Full time student at Centenary University and working student for Emil Spadone at Redfield Farm
How long have you been part of the horse world?
I’ve been part of the horse world for about 12 years now. I started by showing in IEA and 4-H around 6th grade before stepping into the hunter-jumper show circuit and competing at “A” rated shows in equitation, hunters and jumpers.
What part do you play in the horse world?
Right now, I’m a developing rider. I’m currently majoring in equine studies at Centenary University and working and learning under some of the equine industry’s top professionals like Emil Spadone and Michael Dowling. I’m improving upon my riding as I compete on my school’s IHSA team, of which I’m captain, and striving to promote myself in the ring at some “A” rated horse shows as well as competing in the USHJA’s Emerging Athlete Program. In doing all these things, I’m taking as many opportunities as I can to learn and better myself as a rider, competitor, horseman and future industry professional.
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love everything! I really enjoy being able to work with all the horses, not just on their backs but also on the ground. The barn is always a friendly atmosphere that makes being there and working a lot of fun. I love being able to get on all the different horses that I have available to me and figuring out how I can improve each ride from the last. It’s like a puzzle that will never get tiring.
What’s your biggest achievement?
One of my biggest achievements has been winning the Charles E. Kenny Jr. Memorial Jumper Style Award at the 2019 Prix De Ville with Vinny, a 13-year-old gelding whom I had just started riding. The award is presented to the rider who the judge believes shows the best classical jumper style. I’m also proud of being elected as captain of Centenary’s IHSA team because it’s allowed me to experience a new leadership role while competing on an amazing team. Being able to work and learn under Emil Spadone is one of my more recent accomplishments. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to be able to have an intimate view of his business and learn directly from him.
What are you goals for the future?
My goals after I graduate from Centenary include continuing my education by working and learning as much as I can under many successful horsemen and -women before declaring myself as a professional. My long-term goal is to eventually start up my own sales and training business and compete at the Grand Prix level. However, whatever I end up doing, I know that horses will always be involved and that I will always be a lifelong participant in this industry.
What’s the best thing about your life?
The best thing about my life is that I get to go to school to study and learn about horses as well as work with them on a daily basis. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity to do that and have the amazing support of my family that has helped to encourage and push me along the way.
Best kept secret about what you do?
Many people don’t know that my first riding experience was Western and trail riding. Along with that, I’ve dabbled in a multitude of areas of the equine industry including hunter-jumper, reining, foxhunting, saddleseat, ranch sorting, contesting, dressage, cross-country and driving. I think having an idea of how all these different disciplines work has given me a broader view of the industry and has led me to apply concepts from one discipline to another.
Photos by Winslow Photography