Never seen without a smile, incoming MSEDA board member Amelia Jean Foster is passionate about horses, competition, her Thoroughbred stallion—and cooking!
By Sarah E. Coleman
Amelia became a member of MSEDA in November of 2016—in time to ensure that her November and December Snowbird participation counted toward 2017 awards, she points out! This competitive drive is what eventually led Amelia to the MSEDA board, where she hopes to make an impact in all aspects of MSEDA-sanctioned competitions.
Currently, Amelia shows in dressage and show jumping, and might try her hand at a few combined tests in 2019. She owns a few horses of her own, but her main competition horse is Ibboyee, a ’07 Thoroughbred stallion. “You’ve probably seen him around the shows and not even known he’s intact!” she says. “He’s a perfect gentleman.”
All in the Family
Amelia’s ties with the Thoroughbred industry are deep: Her family breeds racehorses in New York and Ibboyee was produced by her aunt. The big bay did quite well at the track in graded stakes races, running 19 times and winning 7 races. He ran for trainer Todd Pletcher and won over $700,000 during his racing career. To add to his accolades, Ibboyee was the 2009 New York-bred Male of the Year.
“He was one of my favorite foals, so when he was finished running and I had the opportunity to buy him back in 2012, I leapt at it,” Amelia explains of his transition to a more-Southern lifestyle. “He’s had a great transition to the sporthorse world, winning in in-hand classes, dressage and show jumpers. He’s brought home many year-end awards and championships, and I am so proud of him! We’re hoping to have his first foals on the ground in 2020. He’s available for stud!”
Amelia loves to compete, so her favorite part of MSEDA are the shows and events. “I feel at home in the saddle and I love the challenge of a dressage test or new course, so the fact the MSEDA puts so much effort into making sure we have quality judges and course designers makes the experience so much more rewarding,” she explains. Another reason she loved the organization? “Definitely the clinics and educational opportunities that are offered all season. This sport is evolving so quickly, it’s great to have access to such knowledgeable individuals who want to see competitors succeed at every level.”
Taking on a MSEDA Role
Amelia was approached in 2018 by a MSEDA board member, who mentioned that her name and come up in the nominations. “That was such a compliment and entirely unexpected!” she exclaimed. “So, after some consideration regarding time commitment, I decided to accept the nomination and I was elected in December. I’m an active participant in many of the shows that MSEDA sanctions, so it’s my turn to give back to the organization!”
Amelia is looking forward to helping the organization grow during her time on the MSEDA Board. She is also interested in learning more about how MSEDA can support their members so they continue to have fantastic experiences at events. Education is also important to her, and she is looking forward to being able to increase members’ knowledge of the sport as a whole. “Being an active competitor, I’m hoping that members of MSEDA will be comfortable talking to me about their ideas so I can voice their concerns and suggestions to the board.”
Amelia is currently co-chair of the Awards Committee and a member of both the Communications Committee and the Rules & Bylaws Committee. “I would love to work toward having the MSEDA membership year and competition year coincide, so dues are paid just as the new competition year is beginning, in the same manner that USEF and the national organizations (USDF, USEA, USHJA, etc.) currently do,” she explains of her goals for her tenure on the board. “I would also like to continue rewarding MSEDA volunteers for their hard work at competitions, providing quality awards for those who put in so many hours!”
Jumping Right In
One thing Amelia was quick to point out regarding her first few months on the MSEDA board is how every member’s voice matters. “At the first board meeting of 2019, one of the other board members who has been on the board for a while made sure to tell everyone new that we were there for a reason and that they wanted to hear what we had to say--so speak up,” she explained. “I believe the same goes for all MSEDA members. If you have a concern or a question or an idea, or you want more information: ask. We’re here to help!”
Amelia’s used to manage the inventory control and marketing for a local equine-supply company. Currently she trains horses professionally with her Cannonbrook Farms and manages and rided for a small Thoroughbred and sport horse facility that focuses on rehabilitation for upper-level horses, as well as initial breaking and training for young horses. She also teaches riding lessons and has her stallion, Ibboyee, available for stud.
Amelia feels that all of her involvement in the horse world will help her assist MSEDA in having a relevant voice and engaging content, which will hopefully translate to an increase in membership and more exciting events for competitors. “Everything in this day and age relates to marketing,” she explains. “Being an active rider and competitor, I can see where MSEDA has the chance improve certain aspects of their competitions to enhance the overall experience for riders and horses.”
Not A One-trick Pony
While deeply passionate about horses and competition, Amelia’s interested and talents are vast and varied. One interest most people might be unaware of? Cooking! “I love to cook and I’m working (very slowly) on a cookbook for equestrians,” she says. “We’re all so busy, but we need healthy meals to balance our lifestyle. Meals that don’t take long to cook, or can be made ahead of time and keep well—and that actually taste good, too! Eating the same thing all the time is boring, so I’m constantly inventing something new.”