The eventing community has responded to the loss of Area II Young Rider Ashley Stout with an outpouring of compassion and support. Ashley was clearly well-loved as a daughter, friend and teammate.
Many have remarked on Ashley’s passion for her horse and the sport of eventing. In an email from the school superintendent to parents at Ashley’s school, it was noted that “her mother wanted the community to know that she ‘was doing what she loved and was so very brave.’ ”
This helmet cam video from Sporting Days March H.T., where the Ashley and Avant Garde finished 3rd in the Junior/Young Rider Open Training division, is proof. The footage tells the story of a happy, confident horse and a poised young rider who is quick with praise and pats for a job well done. Running and jumping was clearly their wheelhouse, and they had nary a cross country jump penalty in their 15 starts at USEA competitions.
Ashley was, indeed, so very brave. May her example inspire strength in those she left behind.