Skip to main content

2019 Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund Recipient: Genevieve Rohner

Genevieve with Katherine Cook's Conga, of Legendary Lusitanos

I went to Wellington, Florida for the first time this year. I was very excited to be there, as I know it is the place where a lot of elite horse shows happen! My mom and I flew there together, and I could not contain my excitement when we flew in over Palm Beach. It was so cool to see all the trees and swimming pools from the air. I live in the mountains at a high altitude and almost no one has a pool. When we landed and got a car, we drove straight to the beach to see the sparkling Atlantic ocean. It was beautiful, but super windy.

Genevieve and Wren-Russ

Genevieve and Georgia Wren-Russ of GW Dressage

My trip to Florida was so I could train with a coach there and get an idea of what it is like to be around the high-end show arenas and trainers. It was really fun, and I got to ride two horses a day for three days! I trained with Georgia Wren-Russ and she was a lot of fun. She helped me a lot and I was able to ride a horse in her barn called Conga. Conga is a Lusitano. She is 12 years old, the same age as me. I loved riding her and especially when I did a good lengthened trot. It was so amazing, and she was such a good girl. At first it was weird riding a horse other than my own, but I loved riding her. She was a little hard to get cantering, but I managed to do it with a whip in the end. It was also cool to train with a different coach. Georgia was really nice and fun. She was a really good coach and she has her USDF gold medal.

Genevieve and Bea de Lavalette

Genevieve riding Bèa de Lavalette's PRE mount, "Dee Dee" (Delegada X)

I met Bèa de Lavalette, who is a Grade II para rider and will probably get to go to the Paralympics this year. The other horse I rode was her PRE, another horse breed I have never seen or ridden. Bèa was very nice to me and allowed me to ride her horse, Dee Dee (Delegada X). Bèa helped me while I rode Dee Dee and even though it was really hot out, I had such a good time on her. She has a smooth canter and was fun to ride. At home I am working on Second level and a little of Third level, but my horse cannot do more than Second level. It was such a different experience to ride horses that are able to do higher-level movements and it felt really good.

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival was happening as well, and I got to see elite para riders compete. It was amazing to watch them! My mom is friends with Roxie Trunnell and we got to watch Roxie compete and get a score in the 80’s! We also watched Ellie Brimmer and some other para riders, and our friend Mia from California at her first international competition on Dee Dee. I also met Kate Shoemaker who is a grade IV like me. She knows my coach in Utah, Sydni Peterson. I got to meet a lot of cool people!

Genevieve and Trunnell

Genevieve with Roxie Trunnell at The Adequan Global Dressage Festival.


Genevieve and Shoemaker

Genevieve and Kate Shoemaker

Seeing all the fancy horses made me wish even harder for when I hopefully get to compete on one in Wellington. Seeing all the high-level coaches and riders in international competition was inspiring. I have wanted to compete at higher levels and get to the Paralympics since I was five. I’m grateful to The Dressage Foundation for this grant so I could train in Florida. Thank you!


For more information about the Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund, click here.