So far, this season has seen many successes from fledgling riders earning their first ribbons, to veterans showcasing their hard work and talents to claim high point rider honors. But riding for Miami’s Equestrian team is about more than just horse shows. The greatest part is sharing the love of the sport with teammates and forming lasting friendships. That’s why MUET riders make a point of supporting one another in the show ring, but also bonding outside of the barn.
Recently, the captains of each team planned a team bonding event. Riders left their boots and helmets at home to socialize with new and returning members of their discipline. Hunt Seat team captain, Jessi Thorne, organized a trip to nearby Butterfield Farms. The October day was perfect for a hay ride and corn maze. They even fed cows. The day ended with a campfire perfect for making s’mores.
Lauren Lockhart, captain of the Dressage Team, decided it was time for some sweet treats. The Dressage Team went to Orange Leaf uptown for some of the best frozen yogurt around. Dana Rossman, Western Team captain also decided to bond over food. The Western Team met at Fiesta Charra for Mexican food. Yum!
The bonding continued last weekend when the team traveled to the Alltech Arena in Lexington, Kentucky for the National Horse Show. They watched the junior hunter stakes classes and the Grand Prix. They even got to meet Harry DeLoyer, the owner of the horse, Snowman. Snowman was slaughter bound when Harry bought him at auction. The grey didn’t seem like anything special, but he had a kind disposition which Harry thought would work well in his lesson program. Harry later learned that not only could Snowman jump, he could positively fly. Snowman and Harry’s story was turned into a book, The Eighty Dollar Champion, written by Elizabeth Letts.
Harry was inducted into the show jumping hall of fame during the National Horse Show. He spoke to the Miami riders and signed pictures of himself jumping Snowman. Look for the Miami riders to appear in an upcoming documentary!