aspiring dressage athlete
Hi, I’m Sophia!
I am a twenty-two-year-old rider originally from Windham, Maine. I started riding when I was just five at local barns, mostly trail riding and playing games bareback. In 2011, I joined the family at Vienna Farm, which is where I was introduced to the fantastic world of dressage. I competed in local schooling shows until 2014, when I began a lease on my coach Tanya Rennie’s amazing schoolmaster, DeJure. With Jure, I competed from Training through Third Level, earning my USDF Bronze Medal and several Region 8 Championship and NEDA Year-End awards.
In 2016 I earned the prestigious USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year award for my “dedication to dressage and the ability to be a positive role model for other youth, through exceptional volunteerism.” In the same year, I bought W Spotlight, a 2008 Westfalen gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Floristan), and we immediately began working towards the FEI Junior level. In 2018 we earned a spot on the Region 8 North American Youth Championship team, placing 10th in the Team division (not so well in the Individual, unfortunately). Competing at the NAYC allowed me to experience the camaraderie of working with a team and fueled my desire to one day be a U.S. Team rider.
In 2019 I, along with three other riders, was accepted to experience the Dressage Foundation’s Young Rider International Dream program at the CHIO Aachen. There, we witnessed some of the best riding in the world and got to meet some of the world’s most renowned trainers and industry professionals. It was truly a life-changing experience that I will never forget.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spotlight and I were unable to fulfill our dreams at the Young Riders, beyond one CDI-Y in Wellington, FL in 2020. Following this winter season, in which we attended the Dressage4Kids Winter Intensive Training program, I took an amazing opportunity to work for Sabine Schut-Kery in Napa, California.
Working for and riding with Sabine has proved to be an enormously important next step in my riding career. From the responsibility of riding and caring for our team of horses while Sabine was in Tokyo, to grooming for her in Wellington, to riding one of our breeding stallions in his first U.S. licensing, the learning curve has been huge and I’ve been absorbing as much of it as I can.
I tragically lost my boy Spotlight in the late summer of 2021, due to a joint infection following a routine treatment. While this was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve had to endure, everything happens for a reason. In the spring of 2022 I found my next partner, Jetson EP (Bordeaux x Sambertino.) While I have now “aged out” of the young rider scene, I hope to bring Jetson into the developing horse program once our partnership has grown stronger.
Sabine and I have now relocated to San Marcos, California at the most beautiful Palms Equestrian Center, alongside the incredible trainers Christine Traurig and Marie Medosi. I have such a special group of people and horses surrounding me, and I am incredibly excited to see where this new chapter takes me.