Biography for Esmee Ingham and Norseman
Name: Esmee Ingham
Date of Birth: November 25th, 1992
Discipline: Dressage – FEI Young Rider
Hometown: West Vancouver, BC
High School: Sentinel Secondary, West Vancouver, 2010
Post Secondary Education: Capilano Unversity, North Vancouver

My name is Esmee Ingham and I am applying for the Horse Sport Canada Bursary.  Currently, I am enrolled in the Special Education Assistant Program at Capilano University.  This spring, I took a semester off school to travel to California with my mother and coach to train and attend three CDI 3* competitions.  In my time away from school and outside of the barn, I have obtained my Standard First Aid, CPR and AED certificate as well as volunteered with Special Olympics.  I am dedicated to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle while broadening my knowledge of Dressage and everything equine.  Throughout the winter months of 2011, I will finish my certificate to become and English Instructor of Beginner  Riders.  In addition to teaching, I will assist my coach, Wendy Christoff with the training of her new and upcoming young horses in order to expand my capabilities as a rider.

I am extremely privileged to be able to participate in equestrian activities; however, there is always financial need, especially with the added costs of competitions.  From attending local shows in the Vancouver area, to a CDI 3* in California and then to Kentucky for the North American Junior Young Rider Championships, my companion Norseman and I covered many miles of ground.  The hard work, commitment and dedication allowed me to succeed to my fullest potential at the NAJYRC.  None of my achievements would have been possible without the help and support of my team, consisting of my parents, coaches, vets, farrier, associations and friends.  I am exceedingly grateful to them all.

I am now 18 and compete as a FEI Young Rider, this is a huge step-up from FEI Juniors, and in order to succeed, I have increased the difficulty of my training plan to accumulate new qualifying scores and updated my Freestyle with the appropriate movements.  An additional requirement for this level includes a tailcoat with an option for a top hat (I still compete in my helmet for safety).  My goal for this year was to qualify and compete at the 2011 North American Junior Young Rider Championships.  Not only did we qualify with the third highest average in Canada, I was place on the BC/QC Young Rider Team, which won the Silver Medal in the Team Competition on the first day!

Participating in BC Young Rider Dressage, I have been surrounded by fellow riders and admire many graduates of the program.  After representing BC and Canada Twice, I realize now that I am in a position of mentorship and as one of the older members, it is important that I lead by example and share my passion.  My teammates and myself presented a movie that I put together about the North Americans both years and discussed our journeys at a number of equestrian events.  Proud to represent Canada and the sport of Dressage, I feel it is important to promote our discipline and always ensure the welfare of the horse comes first.

General Background…
I graduated from Sentinel Secondary School in West Vancouver, BC June of 2010.  I was enrolled in the Super Achievers program, which allowed me to spend my afternoons at the barn while obtaining credits for riding.  My interests in Psychology and to stay local to continue riding led me to decide to attend Capilano University beginning last fall.  I love anything and everything to do with the outdoors and I am dedicated to a healthy and active lifestyle.  I thoroughly enjoy field hockey, however I had to give it up competitively a few years ago when I became serious about my goals in riding.  Having received my English Rider Preparation Program Levels One through to Six (I will be finishing off seven and eight this fall), and my Western Rider Preparation Program Level One, I enjoy both English and Western riding and believe it is important as a rider to be multi-disciplined.

General Riding Background…
Beginning riding before I could walk, I spent weekends with my aunt on her farm.  It was not until I was 6 years old that I began taking jumping lessons in Southlands at Wildwood Paddocks.  One lucky Christmas, at the age of seven, I was given my first horse, Dusty, to share with my younger cousin.  He was an ex-roping Quarter Horse gelding and took great care of us little girls.  Since he was kept on my aunt’s farm in Pemberton three hours away, during the week I continued taking lessons at the North Shore Equestrian Center.  After a couple of years, I moved out to Burnaby and leased a jumping pony named Louis Vuitton.  Over the years I attended summer camps at Aspengrove Equestrian Academy in Vernon.  A few minutes down the road from my aunt’s farm I was introduced to Dressage at Dreamcatcher Meadows.  Taking my Uncle’s roping horse, Buzz, I competed with him at Training and First Level for two years under the instruction of Jill Giese.  Then, I was given the wonderful opportunity to train with Wiendy Christoff in Ladner.  Riding her schoolmaster, Caboose, a 17.3 hh Canadian Sport Horse at the age of fourteen, I learnt a great deal from him.  I attended the BC Summer Games in 2008 on Caboose, competing at First Level; we won Individual Silver on one day and Bronze for the Team Medals.  Then, in September 2008, my family purchased Norseman my current companion, a 17 hh Swedish Warmblood born in 1996.  In 2009 we attended the Canadian Nationals, winning Reserve Champion in both the Technical and Freestyle.  Moving on to 2010, we attended the North American Junior Young Rider Championships and won Gold in the Team test, placed fifth in the Individual and won the Bronze medal in the Freestyle.  Shortly after NAJYRC, we competed at the Canadian Youth Nationals, in which we were the Champions for both Technical and Freestyle.

I have trained with an array of clinicians, including: Albrect Heidemann, Jacqui Oldham, Ellen Bontje and Bert Rutten, to name a few.  While my coach was away last spring, I trained with Carmie Flaherty and Leslie Reid in Langley.  I have maintained regular lessons with Leslie Reid whilst training with my coach Wendy.

This spring, my coach, mother and myself traveled to California to train and compete in three CDI3* competitions for six weeks.  I gained knowledge and skills that I am forever grateful for, as I feel as though my riding ability has come leaps and bounds since the trip.  I also expanded my horsemanship and stable management skills, having to take care of my horse and my coach’s Grant Prix mount.  Once we returned from California, I attended local qualifiers and obtained my scores to be placed on a FEI Young Rider Team to represent Canada at the 2011 North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC).  Since I was the only qualified Young Rider from the West, I was placed on a team with three girls from Quebec.  It was a wonderful experience meeting and connecting with my fellow teammates.  The transition from Juniors to Young Riders is extremely difficult and unfortunately I did not place in the top fifteen to carry onto my Freestyle, however we were there to support our fellow Canadian riders.  This year has been an especially huge learning curve for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of our travels.

Throughout the winter months, I will complete my English Instructor of Beginners in order to become certified.  I also plan on assisting my coach Wendy Christoff, with the training of her new upcoming young horses to expand my abilities as a rider.  I am currently working at the Dog and Pony Shop in Ladner part-time, as well as I have dropped off my resume to numerous restaurants for a part-time position.

Horse Information…
Name: Norseman
Breed: Swedish Warmblood
Age: 15
Breeder’s Name: Biz Bastian
Owners: Esmee Ingham and Candie Ingham
Province/County Where Foaled: Smithers, British Columbia, Canada

Background on Horse…
My family purchased Norseman (Normy) from Hope Rogers.  Bred by Biz Bastian and trained by Joni Lynn Peters of Armstrong, I am so lucky to have found such an amazing horse in my backyard.  Peters began Normy’s dressage training at the age of 8 and he progressed through the levels, receiving solid scores in the small tour.  Normy is an outgoing horse, always demanding attention.  He particularly enjoys splashing in his water bucket, often dunking his entire head in and swishing it around.  Normy also loves a good face rub and never passes on treats offered.  Whenever looking in a mirror, he stares lovingly at himself.