By Sarah E. Coleman
MSEDA: Where are you from and what brought you to Kentucky?
TS: I grew up in Delaware, but have lived in six different states. I moved to Louisville in 1990, when I was fortunate enough to be hired by UPS. I had been living in Nashville, flying for American Eagle. I was riding Hunter/Jumpers then, when I could. I rode with David Wright, and basically did any odd job to keep up with lessons, mainly weed eat and clip horses. David even let me buy a young horse, Kip, on a payment plan. I brought that horse with me to George and Leslie Governo's in Crestwood while in training to fly the DC 8 at UPS. I arrived with Kip, in a borrowed trailer, with my furniture!
MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
TS: I started riding when I was 7 or 8. I was the typical horse-crazy kid. My parents did everything they could to support my addiction, including buying my first pony, Sage, when I was 10, and moving to a home within walking distance of the barn. I started competing at local shows and gymkhanas back then. I think the saddle cost more than the pony, but she was perfect to me!
MSEDA: What does your horsey past include?
TS: From 1990 to 2000, I rode jumpers. I had one special horse, Next Day Air (Scout), that gave me a bit of success after several years of not so much! We did the 4-foot Low Amateur jumpers for four or five years. It was fun because he was a Pinto and didn't look like the “typical” jumper at an A show, but he had a huge heart and great knees! And I was either foolish or fearless, so we made a great team.
MSEDA: When did you begin to event?
TS: I switched to Eventing around 2001, after much friendly persuasion from Irene Lampton. Scout and I did our first event at the Training level with two golf carts of eventers following us to see if we survived. We didn't win much because he didn't care for water, and I didn't have a clue about dressage, but we did have fun. I must have joined MSEDA sometime around then.
MSEDA: What are your competition goals and with whom do you train?
TS: I always aspired to go Prelim, but I haven't made it yet, and I am starting over with a new, green horse again now. The highest level I have competed is Training, but most of my success has been at Novice, with another special horse, Night Flight (Bella). I got Bella in 2012, and after a couple of good shows, she got laminitis in the fall. She recovered completely, thanks to a great vet and farriers, and her patience standing in tubs of ice! In 2013, we had a year in the sun, culminating with a win at my favorite horse trial, Team Challenge. Bella was the MSEDA Eventing High Point Mare that year. Finally, I had a horse I could at least pretend I could do dressage on! Rachel Miles has helped a ton with that, and I train with her still.
MSEDA: Who is your eventing partner and how did you get him?
TS: This year has been a tough one. I recently lost my eventing partner, Demply Town (D) to a joint infection. I had been riding D on and off for his owner, Shawna Dietrich, mostly fox hunting. When Bella retired, Shawna offered him to me. It was a match. We did our first recognized horse trial at May Daze going Beginner Novice, and somehow ended up with a win.
MSEDA: What is your favorite memory of him?
TS: My favorite memory of him is the way he would nose my ponytail as I brought him in from the field.
MSEDA: Who will you be competing this year and how did you get her?
TS: I am starting 2016 with a new horse, and new hopes--mostly centered on survival--as Ziva, my 6-year-old Connemara cross, acts like she is 3! I got her from Craig Markoff, after his wife and my friend passed away from cancer. Ziva has spent most of her life willfully enjoying her freedom in the field. We have somewhat mastered walk and trot! She has only dropped me once so far, and was kind enough not to squash me in the process.
MSEDA: What is your goal with her?
TS: My goal is to have her ready to go Starter in the spring. Of course, we need to learn to jump, and trailer and go outside the ring.....My biggest obstacle will be taming her inner mare, and not injuring myself in the process!
MSEDA: Describe Ziva in 10 words.
TS: Green, mare, cute, Donkey, willful, frisky, wiggly, brave, challenging, promising.
MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
TS: I live on a farm in Simpsonville with seven retired horses, one exuberant Boxer name Molly, four cats and a Beta.
MSEDA: Where do you ride?
TS: I ride with Rachel Miles at Blackhorse Stables.
MSEDA: What is your favorite thing about your barn?
TS: I love that the barn atmosphere is relaxed and that the people are friendly.
MSEDA: What are your favorite brands?
TS: My favorite brand is my new riding coat from Winston Equestrian, and I can't live without Rambo blankets.
MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?
TS: I used to wear a bracelet I won on Scout for a good luck charm until a fall smushed it, and I figured I had used up the luck. I also used to wear blue underwear, but that didn't work so well beneath white breeches! Now I just tempt fate and hope for the best.