Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Rachel Ziemann

Photo credit: Melanie Pack/ I{mpack}t Studio



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Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Rachel Ziemann

Today’s featured rider is Rachel Ziemann, a young rider from New Jersey who is steadily working towards her goal of competing at the four-star level.

If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me.


Get to know Rachel
I am 18-years-old and a senior in high school. I am from Bordentown, New Jersey and I started riding when I was six. I started at a small lesson barn, and kept riding as a pure hobby. When I was 12, I wanted to improve on my riding and eventually become competitive. I moved barns and was able to start leasing a horse and competing in the jumpers when I was 14. At 15, my parents bought me my first horse – a 12-(now 15)-year-old OTTB named Storm. He had only competed up to Novice level Eventing, but he took me from completing my first Beginner Novice event to becoming competitive at Preliminary. Storm and I are competing at the one-star level now. As for future plans, my dream is to compete at the CCI4* level! It is no easy feat, but I’m willing to work as hard as possible to make it happen.

Rachel’s horse power
I have a 15-year-old 16.3hh OTTB gelding whose show name is Highland Storm. I bought him three years ago and he taught me all the ropes of Eventing. Taking me from Beginner Novice to Preliminary in just a few short years, he has given me so much and I could never repay him. At just 15 years young, he has the attitude of a 5-year-old. We plan to move up to Intermediate over the winter.

My second horse is a 9-year-old 14.2hh Quarter horse mare named Casablanca. She was bought at the auction in April 2016 by my trainer looking for another lesson horse. Cassie, proving to be way too good of a jumper for the kids, became my horse. We have had our challenges, but she has proven to become competitive at the Training level, and always manages to turn heads at shows with her unique bay roan colouring and multiple brands.
Both horses are boarded at an eventing barn in Chesterfield, NJ owned and run by Elizabeth Bierman.

I train with Elizabeth Bierman at Chesterfield Farm in Chesterfield, NJ. Throughout high school, I found it difficult to always balance school and riding, especially with two horses. I had enough credits by my senior year to have an early dismissal every day. Now I have much more time to spend with my ponies! I am going to a college close to home so that I can still ride as much as I do now.



Influence and inspiration
The person who undoubtedly taught me the most about horses is my trainer, Elizabeth Bierman. She took me from jumping cross rails to Eventing at Preliminary. She has pushed me and continues to push me, to be the best rider I can be. She is always willing to answer my endless questions, and share her abundance of knowledge. She has been my biggest supporter from the start, and none of my achievements could have been possible without her inspiring me and cheering me on.

Another extremely influential person in my life is my best friend, Morgyn Johnson. She also events with her horse, Niro. We go to every show together and we always offer each other endless support. When things don’t always go according to plan, as they tend to do in eventing, we are there for each other to help in any way possible. She has provided me with genuine friendship, and I’m so thankful that she is there by my side every step of the way.

Finally, my parents have been extremely influential as well. They have not only financially supported this dream of mine to help it become a reality, but they are there at every single show to help and cheer me on. They were not raised with horses, but have tried to learn everything they can. I can’t thank them enough for everything they do for me.

Most embarrassing Eventing moment
My most embarrassing Eventing moment would have to be when I forgot to unclip my air vest when I got off Storm after cross-country. It was the first time I wore an air vest, so I was not used to it. Storm, rightly so, spooked and ran across the entire show grounds. As I was walking to get him, people kept coming up to me and asking if I was ok. I said, “yes, I just had a blonde moment with my vest!” Needless to say, I haven’t made that mistake again.

Most triumphant Eventing moment
My most triumphant moment would have to be when I finished in first place in the JYOP with Storm, and finished in 3rd place in training with Cassie in the same day at Plantation horse trials on May 12, 2018. Storm only added a little bit of time to his score, and Cassie finished on her dressage score on courses that caused some trouble for a lot of riders. It has been an uphill battle figuring out how to successfully compete two horses. It felt good to have everything come together in one day!

Photo credit: Melanie Pack/ I{mpack}t Studio

2018 milestones
A really important moment in my training this year was when I really learned how to use my seat and pick up my hands. It has completely changed the way my horses are going.

Best of luck this year Rachel! 


If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me

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