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Jessica Ruppel: Never Say Never

“I always loved horses and I remember as a little girl, putting pennies in my piggy bank to save for a pony and begging my parents for one,” the 28-year-old rider and trainer recalls. Her family lived just 10 minutes from Checkmate Farm, an eventing facility in Feversham, ON, and farm manager Jen Thompson was her babysitter. When Ruppel turned 10, her parents agreed to let her take riding lessons. “I was hooked from the beginning and spent as much time at the barn as possible,” she says. When she was 14, Ruppel finally got her own horse – a four-year- old Thoroughbred/French coach-cross mare. Ruppel “lived and breathed” horses and after graduating from high school went to live and work at Checkmate to pursue a fulltime equestrian career, where she was coached by Nicole Parkin and helped train horses. Ruppel took her mare to the preliminary level, where the…

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