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Thu, 2017-03-02 08:05

2017 Worth the Trust Scholarship Young Adult Amateur Scholarship Winner: Taylor Rieck

Authored By: Taylor Rieck
Tayler Rieck and Jokes On You. Photo by Diane Stoffel.

The Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships are awarded annually to one Adult Amateur and one Young Adult Amateur with the purpose of helping to fund training opportunities like clinics, working student positions and private instruction. Below is the winning essay of the 2017 Worth the Trust Young Adult Amateur scholarship. Congratulations to Taylor Rieck, and best of luck in the future!

I fit eventing into the cracks of my life.  Like so many of us, it is my passion, but is must be sidelined more than I’d like due to unfortunate bouts of “adulting.”  You see, I have thrown myself into “adulating” very fast. I am lucky enough to be 25 years young, married, with a full time job that I love, an idyllic hobby farm, and a wonderful assortment of animals living on that farm!  We have a nice little outdoor arena (complete with homemade jumps) and my sweet eventing gelding Jokes On You lives outside my kitchen window with his three mini pony friends, a goat named Pogo, and a naughty heifer named Dexi. It sounds nice, and it is!  However, my husband is gone for work every week, so it ends up being kind of an insane amount of work.

Sustainable living is a passion of ours, and we are trying every day to improve our farm and become self-sustainable.  We purchased our farm June 5th, 2015 and have hit the ground running ever since.  On top of the hobby farm, my job at a chiropractic clinic is amazing. Not only am I learning so much about the chiropractic profession, I am enjoying the perfect job to prep for my entrance to chiropractic graduate school in the late fall of 2017. Because of my commitment to my job, I often leave the house at 8am and don’t get home until 7pm. The savior of my sanity during these busy weeks and long days is definitely squeezing in early morning or late night rides with my sweet guy, Jokes.

Jokes and I have quite the relationship.  I got him as an unbroken 4-year-old for my 15th birthday and this November we will celebrate 11 years together!  Now I know time doesn’t alone make a partnership, but by this point we are pretty much an old married couple.  He has done just about everything you can imagine, from 4H pleasure and gaming to reining and everything in between.  In 2009 I moved to college and we were introduced to this crazy thing called “eventing.”  I think this was when he finally stopped rolling his eyes at me, almost as if saying “Holy crap she has figured out what I love!”  I was able to attend some schooling events and work off a couple lessons a month while in college, and we moved up to completing a couple unrecognized Novice level mini-events by the time I graduated in December 2012. I will always be so thankful that I was able to work off his board and have him at school with me.

After graduating I was lucky enough to marry my husband and have the adventure of a lifetime-following his active duty army station to Grafenwoehr, Germany.  While I was abroad, Jokes was lucky enough to keep competing with a friend at the Beginner Novice level, and I was lucky enough to get a job in Germany riding dressage horses.  We stayed there for a couple years before coming home in January, 2015 and we purchased our home soon after.

Fast forward to this past year, where we made the move up from barely being able to complete a Training level event to successfully completing our first Preliminary – finishing in 9th place out of 18 starters at Otter Creek Farm’s Fall H.T. in northern Wisconsin. I had tears in my eyes when we crossed that finish line, you can bet on it. I honestly never thought we would get past Training level, but with the help of my coaches and some old-fashioned grit and determination my spooky, short and quirky Appendix Quarter Horse became a Prelim pony. Now, we are on a new journey to learn as much as we can and compete in our first 1*.  (I can barely believe I am even writing that down!)

This scholarship would be a game changer for us.  I always tell my coaches that if I could take a lesson every day I would, and the same goes for my academic education – I simply always loved school!  I am so excited to be starting chiropractic school late fall of 2017 (specializing in horses of course), and my husband and I have started saving to pay for it.  Because of this, I am not quite sure how I would ever pay for both lessons and shows to reach my goal in the 2017 season. My very understanding husband has sacrificed so much time and money to help my eventing career; I would love to take some of the financial stress off of us heading into the beast that is graduate school.  Jokes and I have worked so dang hard in the last year, and I’m nervous our last viable competition year before chiropractic school won’t exist without these educational funds. Graduate school is a huge endeavor, and I’m simply not sure what the future holds while in school.  Of course, I will always ride and take lessons when I can throughout my schooling, but I think competition year 2017 would be mine and Joker’s only reasonable shot to make it to a 1*.  Though we did finish our first Prelim there is so much work to be done before we are ready for a 1*. My sweet boy is getting older too, and after the three years of graduate school he will be 19, almost 20 years young.  Who knows if he will still enjoy competing at the upper levels at that time?  I think that this is perfect timing, and this scholarship would help make my long-time dream come true with my long-term partner, a horse I love more than anything (don’t tell my husband!) and am so, so proud to have produced myself.

Now, I also have a very strategic plan (and some very strategically saved vacation days) laid out for these funds. I would love to make the move to Florida for a week or two late in the winter to train with Ellie O’Neal and perhaps even her coach, Karen O’Connor.  My close friend is Ellie’s working student, and I would have a spot at their farm for lessons this winter if I can afford it).  I have idolized Karen for ages and you would probably not be able to wipe the grin off my face for weeks if I got to ride with her.  While down south I would also love to try and ride with as many 4* eventers as I could, including fellow Area IV eventer Leah Lang-Gluscic and another one of my idols, Lainey Ashker.  I would then come home to ride in the Allison Springer clinic series held at a local barn, North Brook Eventing Center in Stillwater, MN. Leslie Law and Emily Beshear often travel up to teach at both Roebke’s Run and Otter Creek Farm, and you can bet I would be first on the sign up list for those clinics. The venue of our first 1* would depend on the schedule of clinics and instruction I had received, but I would hope to conquer it at Richland Park in August or Midsouth in October.  I would be so excited to see where this scholarship could take us. The education is honestly my favorite part of this journey, and the Worth The Trust Scholarship funds are simply essential to receive the education.

About The Worth The Trust Scholarships 

Approaching its 17th year, the Worth the Trust Scholarship continues to provide financial assistance for young adult amateurs and adult amateurs for the purpose of persuing continued education in Eventing. This scholarship is provided by Joan Iverson Goswell in honor of her horse, Worth the Trust, a 15.3 Thoroughbred gelding (Wind and Wuthering x Stop Over Station), who competed successfully for many years with Karen O'Connor. 

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