Write (or Video!) Your Way to Free Training from Great Meadow International with the Jimmy Wofford Essay Contest

Kristen Bond and Enough Already at Great Meadow. Photo by Jenni Autry.

One of the things that I always most loved about Jimmy Wofford was that all his (extensive!) equine knowledge and wisdom was so eloquently imparted: he was as good a writer as he was a rider and trainer, and I learned as much about the art and craftsmanship of creating brilliant sentences as I did about riding positively to a fence when reading his books and columns over the years.

Now, his extraordinary legacy is being honoured in a way that reflects his love for sharing knowledge, with the Jim Wofford Essay Contest, presented by Davis Equine. There will be two prizes on offer at this year’s MARS Great Meadow International (August 24–27): the Scholarship Prize “will be awarded to a GMI competitor based on their submission and their sportsmanship and horsemanship demonstrated throughout the weekend”, while the Development Prize is open to “all spectators, competition staff, volunteers, grooms, and participants of GMI for the current year.”

So what are those submissions? Well, although this is ostensibly an essay competition, it’s actually broader in scope than that – you can enter an essay, a video submission, or a quote concerning Jimmy’s training techniques. (If I were to be eligible to enter, I reckon I’d go down the route of a Woff-inspired cross-country day preview and predictions piece, which used to be the highlight of my horse-magazine-guzzling year. You’re welcome to take that idea and run with it, writers and vlogger types.)

Jim Wofford and Chinch share a moment.

The prizes, which are generously sponsored by Davis Equine, Ride Safe, the Virginia Equine Rehab Center, and the GMI organising committee, are fittingly educational: the winning contestant of the Scholarship Prize will receive a training stipend of $2500 to train with one of the trainers from a pool of trainers who previously trained with Jimmy, who will be selected by the organising committee, and will also receive a perpetual trophy. The Development Prize winner will receive a collection of Jimmy’s “most influential books about training techniques”, to be provided by Davis Equine, and an award certificate.

“Jim Wofford was a horseperson beloved by the local equestrian community and beyond,” says Dr. Chad Davis of Davis Equine. “Many of the riders at GMI have been influenced by Wofford. We wanted to honor his contributions to the sport, not only in this year, but for many years to come with the support of the community and this local event.”

Ready to enter? Click here and give it your best shot. Submissions are due on August 15, 2023 and winners will be awarded at Great Meadow International (August 24-27). And, as always, Go Eventing!

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments