Introducing Brooke Greening
Date of Birth: November 21, 1995
Discipline: Show Jumping
Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta
My parents bought me my first pony at eight years old, and if you had asked me then if I ever thought I would get to this level in my riding, I would of told you it was just a distant dream of mine. Ten years later, I competed in my first grand prix with the best team mate I could have ever asked for. Also with the most inspiring coach and such a supportive team behind me. My passion for horses has blossomed every year even more than the year before.
I would spend every minute with these animals if I could, although I have other pretty big goals with my life and education. Over the years, I have volunteered with numerous organizations, and raised money and awareness for many charities. I have also worked for barns as a groom to help make this sport a little more affordable, just as this scholarship could, while I focus on my studies at University.
From a young age, I had talented coaches bring me a long to follow my dream. Ellicia Edgar, Lizzie Gingras, and Gareth Graves all helped me get to this point. Jerome is the horse I currently own and ride. I first started riding him when he was a six-year-old and he didn’t have much experience. He had never even been to a show jumping competition. We started in the 0.90m jumper division together, and over the years with ups and downs we progressed as a team.
In this past 2014 season, we jumped both of our first 1.30m grand prix. It was the most unforgettable experience. Not only was it incredible to reach that level of competition, it was satisfying to jump that together knowing where we had started from. We have also competed in the equitation classes.
In 2012, I rode in the CET division, and qualified for the prairie regional finals. At the finals, we received second place in the jumping phase out of some very talented horse and rider combinations.
Financially, I was never able to buy a horse that had a lot of experience, but looking back I have a feeling it wouldn’t have felt this rewarding if a horse with all the tricks had been handed to me. If I was the recipient of this bursary it would help Jerome and I continue to gain experience.
In 2013, I joined Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Program. I volunteered for the spring and summer program that year. It allows kids to experience the joy of riding horses and allows these kids to be independent of their parents where they are in safe and fun environment. It’s an incredible program that even provides therapy and relaxation to these kids. I also had some other incredible volunteering experiences in 2013 and 2014.
After my graduation in June of 2013, I decided to take a year off to travel and focus on my riding. I took this opportunity to explore Fiji as a volunteer with Projects Abroad, living in a secluded village. I volunteered as a gym teacher in the village and developed a sports program for kids of all ages in the community.
When I was away travelling my family received news that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer. After hearing this news, my best friend and I decided to cut/shave our hair and raise money for this cause. I cut off 15 inches and donated it to a child suffering from this terrible disease, and together we raised over two thousand dollars. Over the years, I have taken part in other volunteering for charities such as triathlons, races and other events put on in my community and schools.
Everyone involved in this sport knows that it is not inexpensive. When I wanted to take my riding to a higher level and attend more competitions all the costs were adding up. My coach at the time, Gareth Graves, gave me an incredible opportunity to work for him, and subsidize the costs. I started working for him when I was in grade 12 and it gave me an opportunity to ride more horses and increase my level of experience. After I graduated, I started working for him full-time. I was at the barn all day, every day. At the competitions I was the first one at the barn doing feedings, and the last one there doing night check. During the day, I was grooming for other clients as well as competing myself. My dedication and hard work allowed me to afford more competitions, although it wasn’t always easy, and reach this level. I feel so fortunate to have such an inspiring team of peers, coaches, and family to have brought me a long so far. Each and every one of them pushed me and inspired me to be better than who I was before.
After my year off of spectacular experiences, I had to come back to a different reality and focus on my other goals, and begin a new adventure. In the fall of 2014, I began my post-secondary education at the University of Calgary. I moved away from home with my horse and dog to the city of Calgary. I am now training under the knowledgeable Andrew More and Jim Ifko. At the University I’m pursuing a Kinesiology degree, but also taking many science classes in the hope of being accepted into a medical program in a few more years. I have always received top marks in school.
I set high goals and work hard to achieve them. I’m fully aware of the hard work and remarkable grades it requires to get accepted into medicine but I truly believe it is an attainable goal for me. I work hard for my top marks and I work hard for my success in this sport. I cannot wait to see where this new journey takes me, hopefully with the support of this scholarship. My friend once told me, “We make our lives memorable by following our dreams.” That was something that stuck with me.
This sport is without a doubt my passion and I pour all that I can into it. Reaching this level and higher has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and will always be something I carry with me. This scholarship would allow me to pursue this sport at a high level and accomplish my ambitious educational goals at the same time. The cost of university and this sport add up quickly. I’m excited to see where this new year takes me as a rider and an individual.