Where do I even begin to describe my experience at the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic? Ever since I was six years old I have competed at this show. It is not just the nature of the competition that has drawn me back every year, but it is the atmosphere, the networking, the enthusiasm, and most importantly the roots of show jumping that are near and dear to my heart.
Last year at the 50th anniversary show, I was so incredibly humbled to have the opportunity to not only compete and receive the Howard Lewis Memorial Trophy, but also to give back to my community. I truly feel that this sport has molded me into the woman I am today. With the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic, I was lucky enough to help with social media marketing, as well as connect with young children and teach them about my passion.
My fantastic experience last year sparked an idea that I truly want to promote with aspirations that one day the USEF supports this effort. I want to create a sportsmanship award geared toward amateurs. I feel sportsmanship is the ultimate characteristic to not only excelling in the horse industry, but also to excelling in life. Equivalent to sportsmanship is education. I want to combine these two elements into an award that will be presented to individuals who strive to be leaders and role models in the horse industry, especially for the junior riders. The recipients of this award will receive a prize that will go toward aiding their riding career, whether it is an extra lesson, a clinic, or even cash toward a farrier bill. The horse industry is flooded with junior riders and amateur riders who have established careers. If we are able to highlight those individuals who represent sportsmanship as well as aid those amateurs who are still in the development stages of their careers we positively impact the economy of horse shows and their profitability for years to come. One of those shows being the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic–home of North America’s first grand prix.
Phoenix Cooke & Sky’s Burnin’ Blue