Lexi Scovil: Remembering Young Riders

Jon Holling wrote about Lexi Scovil and her horse Chester’s amazing comeback story on Monday.  Today Lexi responded by writing more about her young riders experience and the people who made that comeback possible.  Thanks for writing this Lexi and thank you for reading.

Jon coaching Lexi

From Lexi:

Thanks to Jon’s very touching blog post Monday morning, everyone knows my history with NAYRC and the story of Chester’s amazing comeback.  He really is the most amazing horse, and I’ve never met one that tried harder or wanted to please more, and I am very fortunate to have him as a partner.  Winning individual bronze and team silver this week exceeded all of my hopes and expectations, and I am absolutely on Cloud 9.  I have many people to thank for my success this weekend, but I want to specifically thank three people who have given me the opportunities and tools to get where I am today.

First, I want to give a huge thank you to my mother, who has been so incredibly supportive over my years in this sport, through good times and bad.  She has always made sure I have fantastic coaches and she’s bought me some great horses to ride.  Jon mentioned in his post how I had never given up on Chester; my faith was nothing compared to my mom’s.  She has loved this horse since the day I first sat on him, and she has willingly given him anything he needed over the years.  She always gave him the benefit of the doubt when he wasn’t perfect, and she always saw the best in him.  She has been his biggest cheerleader and I’m so thankful she believed in us both and supported us every step of the way.

I also want to thank Area IV’s amazing chef d’equipe Brewster Walker.  He has been our chef since my first NAYRC in 2009 and he also happens to be my coach while I am at school in North Carolina.  He’s an amazing trainer and an even better chef, and Jon has informed me that he was a big part of why I jumped clean on Sunday as he gave Jon a couple ideas in warmup to help me improve my eye before I went in the ring.  He is an invaluable asset to my training program, and has the additional benefit of keeping me laughing nonstop.

Finally, I want to thank my coach, Jon Holling.  I have had some great coaches since I started eventing, but without a doubt Jon has been the most helpful I have ever had.  He instinctively knows when I need positive encouragement and when I just need a good kick in the pants.  He may never have believed in the horse like I did but he never stopped helping me try to make Chester the horse I thought he could be.  Jon gave me the skills to bring out the brilliance in the horse that is not always readily evident.  Since I first started training with him he has put my needs as a rider ahead of his own ego.  In 2010 when I told him I wanted to spend the summer in Virginia instead of Ocala, he found a working student position for me with Mara DePuy so that I could be in a program that worked for me, even if that wasn’t his at that moment.  Whether I am at his farm or haven’t seen him in months I know I can call him with a question and he will happily give me advice without once thinking what is in it for him.  Without his support I never would have arrived at this point, and I’m ecstatic that I finally have tangible proof of how good his program really is.  We may have a fairytale comeback story, but Jon was just as much a part of that story as Chester and I were. So thank you, Jon- I’m glad I could finally make you proud.

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