This Eads, Tenn., rider holds her own in the amateur ring and against the pros.
Most amateur riders gladly hand over the reins to a professional when it comes time to show a young horse in the pre-green ring, but that thought never crossed Linda Brzoza’s mind. After all, she’s been picking out her own young mounts, training them and showing them in the amateur and professional divisions for years.
Adam Sklansky trained his colorful companion from a wild 4-year-old to a winning pony jumper.
Most people who took a look at EZ To Spot 31⁄2 years ago wouldn’t have paired him with Adam Sklansky. The spirited Pony Of The Americas had just turned 4, and at the time 11-year-old Sklansky competed in the short stirrup division.
But Sklansky had his eye on the pony jumper ring, and as soon as he climbed aboard EZ To Spot he knew that the match would work.
The aptly named gelding snags his second consecutive series title with Mary Eufemia aboard. Most riders have had a year, maybe two if they’re lucky, to bond with their green hunters before they head to the show ring. But Mary Eufemia and Unbelievable had an unusually long time to get to know each other since she and her husband Kevin raised and trained the Anglo-Trakehner alongside owner-breeder Paula Pell right from the start.
In the junior hunter world, there’s one name that has stood the test of time: Lyle. No other horse has won so many accolades over so many years with so many different riders.
At 15 years old, he’s earned three U.S. Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year awards, topped the USEF Junior Hunter Finals-East twice, and picked up championships at every major East Coast indoor horse show.
Neither snow nor a 21⁄2-hour commute can keep this dedicated junior rider out of the saddle.
Many 12-year-old riders who heard their barn would be shutting down and their trainer moving from 5 to 120 miles away would hang up their helmets and pick a new sport, but not Devon Wright. When Wright learned four years ago that the stable where she rode—the last major horse facility in Vail, Colo.—would be torn down to make way for a high school, she never considered altering her plan to continue to compete on the A-rated circuit.
Her patience and faith are rewarded when Ashbury jumps to a circuit title in Mississippi.
While Holly Shepherd was growing up in Mobile, Ala., Dennis Murphy warned her that if she wanted to ride seriously she would have to pack up and get out of town.
“He said I had to move somewhere not so far away from all the shows, but I wouldn’t do it. He also said that no one can focus on the hunters and the jumpers, that I’d have to pick one and stick with it, but I never could,” recalled Shepherd.
The year started out tough for Margie Engle. Just before last year’s winter circuit her long-time partner Hidden Creek’s Wapino died following complications from colic surgery. The timing coincided with the sale of a few of Engle’s other contenders, so for the first time in 20 years the 10-time AGA Rider Of The Year found herself without a Sunday mount for the Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.)—let alone a prospect for the Olympic Trials.
Kelsie Brittan squeezes in one last championship aboard her favorite pony in Tyler, Texas.
Kelsie Brittan’s growing legs forced her to bid farewell to her pony Farpoint So Fine at the Dallas Harvest Festival. Before she passed the reins on to her younger brother, Spencer, however, she earned one final small pony hunter championship in Tyler, Texas, Nov. 5-9.