2019 Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund Recipient: Genevieve Rohner
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 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 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 with Roxie Trunnell at The Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
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.