capturing the top championships awarded in the United States. The Loxahatchee, Fla., resident has piloted many of Dr. Betsee Parker’s top ponies and horses to National Titles, including multiple wins at the US Pony Finals, and is a two-time winner of the US Junior Hunter National Championship-East (2012 and 2013) with Parker’s Inclusive. Trained by Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley out of their River’s Edge Farm, Colvin is often known for her remarkable results in the hunter ring, but is quickly making her presence known in the jumper ranks with wins at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, The Devon Horse Show, The Hampton Classic, and the Alltech National Horse Show.
It is in the jumper ring that the #1 Education Place Junior sees her future, with a driving ambition to represent the United States at the highest level of sport including at the Olympic Games. With heaps of success already garnered before the age of 17, we can expect to see the name Tori Colvin lighting scoreboards for years to come.Hunter Chancellor
Saddle Seat Competitor
Photo by Howard Schatzberg
Hunter Chancellor has spent her entire life immersed in horses, spending the majority of her 18 years at her family’s barns and stables, noting that if she wasn’t riding a horse she would most likely be grooming one. Chancellor has already built an extensive resume with numerous wins in prestigious saddle seat classes. Two accomplishments stand out in particular for the 2012 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year, with the first being a member of the Gold medal-winning 2012 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team. Chancellor’s most coveted title also came in 2012, when she won the prestigious Triple Crown by winning the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final, the National Horse Show ‘Good Hands” Final, and the UPHA Challenge Cup.
Chancellor credits her time spent with horses in helping to shape the person she has become.
“I think it’s (being involved with horses) helped me in many aspects of my life, responsibility, focus, determination, and time management just to name a few,” said Chancellor of lessons she has learned throughout her equestrian career. “I believe it’s helped me develop into the student and person that I am today.”Jacob Arnold
Photo by Geoff Bugbee
Jacob Arnold got his start in driving when his parents bought a Morgan mare, Spring Hollow Dark Shadow, in 2001. One year later, the Arnolds began competing Shadow in Pleasure Driving shows and some lower level combined driving competitions. A year later, they bought a Shetland pony named Duke for Jacob to drive in Pleasure shows. As the years went on, Arnold became more and more interested in combined driving and could hardly wait until I was old enough to compete in his first CDE in 2007 with Shadow. Over the next three years, he and Shadow moved up the levels to the Advanced/FEI division in 2010.
At just 20-years-old Arnold has already built an extensive resume in the sport. He rates one of his biggest accomplishments as being the first driver to ever win the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year title in 2011. Also he fondly remembers winning the FEI Single Horse class at the Little Everglades CAI-B in 2012 with Halstead’s Shale, a Hackney gelding, as something he is very proud of, as it was a Selection Trial for the 2012 World Singles Championships. A year earlier he won the same event with Shadow, making him the youngest competitor to win an FEI show in the USA.
Arnold hopes to eventually become a Four-in-Hand driver and compete among the best in the world, in order to do this he has worked with many of the drivers in the world. In the summer season of 2012, Arnold was invited to be a working student for the experienced four-in-hand horse driver, Ijsbrand Chardon, of the Netherlands. He spent five months learning from Chardon, accompanying him on the carriage every day, occasionally driving his horses, and going to competitions with him. This included the 2012 Four-In-Hand World Championships in Riesenbeck, Germany, at which Ijsbrand won the Individual Bronze medal and the Team Gold medal. In June of 2013, Arnold began working full time with Lisa Stroud, the international Four-in-Hand pony driver from Unionville, Pennsylvania. He served as the head groom and drove some of her ponies on a daily basis. In October of 2013, Arnold accompanied Stroud to Europe as her head groom and back- step navigator at the FEI World Pony Driving Championships in Pau, France. In January 2014, he began working with Chester Weber as his first apprentice driver as part of the Live Oak Combined Driving Inc. Driver Apprentice Program. Arnold will work with Weber and his Four-in-Hand horses, as well as competing a single horse under his instruction. Weber and Arnold hope the program will increase the level of competitiveness for the U.S. at World Championships, encourage more young drivers to compete, and promote the sport in a positive way. Adrienne Lyle
Photo by Shannon Brinkman
Adrienne Lyle was born and raised on a small cattle ranch in Whidbey Island, Wash., spending much of her childhood riding on trails and beaches. Lyle could often be found heading out with a group of friends for a full day of riding that would stretch into the evening hours.
Lyle’s first competitive experiences started out in the Western disciplines but changed into English riding at the age of seven when she joined her local pony club. After a few years spent in eventing, Lyle found her love of dressage, a sport where she has become one of the United States’ brightest stars.
Lyle’s life changed forever in the summer of 2005, when she became a working student with FEI World Equestrian Games and Olympic medalist Debbie McDonald at Parry and Peggy Thomas’ River Grove Farm. In 2006, Lyle returned to River Grove in a full-time capacity and began riding the Thomas’ talented Oldenburg gelding, Wizard, under the careful tutelage of McDonald.
The pair quickly formed a partnership earning top placing as they moved up the levels. In 2008, they won the USEF Young Adult “Brentina” Cup Dressage Championship at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. This victory saw the River Grove story come full circle as the championship is named for the Thomas’ superstar mare, Brentina.
In 2009, Lyle and Wizard made their debut at the Grand Prix level, impressing judges and spectators alike with their partnership. Every time the pair went in the ring they produced stronger and more polished efforts. Still working under the knowledgeable eye of McDonald, Lyle was soon ranked among the best dressage riders in the United States.
In June of 2012, Lyle and Wizard traveled to Gladstone, N.J., for the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions featuring the Selection Trials for the 2012 Olympic Games. Over two weekends of competition, the pair dazzled, producing a fourth-place finish and earning themselves a trip to London for the Olympic Games to compete as an Individual for the U.S.
In London, the pair made their international championship debut, impressing many in Greenwich Park and finishing the Grand Prix in 35th place.
Lyle looks to have a long future ahead of her in the sport, but knows that it is with the support team behind her and the daily training that the true meaning of success lays.
“I truly believe I have the best job in the world, and I am eternally grateful for the support of Bob and Debbie McDonald, and Parry and Peggy Thomas. All I have ever wanted in life was to be able to make a living doing what I love, training horses,” said Lyle. “I feel very fortunate to have had the success I’ve had at a fairly young age. But, although the success is a fantastic result of the daily hard work, at the end of the day it is the training process that really fascinates me. I will always be happy as long as I continue to do what I love working with these magnificent animals.”
Learn more about Adrienne at: adriennelyle.com
Like Adrienne on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/adriennelyleUSAMeghan O’Donoghue
Photo by Shannon Brinkman
For Meghan O’Donoghue, riding and eventing have always been a family affair, with both of her parents actively competing and running a teaching, training, and boarding business out of Carbondale, Ill. 2013 proved to be a breakout year for O’Donoghue and her own Pirate, as they made their CCI4* debut at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover in April, a milestone she considers to be her biggest accomplishment. In the fall, she and the Thoroughbred gelding traveled to the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* on a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant from the USET Foundation, where they finished 11th.
O’Donoghue, who one day hopes to represent the U.S. at an international championship, finds the support and camaraderie developed between all members of the eventing community to be her favorite aspect of the sport.
“It’s so neat how the sport can draw people together at the lowest level and at the highest level,” said O’Donoghue. “I never feel like I leave the start box alone.”
Follow Meghan on Twitter @MM_ODonoghueJesse Vannucci
Photo by Laurie Haddon Photography
Jesse Vannucci grew up riding at her family’s farm in Connecticut, spending every free minute she had in the barn. Vannucci has transitioned that passion into her role as an integral member of the team at Spy Coast Farm in Lexington, Ky., one of the leading breeding and training facilities in the United States. She spends much of her time researching training techniques for young horses in order to refine the Spy Coast training program. Vannucci assists in the riding and training of the young horses as well as managing horses in the Young Horse Development Center. The jumper competitor also plays a pivotal part in organizing and promoting events held at the beautiful facility, including the Spy Coast Young Horse Show Series and Finals, BWP Kuerings, and the Welcome Party for the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North.
Vannucci is passionate about all the work she does at Spy Coast and particularly enjoys working with the farm’s owner Lisa Lourie.
“My favorite part of working at Spy Coast is the opportunity to work for and with Lisa Lourie. Her passion for improving the breeding and young horse training industry in America is inspiring and exciting to be a part of. The entire team at Spy Coast is always willing to help each other and I’ve learned so much about breeding and young horse training. Working for a part of the industry that I’m passionate about and for a cause that I know will help influence the breeding in America is exciting and very rewarding.”
Learn more about Spy Coast Farm at www.spycoastfarm.comKyle Gibbon
Photo Provided by Kyle Gibbon
Kyle Gibbon was not always thrilled to be on a horse; it was a passion within him that grew and by the time he had reached the age of twelve, he was hooked. His family had ponies that he learned to ride on and soon Gibbon was riding bareback in the fields and jumping everything in the ring. He began taking riding lessons with his piano teacher, who invited Gibbon to take part in his first 25-mile competitive trail ride. The Gibbons’ outdoor riding ring was carefully measured so Gibbon could calculate how many laps were required to complete one mile. It was often not plausible for him and his horse to be trailered to local state parks for conditioning, so numerous laps around the ring were required; approximately 15 laps would result in one mile. Following the completion of the 25-mile ride, Gibbon’s ambition in endurance grew immensely and he was eager to challenge himself to the highest level possible - a 100-mile ride.
Gibbon has climbed the ranks within endurance sport. At the 2011 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, he earned Team Gold and Individual Bronze. He was also selected to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Young Rider World Endurance Championships held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. But when his horse was not accepted at the first Veterinary Inspection and not allowed to start the race the following day, Gibbon stepped in to help the crew for his teammates, doing whatever was asked of him.
The sport of endurance has taken Gibbon to many interesting locations and he forever will be grateful for what the sport has shown him.
“The rugged mountains of Virginia, the sandy pine barrens of New Jersey, rolling hills of Maryland, the effervescent sun of the United Arab Emirates, alluring beaches of Uruguay, and challenging elevation of Idaho are just a few of the wonderful places that endurance competition has invited me,” says Gibbon. “I’ve been fortunate enough to peek at the nature and culture this world offers to all of us. I am very grateful and hope always to be.”Lindsay McCall
Photo by Yosay Photography
For Lindsay McCall, horses and journalism run in her blood. She began riding at the age of six and continued to compete in hunter and jumper competitions through college including on her IHSA team. Additionally, McCall’s grandfather was an internationally known photojournalist and both parents are respected photographers and photojournalists. Following college graduation, she moved to Florida and continued to ride while working as an Account Manager for multiple equestrian clients in the dressage, driving, eventing, hunter, and jumper competitions.
In 2009, McCall was approached by the United States Para-Equestrian Association president, Hope Hand, about helping to promote the organization and the sport. McCall, who was familiar with para-equestrian classification and physical impairments because her sister has Cerebral Palsy, looked forward to the opportunity to assist in growing awareness for the para-equestrian discipline. Over the past five years she has enjoyed helping to raise the profile and fans for the sport.
“There was a definite misunderstanding of the discipline back in 2009 and I made it my goal to grow the discipline through show coverage, a full blown website, magazine articles, press, word of mouth, marketing, and photography,” McCall says. “I am honored to have been working with the Para-Equestrian athletes over the past 5 years.”
Learn more about the USPEA here: http://uspea.org/
Like the USPEA on @USPEAGabe & Jessica DeSoto
Ages: 24 and 29
Arabian Trainers and Competitors
Photo Provided by Gabe & Jessica DeSoto
Gabe & Jessica DeSoto
Though young in age, both Gabe DeSoto and his new bride Jessica Clinton DeSoto are veterans in the horse show ring, already accumulating over 100 National Championships, Reserves, and Top Ten awards.
Gabe was raised in Tucson, Arizona where he cleaned stalls to earn the right to ride the horses at the Vicki Davidson Stables. His natural talent caught the attention of some of the breed’s top trainers, such as Carolyn McDonald, Chris Culbreth, and Jim Lowe, early in his life. These apprenticeships led to a position with Jim and Peter Stachowski where he had his own show string, gaining the respect and admiration of his clients and the public. It was there that he won his first National titles, on Pokerface BMJ and Rebel Love, both owned by Kim Jarvis.
While Gabe was developing his talent and skill sets as a trainer in Ohio with Stachowski Farms, his wife-to-be, Jessica Clinton, was in Georgia training with her mother, nationally acclaimed Vicki Humphrey. Jesse learned to ride at an early age and going to horse shows was a way of life. She became one of the most winning junior riders in the Arabian show ring. As she entered adulthood, she elected to continue in the family business and began training with her mother at Vicki Humphrey Training Center (VHTC).
As fate would have it, the two young stars met at the U.S. Nationals in 2011 and thus began their partnership both in the barn and in life. They dated, traveling back and forth between Ohio and Georgia until they married in November 2013. Gabe left his employment with Stachowski Farms and now resides in Georgia training for VHTC alongside his wife and Humphrey.
Now we all know that it could be difficult to work with your spouse all day long and to leave your business in the barn when it’s time to go home! However, Humphrey says that “after about four months establishing their ‘territories’ they have meshed into an extremely cohesive and effective team. Their shared wealth of knowledge has doubled their single abilities to understand and appreciate each horse’s needs.”
2013 was their first show season together and they created quite a record! Among other wins, Jesse was Reserve National Champion with Who’s Who (owned by Pam Harris) in the Half-Arabian Open English Pleasure division, probably the one of the toughest divisions at Arabian shows, while Gabe was Reserve National Champion on SHF Culture Shoc (owned by Stephen Timme) in the Half-Arabian English Pleasure Futurity class, a class for up-and-coming English horses, an equally competitive division. Gabe was also Reserve in the Country Pleasure Futurity with Carrie Bradshaw, a VHTC horse he trained and Jess took a Reserve on HL Sanction (owned by Cathy Vescey).
VHTC has been one of the leading training barns for Arabian English Pleasure horses for many years. Now, with this star couple on board, this legacy will continue well into the next generation!Adam Pollak
Adam Pollak is continuing his mother, Ingred Lin’s, legacy at the White Fences Equestrian Center in Loxahatchee, Florida. Pollak is the owner/manager of the facility that hosts dressage competitions year round, which he also serves as secretary for. He has expanded the schedule of shows to include eight competitions for the 2014 season.
The White Fences shows were developed by Lin to create a community-friendly atmosphere at quality competitions that put a priority on keeping fees down. Pollack maintained the standard set by his mother as he hosts shows that cater to professionals and amateurs alike. Always a staple of the White Fences competitions, he has continued to allow free hacking and trailering in as well as providing food free of charge to competitors.
Learn more about the White Fences Equestrian Center at WhiteFencesFlorida.comAshlyn DeGroot
Young Horse Dressage Trainer
Photo by Carolyn Bunch Photography
Based out of her family’s DG Bar Ranch in Hanford, Calif., Ashlyn DeGroot is quickly becoming one of the most respected young horse competitors and trainers in dressage, despite being one of its youngest. DeGroot began riding at the age of eight and after a brief foray into vaulting has firmly been entrenched in dressage for 11 years. Her passion lies in the training of young horses, for which she takes great pride and satisfaction in seeing their growth and progression from week to week. Her diligence and technique have been rewarded with numerous top finishes at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships. In addition, she produced a one-two finish at the 2013 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Western Selection Trials in the five-year-old division, with Dalina DG and DG Dancing Queen.
DeGroot began studying at Fresno State University in the fall of 2013, but when DG Bar’s resident trainer Willy Arts was involved in a carriage driving accident, she returned home to help with the family business. Currently enrolled in online classes through West Hills Community College, DeGroot balances her studies by continuing to train the family’s talented young horses. DeGroot hopes all of her hard work will pay off with the goal of competing in FEI classes at international competitions with the young horses whose careers she has developed from day one.
Learn more about Ashlyn and DG Bar Ranch at dgbarranch.comKatie Trafton
Photo Provided by Katie Trafton
Katie Trafton is quickly becoming one of the most respected eventing organizers and competition managers in the United States. At 12-years-old Trafton began taking lessons at a local riding school and soon found herself helping her instructor at local dressage shows as a score runner and in other volunteer capacities. Four years later she began helping at eventing competitions and at the age of 20 she was offered a job by respected organizer Christina Gray at her Gray Area Events, where she has worked for the last six years.
“I couldn’t afford to own a horse or compete, so this is a fun way to be involved,” said Trafton. “I do it for the love of the horse and the love of the people; I love to contribute to the sport.”
Trafton currently helps to organize 15 events with Gray, most of which are on the West Coast, including competitions at Galway Downs, Aspen Farms, Twin Rivers, and Woodside. In addition, she also assists with the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials in New York. In addition to organizing, Trafton works at the Horse Park at Woodside helping in managing the facility and competitions they host. Shawn Casady
Hunter/Jumper Trainer and Competitor
Photo by Sportfot
At just 19-years-old, Shawn Casady is taking the hunter/jumper circuit by storm. Known for his determination and work ethic, Casady began riding at the age of seven and was soon getting on as many ponies as he could every day. The Tennessee native has continued to climb the ranks by looking to bring out the best in every horse he gets on and still can be found taking on catch rides.
After a successful junior career in both the hunter and jumper arenas, he earned a Bronze medal with his Zone 4 teammates at the 2012 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North. Casady decided to take on professional status in 2013 and continued to find success in both hunter and jumper rings, earning top placings among the best in the game. At the 2013 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships, Casady turned many heads with his overall fourth place and Tier II Reserve Championship finish on the relatively green Ascot. In the jumper ring he and Twister teamed up to win both the $10,000 Welcome and $30,000 Cleveland Valley Grand Prix at the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic.Kelsey Russell
Photo by SusanJStickle.com
Kelsey Russell got her start in the sport of endurance in 2008 when she looked after U.S. team veteran Valerie Kanavy’s horses over the summer in exchange for being able to turn out two of her own horses on Kanavy’s property. The following winter Russell began training with Kanavy, making her competitive debut soon after. The young rider has quickly made a name for herself in endurance, earning many top finishes for the United States. Russell has secured two fifth-place finishes at the FEI Young Rider Endurance World Championships in 2011 and 2013, which is only fitting as these are the best American finishes at an Endurance World Championship since Kanavy claimed a Gold medal in 1998.
Outside of endurance, Russell is also an avid barrel racer and participates in pole bending. The college freshman also competes in western pleasure classes to complete her well-rounded equestrian resume. Russell, who considers her favorite part of endurance as the connection between horse and rider, looks to stay involved in the equestrian world and help horses by becoming a veterinarian. Rachel Campbell
Photo by Dr. Stacey Kent
In 2012, Rachel Campbell had the unique opportunity to travel to London to help groom for her friend, Jonathan Wentz, and the beloved NTEC Richter Scale at the Paralympic Games. Campbell had met Wentz when he began training at Kai Handt’s North Texas Equestrian Center and their friendship also extended to the classroom where both were students at Southern Methodist University. The London Paralympic Games proved to be an extremely inspiring experience for Campbell.
“My favorite part of the Games was the feeling that I was a part of something bigger than any individual. I was inspired by the culmination of Jonathan’s passion, determination, and hard work, along with Richter’s big heart and Kai’s training. I have many favorite memories, from walking in the opening ceremonies, to quiet moments with Richter hand-grazing, to watching Jonathan share the centerline with all the other athletes. I treasure each one.”
Campbell herself is also an accomplished competitor, having participated five times at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, in addition to vying for national championships four times at the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. Campbell kicked off her dressage career, which has seen her win championships at the Prix St. Georges level by winning the 2006 USEF Dressage Seat Equitation Medal Finals in the 14-18 year-old division. Still an active competitor and valuable member of the NTEC team, Campbell is also pursuing a master’s degree in geology.Travers Schick
Cross Country Course Builder
Photo by Joe Stylos
Travers Schick grew up in Western, Mass., in a town of approximately 1,250 people and a single stoplight. For the first 15 years of his life, the idea of crafting obstacles for horses to jump at high speeds never crossed his mind, however, a fateful trip to his aunt and uncle’s farm in Bangor, Maine, would change all of that.
Renowned eventing cross-country course builder and designer Tremaine Cooper was in town to build some jumps and quickly Schick’s interest was piqued and he began helping. Soon Schick was spending every school vacation traveling the United States to help Cooper at events.
In 2004, Schick started his own business, Cross Country Hardware, which supplies course builders with fasteners and provides cross country jump construction and event prep.
In 2014, Schick is scheduled to build at five events and help at two others, including The Fork Horse Trials, Surefire Horse Trials, Aspen Farms Horse Trials, the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North and the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event & Team Challenge. While he will log many hours navigating the country, Schick enjoys the challenge of his work and the people he meets doing it.
“In 2014, I will build five events, and help with two more. I’ll start the year with The Fork, then prep for Surefire, fly out to Washington for Aspen Farms in June, fly back for Surefire for their event, go help with Young Riders at the Kentucky Horse Park, fly back out to Aspen for September, come back to help with Team Challenge at the KY Horse Park, and finish the year out at The Fork in November. In any gaps of time, I will work on schooling jumps,” said Schlick. “I’m really fortunate with all the great clients I have. Each venue I work at has its own perks.”
The key to course building for Schick lays in being able to put his own unique signature on his work but not having all his courses look the same. This is done through different detailing on jumps, including carvings, as well as construction of integrate complexes. One type of obstacle stands out to Schick as his favorite to construct.
“Earthworks tend to be my favorite complexes to build. Bank complexes built into a hillside, trying to make something unnatural blend into the landscape and look natural, is always a bit of a challenge and I really enjoy it. My favorite earthworks I’ve done recently was the Aspen Farms’ coffin for the Advanced. It’s in a natural gully, we did have to bring in quite a bit of fill and re-sculpt the ground, but it just fits and I really like that.”
Schick has recently gotten engaged to his longtime girlfriend Kathryn Willdeboer and the two will soon be moving from Knoxville, Tenn., to Lexington, Ky. Between packing and building courses throughout the country, Schick is not currently looking to expand into other aspects of the horse world, but has not ruled it out for the future.
“At the moment, I can say I am content building jumps. Down the road I may consider trying to expand into some other aspects of the sport, maybe pursuing a TD license, or design license, but who knows. For now it’s just keeping my chainsaw sharp and trying to build good fences.”
Learn more about Travers and Cross Country Hardware at crosscountryhardware.com/Brianne Goutal
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
In 2004, Brianne Goutal became the first rider to ever win all four major equitation finals: the 2004 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals-East, the 2004 Washington International Equitation Classic Finals, the 2005 USEF/Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal Finals, and the 2005 ASPCA Maclay National Championships. In that same year, she was featured on the Animal Planet’s “Horse Power” TV series about the road to the Maclay. In addition, Goutal won Team Gold at the North American Young Riders’ Championship and at the USEF National Junior Jumper Championship in Harrisburg, Pa.
Goutal’s 2004 and 2005 campaigns were just a start to the illustrious career the now 25-year-old is building for herself. In 2005, Goutal rode in her first Grand Prix class at the Garden State Horse Show, and then returned to the same show in 2006 to win her first Grand Prix with Onira. Also in 2006, she was named the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year and was part of the winning U.S. Nations Cup team at CSIO Buenos Aires. In 2007, Brianne Goutal won the Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award, given by the USET Foundation for her competitive record to date and her promise for representing the United States in international competition in the future.
2011 saw Goutal make her Rolex/FEI World Cup Final debut in Leipzig, Germany, in April, and later in the summer she produced top results in the United States, The Netherlands, and France. In 2012, Goutal was named to the USEF Long List for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. At the 2013 American Gold Cup, Goutal scored one of her biggest victories to date, topping an all-star field in the feature Grand Prix. Carly Muma
Photo Provided by Carly Muma
Growing up in Michigan, Carly Muma began riding a naughty miniature pony named Ginger before graduating to taking lessons in her hometown. Soon Muma began competing in hunter and jumper competitions in addition to competing in barrel racing and western pleasure at the local county fair. Ultimately she shifted to eventing, a discipline that brought her to Pan American Games and FEI World Equestrian Games veteran Buck Davidson’s farm, where she worked as a groom in addition to riding, learning numerous valuable lessons.
For the past year, Muma has been based in Wellington, Fla., working for The Dutta Corp. During that time she has been involved in all aspects of the equestrian business, including flying with horses on FedEx flights, on- and off-loading horses to planes and vans, and coordinating health papers and other important documentation. Currently, Muma is becoming immersed in the dressage side of the sport working in the dressage stable.
Muma finds great enjoyment in all aspects of her work with The Dutta Corp., but is particularly interested in flying with all different types of horses.
“My favorite part of the shipping and being a part of The Dutta Corp. business would be flying with the horses. If I could live on a plane and just keep going with different horses, that would be my dream,” says Muma. “It’s truly an amazing job and such a great way to see the world and meet amazing horses and people.”
Learn more about The Dutta Corp. timdutta.comLaura Sumrall
Photo by Waltenberry
Laura Sumrall began riding at the age of five when she accompanied her parents to their riding lesson after she had finished her own gymnastics lesson. So intrigued by the horses, the young Sumrall jumped on a horse in her leotard and has not looked back. At age 11, she found her ultimate passion within equestrian sport when she climbed on her father’s reining horse and has loved the sport since.
Sumrall has achieved many milestones within the sport of reining. In 2010, she was part of the Freestyle demonstration at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, an experience which she ranks among her biggest accomplishments. In 2012, she added to her resume when she captured Team and Individual Silver medals at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North. Sumrall is currently a member of the Equestrian Team at Texas A&M and hopes to see the collegiate program grow to allow more people the chance to continue their competitive careers through college.Rebecca Hart
Photo by Fire and Earth Photography
Rebecca Hart is among the most decorated para-equestrian athletes in the United States. Born with Familial Spastic Paraplegia, a genetic disease that causes muscle wasting and lack of control from the waist down, Hart competes in Grade II competition, consistently placing alongside the best in the world. A five-time USEF National Champion, she has represented the U.S. at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in addition to numerous CPEDI competitions across the globe.
Hart has spent more than half of her life riding and training at Blue Hill Farm with renowned trainers Jessica and Missy Ransehousen. When not in the saddle, Hart works full-time at Starbucks Corporate in addition to promoting the para-equestrian discipline and gaining awareness for the sport.
Learn more about Rebecca Hart at uspea.org/rebecca-hartAli Divita
Photo by www.barny-th.de
Ali Divita started vaulting when she was 13-years-old, after attending a riding camp at the same facility that also housed a vaulting club. Divita had spent much of her childhood participating in gymnastics and always enjoyed trying out the skills she learned and then she saw kids doing gymnastic exercises on horses. Divita was instantly hooked on the sport of vaulting and still remembers making the choice to start vaulting as one of the easiest decisions of her life.
Divita has competed at many of the most prestigious competitions around the globe, including multiple World Championships. She notes that her favorite competition is CHIO Aachen because of the huge energy in the crowd, and because it gives athletes so much room to connect with the audience. However, it was her Freestyle at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, for which she earned a second-place finish for her routine, that stands out as her biggest competitive accomplishment.. It was also special to Divita because her mother, Julie, served as her lunger and the cheers of the hometown American fans created a memorable atmosphere.
This U.S. team veteran hopes the sport she loves will continue to grow and gain a bigger audience.
“I want to continue to push the sport in new directions artistically. I want people watching vaulting to be in awe of the connection and relationship each vaulter has with the horse and lunger.I want people to see that good vaulting is a performance of elite athletes moving in harmony, human and horse performing together, not just stunts atop a moving stage. I want to make vaulting as respected and popular here in the States as it is in Germany.”Frankie Thieriot
Photo by Sherry Stewart
Frankie Thieriot started riding at the age of three when her mother enrolled her in pony camp as a way to get out her excess energy. Immediately, Thieriot was bitten by the bug and horses became a lifelong passion. Quickly, her focus turned to the sport of eventing and at 12-years-old she acquired a horse named Fric Frac Berence, who she would compete at the Advanced level for eight years, completing many three star competitions.
In 2011, Thierot and Fric Frac were preparing to travel from their California base to Lexington, Ky., to contest their first CCI4*at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone. However, three weeks before competition was to start, the gelding suffered a career ending injury to his suspensory ligament.
Following her longtime partner’s retirement, it looked as though Thierot’s competitive career was over and she would focus on her other passion of sports marketing, until her friend Tory Smith called her with an opportunity to ride her talented mare Uphoria.
“My plan after retiring Fric was to focus on my job. At the time I was the Director of Communications for a sports media company. I had landed my dream job and they were kind enough to let me see my dreams through with Fric but understanding after April I wasn’t going to ride. So I retired him and didn’t ride at all. But then I got a phone call from Tory who said ‘I have this really nice young horse and I don’t want to sell her but I can’t afford to have a professional ride her and I know you don’t have a horse, do you want to ride her while I get my feet wet in law school? And fast forward three years and I still have her and I look to move her up to Advanced this spring.”
While still actively competing, Thieriot launched her own sports marketing firm, Athletux (pronounced athletics), in August of 2011 with the support of her former boss and peers in the eventing world.
“Through the process of trying to get to Rolex I learned a lot; the only way I knew how to approach companies about partnering with me for Kentucky was through corporate terms and putting together a really proper marketing packet. I got about 10 really big brands to rally behind me for Rolex and I was just one rider with one horse and it kind of got me to thinking, well if these companies are willing to support me, then why are big name riders having such a hard time getting support. The response was nearly unanimous across the board, ‘We’ve never seen a marketing package like this, most riders just call and say ‘my name is Frankie, will you sponsor me?’ And that kind of shocked me so I started asking my equestrian friends in eventing if this was something they would want help with and that they would pay for. And overwhelmingly the answer was yes.”
Currently, Athletux works primarily in equestrian sport and has 35 clients on monthly retainer and a further 35-50 they work with on specialized projects. Theiriot and her colleagues provide a number of services for their clients, including athlete relations, consulting, event planning, marketing, media production, public relations, and web design.
“I really enjoy being there for the riders. My love is the horses and the people,” said Theiriot. “I’m not doing this for the money. I love helping these people; when they do well it means the world to me.”
Learn more about Athletux at athletux.com
Like Athletux on Facebook.
Follow Athletux on Twitter: @AthletuxAriel Weisman
Photo Provided by Ariel Weisman
Ariel Weisman began riding at age four and competed mainly in the hunter and jumper divisions through college, where she was member of the IHSA team at UMass Amherst. Following graduate school, Weisman maintained her interest and enthusiasm for equestrian sport, choosing to pursue a career outside of the ring. She currently is the North America Equine Marketing Coordinator at Alltech, as well as an Ambassador for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian GamesTM 2014 in Normandy. Weisman works on the marketing for their LIFEFORCE Range of equine digestive health supplements, as well as manages the promotions, marketing, logistics, and sponsorship activation for the Alltech National Horse Show. In her role as an Alltech Games Ambassador, she helps to promote the 2014 Alltech WEG through many different events throughout the year.
Through her work at Alltech, Weisman has been able to continue meeting new and interesting people from all different parts of the horse world, with her greatest reward coming from working with the team at the National Horse Show team and interacting with LIFEFORCE customers. While Weisman thoroughly enjoys her unique role outside of the show arena, she does have her sights set on returning to competition and tries to ride five to seven days a week.
Follow Alltech on Twitter: @Alltech.Emily Wagner
Photo by Carolyn Bunch Photography
At just 26-years-old, Emily Wagner has already garnered multiple National Championship titles in dressage. Wagner has spent her whole life around horses in La Cygne, Kan., where her family runs a breeding and training facility that currently houses 45 horses from broodmares, to horses in to be broken, to high performance stars. She began riding at the age of three, making her competitive debut at eight-years-old and has not looked back.
Wagner is perhaps best known for her incredible success with the homebred stallion Wakeup , who she has teamed up with to win the 2011 Markel/USEF National Six-Year-Old Young Horse Dressage Championship and the 2013 Markel/USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Horse Dressage National Championships presented by HorseShow.com. As with many other horses she has ridden, Wagner has produced Wakeup from his first ride to a star of the sport. It is the progression and daily training that Wagner finds the most rewarding.Layson Griffin
Photo Provided by Layson Griffin
Layson Griffin grew up in Nonesuch, Ky., riding throughout her childhood and as an active member of the Keeneland Pony Club. Following graduation from Transylvania University, she continued her involvement in equestrian sport, transitioning from the competitive arena into competition management and promotion. In 2012, Griffin began working for Equestrian Events , Inc. as a Competition Assistant, helping with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone and the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup. The following year she returned to once again help with the management of both events as the Development Assistant where she helped to organize and manage the trade fairs and sponsorships.
Griffin has now been promoted into the Director of Development position at EEI and manages current sponsorships as well as seeks to find new sponsors and opportunities for the organization. Additionally, she works closely with other EEI team members on Trade Fair matters, sponsor hospitality, and new projects. For the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover, she is excited for the addition of the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge, which she believes will build team spirit ahead of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Learn more about Equestrian Events, Inc., and the Rolex Kentucky presented by Land Rover at rk3de.org
Like the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover on Facebook
Follow the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover on Twitter
Photo Provided by JustWorld International
Amber Warren (Center)
When working on her thesis, Amber Warren looked into volunteer opportunities to complement the project. An online search for “equestrian events (related to her thesis topic) + Central America (where part of her family is from)” brought up JustWorld International and the Central American and Caribbean Games. Following that search, Warren discovered that JustWorld worked within the equestrian community to support projects in Honduras, Guatemala, and Cambodia, and held fundraisers at horse shows around the world, and since that time she has been actively associated with the organization.
Warren now works as the Programs Manager for JustWorld International, where she is responsible for managing the Ambassador and volunteer programs along with JustWorld’s project partners. The active competitor enjoys all aspects of her work with JustWorld, particularly the Ambassador engagement.
“We have a great team and fantastic supporters around the world. Helping Ambassadors carry out their fundraising initiatives is definitely rewarding because they enjoy getting together to work as a team and accomplishing their goals,” says Warren. “Quite a few have joined us on a trip to visit one of our project partners and it is amazing to be with them for that experience, as they meet the children and project managers firsthand and see how much their support truly helps to make a difference.”
Learn more about JustWorld International at justworldinternational.org
Follow JustWorld International on Twitter
Like JustWorld International on Facebook Lindsey Taylor
Eventing Barn Manager/Groom
Photo from USEF Archive
Lindsey Taylor has become one of the most well-known and respected grooms and barn managers on the eventing circuit, but her introduction into the sport did not begin until she was 18. Her younger sister rode horses long before she ever had an interest in them. When she was a freshman in college, she went to a mini-event that her sister was riding in and decided that riding might be a fun extra-curricular activity. Taylor quickly started taking lessons once a week at the eventing barn where her sister rode and soon was leasing a horse, falling more and more in love with eventing with everything she learned and experienced. A few years later, with graduation looming on the horizon, Taylor was trying to make the decision of whether to try and make a career in horses work or whether to move away from the industry. It was suggested that she talk to four-star eventer Boyd Martin who was in need of a head groom at the time. Taylor boarded a plane to meet Martin and interview for the position and meet his team. In no time she had made the decision to take the job and has been tirelessly running Martin’s barn for the last three years.
In that time, Taylor has traveled the world with Martin’s horses, going to many of the world’s most elite competitions. After having been to events such as the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, and the London Olympic Games, Taylor notes the Boekelo CCIO3* as her favorite. Taylor also has also formed a special bond with Trading Aces, who she traveled to Boekelo with in October of 2013. The talented Irish-bred gelding is known as Oscar around barn because of his grumpy and aloof nature. However, Taylor respects that he likes his own personal space, just as she likes hers, but knows that once you put his halter on he is all business and ready to work.
Taylor enjoys all aspects of her work as part of Martin’s team, but particularly enjoys the bonds she forms with the horses on international travel.
“I most like caring for horses at big competitions, especially competitions that require quite a bit of travel. I like getting to know each horse, knowing what their legs look like better than I know myself, understanding what is normal for them and what is not, and problem solving to deal with any abnormalities in a way that makes sense. I like making the horses look and feel as good as they can, and at these big competitions, I am able to just focus on one or two horses which really gives me a chance to bond with them and get to know them individually.”Jessica Ashley
Jessica Ashley, who writes under the pseudonym Jessica Burkhart, was born in Goodlettsville, Tennessee always loving horses. By the age of 10 she had started a business called “Jessie’s Tack Cleaning Service” in order to pay for her riding lessons. While in eighth grade, Ashley underwent spinal fusion surgery for severe scoliosis. It was during her recuperation that she discovered her love of writing and found that it filled the void being unable to ride had left.
At 16, Ashley, began college after her family had moved to Florida and graduated with her Associate’s Degree from Lake City Community College in the fall of 2005. She then continued her studies at Florida State University and in November 2006 signed up for the National Novel Writing Month where she would need to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Ashley decided to combine her two passions and wrote a book about horseback riding called Take the Reins which went onto be published in 2007.
Ashley has gone on to publish many Tween novels that center around horse crazy characters including the successfully Canterwood Crest series.
To learn more about Jessica Ashley and her books visit jessicaburkhart.com