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.
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*”
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.”
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.”
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.”