The Red Hills Horse Trials family has lost one of its own – Sylvia Coons Ochs, one of the founders, passed away on March 11, 2021. In 1998 Sylvia Ochs with co-organizer Sallie Ausley along with three other original organizing committee members and hundreds of volunteers began the first Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Florida. The event succeeded to become a World Cup Qualifier and is now a CCI4*-S competition.
Sylvia was the ultimate horse person. Over the years, she served as Vice President, District Commissioner, and Regional Supervisor of the United States Pony Club. Her community spirit extended well beyond the horse world and impacted Tallahassee in countless ways.
She had many talents and amazing organizational skills along with grace and a magnetic personality. She spearheaded events and projects with an eye to every detail and was twice voted Volunteer of the Year! Sylvia was President of the Junior League of Tallahassee, worked with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, LeMoyne Art Foundation, the Tallahassee Symphony, and the Museum of History and Natural Sciences.
Sylvia died peacefully at the age of 79. She was born in Walton, New York, graduating with honors from New York University Belleview School of Nursing. She is survived by her children, Lisa Perry, Karla Newton, and Dr. George Ochs and seven beloved grandchildren.
Marley Bridges lived and breathed gymnastics. “I started at the age of 5,” said Bridges. “You always had to have the time and the mindset for gymnastics. You had to allow yourself to commit to it. You had to commit to working out four hours a day, five days a week, doing cardio every single day, train every single day. You had to stay committed to yourself, the team, and the sport.”
If you’re like most riders you’ve probably heard someone say something like, “Your last mistake is your best teacher,” or “if you’re doing everything right you’re doing something wrong because you’re in your comfort zone.” While I agree whole-heartedly with these sentiments, I actually prefer, “Equestrians don’t make mistakes. Mistakes make equestrians.” They make us bolder, braver, and brighter; but only when we develop a positive relationship with our mistakes and respond to them in productive ways.
Up-and-coming eventing athlete Tommy Greengard of Malibu, California, was named the recipient of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation’s Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant for 2024. A current competitor on the U.S. Equestrian Federation's (USEF) Eventing Emerging Program List, Greengard has aspirations of representing the United States internationally.
Bethany Hutchins-Kristen headed into 2023 with hopes of earning the SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year award for a second year in a row on her homebred Geluk HVF, and after a stellar season, including a top-10 finish at the TerraNova CCI2*-L (Myakka City, Florida), she took home the top prize with an 18-point lead.