It has been narrowed down to 11 finalists.
- Austin Skeens, VA
- Ally McGlynn, CA
- Lauren Yeagy, Elizabeth Henry and Emma Sloan, IN
- Mia Braundel, NC
- Jane Cook, TX
- Hannah Herrig, FL
- Alexandra Tett, PA
- Grace Gaynor, MD
- Carter McInnis, SC
- Magdalena Valenti, TN
- Tosca Holmes-Smith, BC
Tune into www.eventingconnect.today as these 11 finalists continue to strut their sponsorship worthiness with blogs and vlogs over the next few weeks. We encourage you to provide feedback and share your favourite blogs and vlogs on social media as these young riders vie to be Bit of Britain’s Next Top Rider! Voting for the Bit of Britain’s Next Top Rider begins on December 1st.
Be sure to use the hashtag #BofBNextTopRider
Passion and polka dots
by Carter McInnis
a: a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept
b: any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling- such as love or hate
Passion is a driving force. It motivates us, inspires us, pushes us. Passion shapes the way we live, it moulds us into the people we are and allows opportunities for the future. Eventing requires passion. It asks many things of a rider. One must be hardworking, determined, and persistent. As riders, we must be passionate because without it there is no drive to succeed.
My interest in horses began at the young age of 3. I took lessons on a small pony, and did local hunter shows. Once I discovered the sport of eventing I was hooked. I competed at Beginner Novice with my first pony for two years and furthered my knowledge of the sport as much as possible. I learned that there are definitely highs and lows in this sport and most of the time you cannot control them. I ended up with two horses in rehab for two years due to unexpected injuries. During this time, I felt defeated, frustrated, and angry. I learned patience. Although I didn’t recognize it at the time, I now realize that the situation did much more than I thought. The countless hours of wrapping legs, hand walking, and rehab taught me that there is SO much more to this sport than competing and winning. I learned that you must have unwavering dedication, because you have a partner who needs you and depends on you. There are going to be many lows, but they have to occur in order to have highs. Sometimes things happen and you must have the patience to wait and the drive to work even harder to succeed. Eventing tests us in many ways.
As my passion wavered during that two year period, ideas of quitting, giving up, and failure all entered my mind. My frustration allowed doubt to weed its way into my thoughts, but I knew I couldn’t give that passion up. I lacked patience and I now understand that the challenges I faced were blessings in disguise. Without this low, I would have never gotten the opportunity to lease the horse that I currently compete. This opportunity fell into my hands at the perfect time: it reaffirmed my passion. I acquired the lease of a then 12-year-old 16h Thoroughbred/ Shire (with some Appaloosa in there somewhere) who had competed consistently through the Training level and had done a handful of Preliminary events. I was very inexperienced with only having shown a few Beginner Novices at the time, but he, was and is, an excellent teacher. Domino, also known as: Dom, Dommy, Oreo, Polka dot pony, has taken me to my first Novice, Training, Preliminary, and our first one-star. With Domino being my first serious event horse, he has molded me into the rider I am today. He has made my passion for this sport even stronger. Domino has allowed me to reach so many of my goals and I couldn’t be more thankful to have a horse who genuinely seems to enjoy the sport.
My love for this sport continues to grow daily. The early show mornings, the long days at the barn, the hours spent trying to learn and get better, the mistakes, and the lows are all worth it. Eventing requires dedication, perseverance, hard work, and grit. You must be passionate to achieve your goals. You must be passionate to get better. You must be passionate to succeed.
What is your passion?
Follow Carter on her social media and help her to become the 2018 Bit of Britain’s Next Top Rider:
2018 Bit of Britain’s Next Top Rider quest is on
The finalists have been chosen. In case you missed it, here is what will happen next:
Part 2 – We will get to learn more about each of these interesting young riders
Tune in over the month of November to find out about the unique stories behind these young riders. Riders will be submitting Blogs or Vlogs to share their stories. This is an amazing group of up and comers with goals and dreams. Look forward to hearing about Eventing from all over North America. Be ready for stories that are going to make you laugh, cry and cheer.
Part 3 – Public voting
On Dec 1, 2017, public voting on the Blogs and Vlogs will begin on Eventing Connect for the finalists. The public voting will end on Dec 12, 2017. The public voting will account for 50% of Bit of Britain’s sponsorship decision. Other considerations will include their social media following and social media interaction from Oct 19, 2017 to Dec 12, 2017.
Part 4 – Sponsorship Announcement
On Jan 1, 2018, the sponsorships will be announced on Eventing Connect. Three riders will receive sponsorships for three different values that will include a variety of products from which the riders can choose:
- 1st place – Gold ($1500 USD),
- 2nd place – Silver ($1000 USD)
- 3rd place – Bronze ($500 USD)