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Making A Difference
By Dani Moritz
After watching the cartoon My Little Pony, Paige Johnson knew
she wanted to ride. So her parents, Sheila and Robert Johnson,
founders of Black Entertainment Television (BET), bought Paige
her frst pony - a small pony that Paige describes as “super lazy,
but very cute.” At eight years old, Paige started competing and
she hasn’t stopped yet.
Today, Paige is a show jumper with an impressive track
record. She has won multiple grand prix classes such as the
$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix and the $25,000 Hagyard
Lexington Classic at The Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Paige
has not let her accomplishments go to her head. “I always try to
get better and learn [from] and observe other top riders. I think
no matter what you choose to do in life, you can always better
yourself by educating oneself in your feld and never assuming
there’s nothing left for you to learn. The more you are open to
learning and working on your craft, the better you will be.”
When Paige is not aboard one of her eight show horses working
towards perfection, she donates her time to community service
projects. She is an ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador as
well as a volunteer for HomeSafe, a South Florida based non-
proft organization that helps victims of child abuse and domestic
As an ASPCA ambassador since 2011, Paige proudly speaks
at ASPCA functions to help promote the organization and the
welfare of animals. “As an equestrian, I have a strong love for
animals, not just horses. Any organization that helps promote the
welfare of animals and saves animals from devastating conditions
is an organization I want to be a part of. The ASPCA has been
around since 1866, and horses have been central to their work.
It is a well-established and respected organization that works to
protect and aid horses through rescue, enforcement, grants, anti-
cruelty laws and legislation. It was an honor to be asked to be an
Paige is one of seven riders selected to be an ambassador.
Other ambassadors include Brianne Goutal, Beezie Madden,
Georgina Bloomberg, Hayley Barnhill, Jill Rappaport and Declan
As of 2011, Paige also started volunteering for HomeSafe. “It’s
so wonderful what they do to help these children. They all come
from diffcult backgrounds. Last year, I went to visit the facility and
I got to meet with the wonderful kids and the counselors who work
with them, trying to set them up to succeed in the world after they
leave HomeSafe.”
Paige is the co-chair for HomeSafe’s Jump For HomeSafe
Event. Last year, she chaired the event alone; but joined forces
with her friend Clara Lindner Belden to co-chair this year’s event.
Jump For HomeSafe, held January 12, raised proceeds to
support HomeSafe’s efforts to help victims of child abuse and
domestic violence. As part of the event, attendees enjoyed a
buffet dinner and open bar, ringside seating to the Nespresso
Battle of the Sexes event, a silent auction, horseless jumping
competition for children, face painting, pony rides and more.
Paige attributes her success to two people the rest of the
world labels famous; but who Paige simply calls mom and dad. “I
have wonderful, loving and supportive parents who have always
encouraged me to follow my dreams and work hard at it. To me
they are my parents, not the people who started BET.”
The Inspirational
Paige Johnson
Paige aboard Chiron S., or “Tucker” for short, in the $30K Mar-a-
Lago Grand Prix.
Photo by Jack Mancini
Paige Johnson
Photo by Sonny T. Senser