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turned nine I got Sonny, a wonderful Morgan gelding, and began
taking dressage lessons with Maryal.”
What do you consider your career highlights?
One of the competitions I will remember forever is the 2009
Youth Dressage Festival in New York. Simba and I had been
together for about six months before the Festival and faced some
daunting training obstacles. We were Grand Champions of the
show and he seemed so proud, as if he knew how wonderful
he was. Standing on the podium and seeing all the diligence
and hard work come together was a fantastic moment. I also
showed in three NAJYRC qualifying competitions this summer.
This was an amazing learning experience for me because I had
only showed in about fve recognized shows before beginning the
challenging process of qualifcation. Simba and I narrowly missed
making the team and that was disappointing; but I learned a great
deal from the opportunity.
How did you end up at the University of Notre Dame?
I had to decide between the University of Notre Dame and
Michigan State University. It was a very diffcult decision for me,
because my horses were staying in Michigan regardless of where
I went to school and both schools had things I liked. Ultimately I
knew I wanted to go to Notre Dame, but was reluctant to commit
because I knew I couldn’t take my horses with me. After hearing
about my dilemma, Kim Boyer told me she had a young horse
going down to South Bend, where Notre Dame is, who needed a
rider. At that point I had one day to make up my mind, and that
was enough to make me decide to go to Notre Dame. I am very
excited to begin working with Cochise HGF in December.
What are your riding goals?
My ultimate goal is to ride in the Olympics; but I have
decided to focus on my education for the next four years, at least.
I am looking forward to working with a young horse after having
the opportunity to ride a schoolmaster for the past two and a
half years. I will be able to continue developing my riding and
education as a horse person while getting my academic education
as well.
What has being a dressage rider taught you?
I have met some of the most amazing and generous
people though dressage. Because I am the oldest of six children,
competing in recognized shows, especially FEI classes, was
cost-prohibitive. Many generous individuals have helped me by
attending fundraisers and donating their time and energy to give
me the opportunity to make my dreams a reality. Dressage has
given me the opportunity to see the beauty of the human spirit and
meet some of the most infuential people in my life. Being away
at college has also made me realize how special my horses are.
What other hobbies do you have?
In addition to riding I also run and sing. I am on the Notre
Dame cross-country and track team and also sing weekly at mass.
As a child I was in the Michigan State University Children’s Choir,
which won two Grammy awards.
Running and training has given me perspective on training and
working my horses. I can sympathize how they feel after a hard
workout and understand how important hacking and recovering
is for the horses. Singing is an art form that parallels dressage
in many ways. My musical training has helped me in creating
freestyles; I did all of the music for my junior freestyles on my own.
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