When my daughter Jacquelyn turned 9, she and I started taking riding lessons together for some quality mother-daughter time. I had hoped to share my love for horses with her so we gave it a try. A few years of lessons led to a deeper commitment - horsemanship - and Jackie showed the fortitude for the hard gritty work required.
Every time I swing a leg over one of my horses, it carries me a little closer to my riding goals. Frequently, one of my annual goals is to earn the privilege of competing in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC). Here is the bumpy journey that brought me to the 2019 AEC.
May 12, 2009 at 2:17 a.m., I peeked over the stall with great anticipation as my long-awaited foal was finally making her debut into my life. Foxy, who was the dam, was a very talented lesson horse with no extraordinary bloodlines but 3/4 Connemara and 1/4 Thoroughbred and she had a love for jumping.
He’s won two championship titles in two months and finished with the best score out of every horse that competed at the 2019 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships – the USEA November Horse of the Month is Excel Star Time to Shine!
In My Feelings aka Drake was hanging out in a friend's field in Aiken and needed a new home. At around 14 hands, his owner Samantha Burks was too tall to ride him and with limited information about his past, she reached out to my mom, the DC of Hilltoppers Pony Club, in 2018. Initially, we tried mounted games and took him to Pony Club summer camp and let several kids try him out.
Ponies have been “my thing” for about 15 years now. I went through my teenage angst years riding Thoroughbreds, but upon settling into my mid-20s I realized that at my short stature (also known as fun-sized), a smaller horse just feels better to me and as a result I’m a far more confident rider.
The story is a familiar one. Girl loves horses, rides and competes throughout her childhood, but then takes a break for college or maybe to start a family. However, the love for horses never truly burns out and the girl (now a woman) returns to horses and eventing when she can. For Jenny Tucker (now Brinkley), it was one very special horse that brought her 110 percent back into eventing and has been a hero to not just her, but many in the last 19 years.
He’s earned two championship titles in two years, has six wins to his USEA record, and finished with the best score out of every horse that competed in the 2019 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships - the USEA October Horse of the month is Royal Casino!
The 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds took place at the Kentucky Horse Park and was marked as the biggest event in North American history. With over 900 starters across 23 divisions, the week was filled with tough competition at every level.