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Mon, 2017-07-03 13:25

The Road to NAJYRC

Authored By: Mallory Hogan
Mallory Hogan and Clarissa Purisima at The Spring Event at Woodside. Jessica Duffy Photo.

Hi! My name is Mallory Hogan. I’m a 16-year-old from Northern California. My horse, Clarissa Purisima aka “Clarissa”, is a 10-year-old Holsteiner mare. Clarissa and I will be traveling to Rebecca Farm later this month to represent Area VI at the FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC).

Clarissa and I were first paired together back in May of 2014. I had just outgrown my super pony, Moonlit Dancer, who I competed through the Novice Three-Day level. As I started looking for a horse, my trainer, Andrea Pfeiffer of Chocolate Horse Farm, generously let me ride her horse, Ballinakill Glory aka “Pippa”, who is a retired four-star horse. While riding her I realized how much I enjoyed riding a mare, so I was quite excited about looking at some mares when Clarissa came along. Clarissa was the second horse I tried, and while it may sound like a cliché, after I sat on her I couldn't imagine wanting any other horse.

Mallory and Clarissa competing in the Training Three-Day at Rebecca Farm. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Although she was 7 at the time, due to a later start she was still very green. When Clarissa arrived home we started our journey and Andrea has been with us every step of the way. Andrea supported my decision to buy a green horse and between Clarissa and Andrea, they have both made me the rider I am today. Andrea has coached me since I was 9 years old so she has practically taught me everything and I'm so grateful to have grown up with such a supportive and nurturing coach to turn to as I move up the levels.

Clarissa and I built our relationship by moving slowly through the levels. Our partnership really came together doing the long format Training Three-Day at Rebecca Farm. We moved up to Preliminary in 2016 and after a great year at the level we finished our first CCI* at Galway Downs International Horse Trials, finishing 16th overall and 4th-placed young rider, making us eligible for NAJYRC.

Mallory and Clarissa at Galway Downs. USEA/Shelby Allen Photo.

Riding at the Junior/Young Rider Championships is always something I had kept in the back of my mind when I got Clarissa, but it was something that was only going to happen if she and I were ready at the right time. After qualifying early at the end of the 2016 season, it seemed like a perfect sign to try out for the team. Throughout the winter leading up to the 2017 season, we worked a lot on our flat work and our show jumping accuracy with Andrea. Our season got off to a good start but we really saw our hard work pay off at The Spring Event at Woodside in May during the Preliminary Challenge. We were in second place after dressage on Friday, but with a clean and fast cross-country round Saturday morning we were in first place going into show jumping under the lights in front of the crowd on Saturday night. Clarissa really stepped up that night and put in a classy round to secure the win! That was the best feeling to have at our last event before going to Rebecca Farm.

I have grown up watching the older young riders going to championships, so to have the opportunity to make the trip to NAJYRC with a horse that I have grown up with is something really special. I am so thankful to my parents, Kristin and Michael Hogan, for their never-ending love and support for this crazy life, my sister Madison, who has been a great mentor and role model, and Andrea, for her wisdom and patience with the both of us. There are so many people that have been such important parts of our journey and I want to thank them all, because without them none of this would be possible. 

Go Area VI!


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