Road to Rebecca, Presented by Bieman de Haas: How It All Got Started

We're excited to follow along with Bieman de Haas sponsored rider Holly Jacks-Smither on her journey to Montana to compete More Inspiration in The Event at Rebecca Farm CCI3*. Joining her on this adventure are sisters Ella and Eva Marquis who are competing in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. Let's meet Ella, Eva and their horses. Click here to read part 1 and here to read part 2. Thanks for writing, ladies, and thanks for reading!

Ella, Eva and Holly. Photo courtesy of Holly Jacks-Smither.

How this whole thing got started… 

So I am totally excited to be coaching “the E’s,” Eva and Ella, at their first NAJYRC this year. I am also blessed to get to take my horse on the journey. As of now I feel like we all know each other inside and out. I have coached the girls for five years and we have been through a lot!

It all started with an email from momma Marquis. She found my name on the internet and needed help. They had bought a farm, a few rescue horses and wanted a coach who would help momma Marquis, papa Marquis and the E’s.

They had a lot to learn and had been steered in a few bad directions by some “sketchy horse people,” but they were common sense people with a lot of passion and a good work ethic so we got along from day one.  

Papa Marquis had come from a dirt biking background and thought eventing was just like Motocross only quieter. The kids were tough from day one so galloping and jumping seemed like a better fit than the hunter ring — they have always been way too ruff tuff and often dirty (AKA piglet 1 and piglet 2) for that sport! I am the same way; I grew up jumping picnic tables in BC and didn’t know how to put on a hair net until Sinead Halpin showed me well after I had done many FEIs!

We found a horse for dad, weeded out a few ponies for the girls that were on trial but not suitable and the relationship began.

Originally mom and dad started to event because the kids were too small, but a year into it the kids got out on the course and most of the time got to the finish line — though not always still on top of their ponies.

The E’s got tougher. Poor Eva probably fell off every way possible! But no matter what she would come back having learned something, and it wasn’t long before she started getting ribbons and upgrading through the levels.

We have had many ups and downs. We have had lots of adventures and I am so lucky to have this fantastic family in my life as owners, clients and friends. One thing for sure: There is NEVER a dull moment, and we try to keep it light and keep laughing. I think the reason the relationship works is that we all have fun in the process. We laugh about the falls and the setbacks and celebrate the wins.

So excited to go on this new adventure at Rebecca Farm!