Not everything can be taught in the classroom, unless of course the classroom includes an outdoor classroom. Such was the case for Julie Wolfert, an eventing competitor of 18 years who has also make a living teaching the sport for the past six years.
Wolfert brought 10 of her young and upcoming students accompanied by as many horses to Reobke’s Run Horse Trials in Hector, Minnesota to give them some on-the-job dressage, stadium jumping and cross-country course training. In all, she has about 30 students. That’s her job, and she says her job is her hobby.
Hailing from Bucyrus, Kansas, the trek here was a considerable drive, but both students and teacher felt was very worthwhile. Wolfert ended the weekend with a respectable first place finish in Open Novice on her Canadian Sport horse, Getaway, and a second place award in the Novice Horse division on her Thoroughbred, Buenas Suerte.
Some of her fellow riders also fared well: Cynthia Wiseman and Vote Yes, took first place honors in the CIC2* division; Hannah Gurske and Buenos Dias placed first in Beginner Novice; Michaela Holcomb placed third on her horse, Cloud Nine in the CIC* group and other respectable performances were recorded by Lauren Stiver in Open Training, Hayley Clark in Training Rider, Brittany Carter in Novice Rider, Audrey Senter in Beginner Novice Rider-A, and Mallory Stiver in Beginner Novice Rider-B.
“My strength is in dressage, but cross-country is why we do our sport. If you don’t want to do cross-country, you don’t belong in eventing,” said Wolfert who will be competing in cross-country on both of her horses.
Wolfert, like others in her group were quite impressed with the entire layout at Roebke’s Run. “I was here last summer for the first time. I know the cross-country course is always decorative and the Schweiss family does a good job. I love it here. Area 4 is not a big eventing area. When I come up here I see that everything is done very professionally, I love the stalls and everything runs on time; that’s why I came back,” noted Wolfert.
Both of her horses have qualified for the American Eventing Championships in Texas later this year and she plans to go there. She says she has a lot of students who also want to go because that’s their “big” event, so they all concentrate on qualifying for it. “I’ve always loved jumping and galloping. I like the fact that there are three disciplines. You don’t get bored when you are training because you are doing something different every day, and eventing keeps you humble. I started out in the hunter-jumper world where you do the same thing every day and it gets boring,” said Wolfert.
Wolfert agreed that most everyone attending events is quite friendly and ready to help one another. “If someone asks you a question about a horse, you want to tell them what to do. The sport can be a little dangerous, it’s safety first for everyone.” At age 25, Wolfert has years of competition ahead of her. She said it may be a ways off, but one future goal of hers is to some day compete in the Olympics and represent the United States on a national level.