By Sarah E. Coleman
MSEDA: Where are you from?
RE: I am from Huntington, W. Va., but I travel to Kentucky for shows and coaching.
MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
RE: I started riding a Tennessee Walking Horse with my mother and begged her to get me horseback riding lessons. I started taking lessons when I was 10. The only person in the area who taught lessons was Pam Watts. I took lessons with her for eight years; she taught English with an emphasis on eventing.
MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
RE: I got my first horse when I was 12; his name was Western Artist and he was from Midway University. Pam took us in the middle in the night (because that’s when eventers do things) to look at a horse. She got on this horse without a saddle or bridle--he was such a good boy she said “we are taking this on home!” I later got him on Christmas day.
MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
RE: I own Kranos, a 7-year-old OTTB. I also have a 14-year-old Thoroughbred that I have competed in dressage. His name is Crown Select.
MSEDA: Who do you train with?
RE: My coach for the past 18 years is Maggie Wright of Champagne Run Farm. She coached me at my first Intermediate and held my hand at during all my three-days. She saw Karanos "Indy" at her farm and thought of me. He was very quiet and, after having a child, I needed a dependable, quiet ride.
MSEDA: Do you compete your horses?
RE: I have only competed Kranos in Beginner Novice and Novice. I am hoping to compete Novice this spring and see how he does before I decide if we can do Training. I competed Crown Select in Training and completed the Training level three-day in 2010. He is for sale, but I might try to compete him in second level dressage this spring.
MSEDA: Do your horses have any quirks?
RE: Indy has a lot of quirks. He cribs, weaves and is a brat on the ground, but he is the exact opposite when you get on his back. I let my 4-year-old ride him all the time. And he gets spanked with a whip all the time for being lazy!
MSEDA: Do you have children?
RE: I have two kids, a 4-year-old girl, Vera, and 5-month-old Parker. Vera comes to the barn with me every day and has been at horse shows with me since she was 6 months old. I hope she catches the eventing bug.
MSEDA: What do you do for a living?
RE: I work at the Equine Medical Center in Chesapeake, Ohio. I work part-time and teach lessons part-time, and own a full-time boarding barn. I have been coaching and teaching lessons in Milton, W. Va., for the past 15 years. I have had students from Starter to Prelim.
MSEDA: What is your favorite show and why?
RE: My favorite show is probably Champagne Run at the Park. Maggie Wright, my trainer, organizes the show and all her students pitch in to help, so it’s a huge party for everyone at the Park.
MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?
RE: When I was younger, I wore the same socks for all my events. I almost refuse to wear white breeches on cross country for fear of falling off and staining them. I also have a belt with my two-star horse’s name on it (Cyrano, whom I put down in 2010), that I wear on cross country to keep him with me.
MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
RE: I think I have been a MSEDA member for 22-24 years. I haven't missed a Rolex for probably 25 years.