Discipline: 3-Day Eventing
Date of Birth: August 10, 1955
Place of Birth: Edmonton, AB
Hometown: Orangeville, ON
Marital Status: Single
Other Careers (if any): Small animal veterinarian
Who are your mentors, both in and outside the equestrian industry?
My horses, whose patience, tolerance and forgiveness never ceases to amaze me.
If you couldn’t compete in your current sport, what other equestrian discipline would you like to try?
If I couldn’t compete, I would still have to be involved in eventing. I love the sport and the people involved in it. I would probably do more coaching and also learn to be a technical delegate so I could still travel to the events and put back into the sport that has given me so much.
What is the coolest place you’ve ever visited? When? Why?
I’ve been extremely lucky to have traveled a lot in my youth and therefore have been to many cool places. But Africa has my fondest memories. Having lived there in several countries and attended University in Kenya, the lifestyle was amazing and the wildlife was fantastic.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met?
There are so many interesting people that I have met due to my competing and traveling with my horses. As an international rider I now have friends around the world all with similar outlooks on life.
Do you have a new and upcoming horse/s?
Windswept is still quite new to me so I’m still very excited about his future. I also have several other horses also owned by Dan Good – My Romance, Roundabout and Romancing, and two owned by Dr. Usha Knabe – Eric and Georgian Bay. I’m happy to say that both Aberdare and Strike-A-Pose are happily competing at the young rider level and enjoying their new jobs.
If you could ride anyone else’s horse, which one would you choose? Why?
I’m always one for a challenge so rather than ride someone else’s horse that’s made, I’m always looking for horses that are labeled as difficult or misunderstood to see if I can figure them out and improve them.
What is the most memorable/important horse show moment to you? Why?
Rolex 2002 with Aberdare. She is such an amazing horse with an amazing heart. She proved to all the doubters that she could do it and qualified us for the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain.
Tell us about your first pony.
I never had a pony. My first horse was an ex-racehorse in Kenya. The owner had been killed in a car crash and her husband didn’t know what to do with him so he gave me “Oscar.” He was a very scrawny, sorry looking soul, but he was my first and I loved him.
What kind of car do you drive?
An F350 4-door diesel dually long box. Go large!
What is the funniest experience you’ve ever had with a fan?
Getting arrested at Rolex on my way to cross country due to no drivers license in my pocket!
What has been the scariest experience in your life so far?
Walking the course the first time at the World Equestrian Games in Spain, reminding myself that I had volunteered for this position and the team depended on it and Abby and I could jump around that course. I found out that most of the other riders felt the same!
What is the trait you like most about yourself? Like least?
My perseverance. It is both a good and bad trait. It drives a lot of friends and co-workers crazy but it also got me where I am today.
What is one item you cannot leave home without?
My dogs. And if I’m traveling overseas it’s always because of, and therefore with, at least one horse.
Do you have a dog or cat? What kind? Do they go to horse shows with you?
Two Jack Russells, and yes, they go just about everywhere with me.
Do you watch a lot of television? Are there any shows you can’t do without?
I don’t watch a lot of TV. My farm is named Cranmore farm, but I’m teased that it’s actually called “Crammore Farm.”
What are your biggest pet peeves?
People who come to look at horses to buy and never phone back even if they’re not interested.
What do you do to relieve stress before a big competition?
Use the stress to make you focus and hopefully ride better. Stress is a necessary evil.
How do you manage competing at the level you do and maintaining your other professional career?
My riding is a passion – a very time consuming one, but as a passion, one finds the time. It demands being very organized and also a back-up crew who support you, but I’m lucky enough to really love being a vet as well so there has never been the notion to quit – so we just make it work.
Is there a song that describes you and your lifestyle?
Ryan Malcolm’s single that he sang when he was Canadian Idol in 2003.
When did you start riding and how? (Pony Club, backyard pony, etc)
As a kid I would bug my parents to let me hop on any horse/pony we came across and finally had riding lessons on Saturdays – usually bareback as there were not enough saddles. I fell off a lot but also learned a lot, especially about balance.