A little about me…
Selected to ride in 5-Star Symposium with Stephan Clarke and Gary Rockwell at Pineland Farms as a Training Level demonstration with Tanya Rennie’s DeJure
Region 8 Training Level Jr/YR Championships with DeJure – 8th place, 64.8%
New England Dressage Association’s Year-End Training Level Junior/Young Rider Third Place Highpoint with DeJure – average 69.412%
Region 8 First Level Jr/YR Championships with DeJure – 7th place, 67.426%
New England Dressage Association’s Year-End First Level Junior/Young Rider Highpoint Champion with DeJure
U.S. Dressage Federation’s Youth Volunteer of the Year
New England Dressage Association’s Spring Symposium Third Level Demonstration Rider with DeJure for Rien van der Schaft
Region 8 Third Level Jr/YR Championships with DeJure – 5th place, 64.936%
New England Dressage Association’s Year-End Third Level Junior/Young Rider Reserve Champion with DeJure
North American Junior Championships – Region 8’s team reserve pair with W Spotlight
New England Dressage Association’s Year-End FEI Junior Division 5th Place Highpoint with W Spotlight
North American Youth Championship Region 8 Junior Team Member
New England Dressage Association’s Year-End FEI Junior Champion with W Spotlight
Sophia Chavonelle is a nineteen-year-old rider from Maine who has been in love with horses her entire life. Sophia joined the family of Vienna Farm in 2011, where she began her journey in dressage. Since then, Sophia has had the privilege to ride several horses of all levels in clinics and shows around New England.
Under the tutelage of Tanya Rennie, Sophia and Tanya’s horse DeJure, competed from Training Level through Third Level in an amazing three years, with scores into the 70’s. The duo earned high placings at each level for their Region’s Championships and Year End awards. In 2016, Sophia earned the prestigious USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year award for her “dedication to dressage and the ability to be a positive role model for other youth, through exceptional volunteerism.” In the same year, Sophia met her first owned horse, W Spotlight, a 2008 Westfalen gelding by Sir Donnerhall. The pair immediately began training at the FEI Junior level.
In 2018, they earned a spot on the Region 8 North American Youth Championship team. This was an incredible honor as well as learning experience for both. Competing at the NAYC allowed Sophia to experience the camaraderie of working with a team and enhanced her desire to one day be a U.S. team rider.
For more info, read on. Please note, each of the biographies below was written in the year to which it refers.
Through the summer season of 2014, I showed at Training Level, under the tutelage of Tanya Rennie, on DeJure, owned by Tanya Rennie. DJ and I consistently scored between 67%-73%. By the end of the summer, we had ridden our first qualifying First Level test and were schooling Second Level. In December, as we were preparing for a Second Level debut for the upcoming summer, we faced the setback of an injury, and instead spent the winter with lunge lessons. Even though it was disappointing at the time, I am now glad we faced this, because it made a huge difference in my seat and riding.
In the summer of 2015, we continued to show DJ at First Level, scoring between 63% and 74%, and started showing Second Level in July. Because some lameness issues followed us into the spring, I also showed Atara at Training Level, and All That ‘N More (Andy) at Training Level. This was a very cool experience for me, taking several horses to shows strengthened my organization system, and helped me find a better system of time use. To finish the year, DJ and I placed 6th in the Regional Championships, and though I feel we could have ridden better, I was very happy to make it there, and to have a happy and healthy horse to ride into the winter!
In 2016, DJ and I showed at Third Level. Placing as high as 69.744% and earning an average of 65.770%. At the NEDA Fall Festival and Region 8 Championships, we placed fifth overall! This final test was extremely emotional for all involved, as it was my last ride with DJ, and her final test ever. The awards ceremony was the perfect retirement ceremony for the princess with the pink ribbon!
On October 22, 2017, I was lucky enough to find and buy my dream horse, W Spotlight. Through the spring and summer, we showed at the FEI Junior level, placing 5th overall in their region for the NAJYRC eligibles. Deciding that we weren’t ready for the massive competition, we instead attended the 2017 Courtney King-Dye Horsemastership Clinic, and had an amazing time!
I was absolutely thrilled to spend February and March of 2018 in Aiken, South Carolina with my favorite people and horses. My best friend, Leah Tenney and I worked for Tanya Rennie and her six horses. Upon our retun to Maine, Tanya, Leah and I launched into the qualifying season and earned two spots on the Region 8 Junior team! At the Championships, Region 8 placed Eighth.
The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be.
Because of all I may become, I will close my eyes and leap.