By Betsy Hudson
What do some of our students do in their free time? Several of our students faithfully work with horses and glean a wider understanding of life – communication with animals, and the environment.
Katlyn Sargent ’13 shows her horses in both English and western equation/pleasure shows. Her parents grew up with horses, so she was lucky enough to be born into it. She started showing in lead-line classes when she was three and has been showing ever since. Very involved in 4H, she works with younger and less experienced riders to help them learn about horses and showing. She has been on the Maine state 4H equestrian team three times. The team consists of the top 20 riders in Maine and represent Maine as they show against the other New England states. She loves to go on trail rides and try new things- maybe even a game show here and there.
Sarah Pyne ’13 is an eventer. She is shown here skillfully completing the cross-country phase in competition. She has been riding since she was two and eventing since she was seven. Eventing is not for the weak in spirit! Her plans are to work this summer to work at Habitat for Humanity in Africa, then take a sabbatical from her studies as a working student under Will Faudree (a four star eventer who is currently on the US eventing team). After that she will attend Clemson University majoring in architecture (while also riding on their eventing team and taking some classes in their Equine Business Studies Program). She has always loved riding, particularly cross-country and plans to continue riding the rest of her life.
Tessa Lilley ’14, first began riding competitively at the age of four in the Maine Appaloosa/
Quarter Horse Circuit. She switched to English riding and during her Pony Club years, Lilley twice qualified and competed in the Pony Club Nationals in Lexington, Virginia and Lexington, Kentucky representing the State of Maine. Lilley is currently training a seven year old, Dutch warmblood-thoroughbred mare named “Aero Miles” though she’s called “Millie.” Lilley says, “Millie is by far the most athletic horse I have had the opportunity to train and has the potential to take me through my riding career.” Lilley and Millie are currently training to be show jumpers.
Laddy DeLucca Lowell ’16 lives on a farm with seven horses. She rides mostly for pleasure although she has competed in shows. During the spring and fall she gives trail rides to friends and neighbors and in the summertime, has camps, and gives pony rides for little children.
A number of our alumni are active in horse-related professions. Sara Edleston ’98 is the editor of one of the nation’s leading weekly equestrian magazines, the Chronicle of the Horse. Judy Oliver ’93 is a professional dressage trainer in Florida. Kelly Ginn ’02 runs and teaches riding at Stonewall Stables in Clifton, Maine where John Bapst international students rode last year. Jessica Dion ’96 owns and runs Sweethollow Farm in Eddington, Maine, teaches riding, and is becoming a recognized dressage judge.
Why do these riders dedicate themselves to this sport? Tessa Lilley expresses it quite well, “Riding has taught me what it takes to follow my dreams: from the sacrifice that hurts on the bad days to the joys of achievement on the good days and the perseverance for all the days in between. I have learned that hard work pays off and a little bit of heart can go a long way.”