Your Turn: Eventers You Are Inspired By

Kelsey and The Gentleman Pirate after their cross country run at Paradise Farm. Photo by Jamey Price. Kelsey and The Gentleman Pirate after their cross country run at Paradise Farm. Photo by Jamey Price.

Last week we shared with you eight emerging stars that we were inspired by in 2014. We asked for you to add to our list by telling us about an eventer that inspires you, and we got some great submissions! Take it away, EN!

Kelsey Briggs and Pirate

Suzanne Hardesty said she expected to see Kesley and her 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding The Gentleman Pirate on the original list. Indeed, who could forget this mother of all comeback stories? After Pirate broke his neck in a pasture accident, he was lucky to be alive but was never expected to be ridden again. With the support of her friends and family, Kelsey kept hope alive and Pirate made a miraculous recovery. Not only did he return to work, he returned to the Intermediate level last spring.

Megan Moore

Megan Moore and Master Mind. Photo by Le Tilghman.

Megan Moore and Master Mind. Photo by Le Tilghman.

Christina Kaufman: “Megan and her support at Team CEO, which includes her dad Howard and her terrific barn manager Andrea Johnson, have created a wonderful environment for both horses and riders. Megan has had her share of challenges and comes back stronger after each one. She is putting together a very strong string of horses and works incessantly on her horses, for her students and never ceases to try to improve her own horsemanship. No shortcuts, just plain hard work. Megan is a positive force that reflects what is great about this sport. Great things will be happening this year!”

Tracey Bienemann and Zara

Alison Asti: “Tracey Bienemann and her mare Zara have been to toiling away together since they won the 2011 USEF 22-24 Year Old Eventing Championship in the Fair Hill two-star. It seems that every September, just before the Fair Hill CCI3* something goes wrong.” Between injuries and unfortunate unscheduled dismounts, they are still seeking “the ever elusive CCI3*”

Tracey Bienemann and Zara. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tracey Bienemann and Zara. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Sara Mittleider

Anne Ward: “I am inspired by Sara Mittleider who has gone to the top on an inexpensive horse that she trained (with the help of her family) herself. And she’s continuing the tradition with horses she makes herself. She is my inspiration.”

Brittany Kuntz

Lorie Richards: “She has had her share of loss and let downs and goals just not quite met in the last 3 years but continues to work hard for future goals, thinks of her horse first and does it all with a smile and grace! She and her horse Heat Inndex (Dex) are USEA Area II 4th place Junior Training and tied for 3rd in Junior Preliminary Year end awards and are 2nd in both MDCTA HOY Jr Training and Above and Junior Rider Training and Above recognized only. She is bringing along her horse on her own and doing a great job. She works so hard and is so committed to eventing! Look for them in 2015!”

Bailey Moran

Natasha Botway: “Bailey Moran inspired me to keep working with my OTTB Rusty. I’ve been going back and forth with selling him for a while, but now that I’ve waited a bit his personality is really shining through and we become closer every day. Her kind words have always been in the back of my mind when times got tough and kept me going.”

Bailey Moran and Loughnatousa Caislean. Photo credit to Storey Crenshaw.

Bailey Moran and Loughnatousa Caislean. Photo credit to Storey Crenshaw.

Kate Mason

Nicole Hill: “After giving up her previous upper-level horses to serve her country in the Army Kate returned to Carrsville, VA, and became a paramedic/firefighter to support her growing business. She produced Justice League (Theo) herself after picking him up from the track as a skinny cast off racehorse. They are currently competing Novice. Kate inspires her students, the Pony Clubbers she continues to give back to and all her loyal supporters. Kate works long hours not only with her business Team Dark Horse Eventing but also as a paramedic firefighter risking her life on a daily basis to keep others safe. My hope for her is to succeed at all she does.”
Young Riders

Susan Mannix: “To the young riders out there whose love for the sport never waivers, despite financial constraints and other circumstances beyond their control. Most will never make it to the NAJYRC but are making choices and working hard to reach their goals, always putting their horses ahead of themselves. (And they are often the biggest cheerleaders for those who do make it to Young Riders). These are the USEA’s lifers…don’t forget them!!”


Sarah Krieger wraps it all up very well, as clearly this is a sport where we are all inspired by each other every day: “All those other riders that work just as hard, face hardships, setbacks and challenges who you haven’t heard of yet but are working towards getting their recognition.”