Riding has been my passion since I was a little girl. A resident of Southwest Ranches, FL, I have been fortunate to grow up with my horses in my backyard. The ability to have horses at home has allowed me to know my horses inside and out, helping me grow as both a rider and horsewoman. My mom and I work side by side, icing, poulticing, washing, tacking up, mucking stalls, and any other barn work necessary.

 

I began my riding career at four years old; however, I did not start with show jumping—barrel racing was my show debut. At seven, my mom took me to a friend’s house, where I rode a pony named Coco and jumped my first cross rail. I guess one could say my barrel racing career was fun but very short!

 

My show jumping career started at the local levels. My mom and I would trailer to the show, tack up, and clean before I would school my pony and show later on in the day. When I met Tiffany Morrissey, head trainer at East Wind Farms, my riding career changed immensely. With Tiffany’s help, I gradually learned the ropes of what it took to be competitive at the top show circuits. In addition to benefiting from her, assistant trainers Maggie Gould, Justin Dye, Amanda Penick and others taught me about all three rings—equitation, hunters and jumpers.  I have been riding with East Wind for my entire junior riding career, showing successfully around the country at Wellington’s Winter Equestrian Festival; Lexington, KY; Traverse City, MI; and at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, MD, among other places.

 

I’ve been fortunate to achieve some notable successes. In 2015, I earned two Circuit Championships at the Winter Equestrian Festival: I was 12-14 Circuit Champion with my own Cassis and rode Sweet Oak Farms’ Serendipity to the Low Children’s Jumper Circuit Championship. I also earned Reserve Champion honors in both divisions for Zone 4 and qualified for the THIS Children’s Medal Final. There, I rode Don Stewart’s Blige to the seventh place ribbon in the THIS Warm-up Division, despite riding the horse for the first time that weekend. I qualified for the THIS Children’s Medal Final a second time in 2016. That year, I was also the Reserve Champion of the South Florida Hunter Jumper Association Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final.

 

Now, I am a regular competitor in the Big Eq divisions. I competed at the ASPCA Maclay Region 4 Championship and qualified for the USEF Medal Final and the THIS Children’s Medal Final aboard my own Shannaghmore, affectionately known as, “Marty.”

 

In addition to making riding important, my academics will forever be my main priority. Having a commanding riding schedule requires me to miss a fair amount of school, but I have learned to balance the work load while ensuring I meet all my academic obligations. I have managed to excel in all honors and AP courses at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

 

I also contribute to various charitable causes. To support and raise money for my hometown scholarship fund, I was named Miss Congeniality Southwest Ranches. Together with the other contestants, we raised more than $5,000 to benefit an academic scholarship that will be given out at the end of the year. I enjoy contributing to my town and fellow neighbors in any way possible.

 

Riding is not just a hobby for me: It’s my lifestyle. Riding for the NCEA would be an honor. I believe that my high achieving academic career, coupled with my experience in the ring, would make me an asset to any competitive team. I have spent my summers on the road horse showing, reading summer reading, and taking on line courses to further advance my academic goals.  I plan to continue to work hard to reach my goals in all areas.

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