Ocala, FL – This week’s World Equestrian Center – Ocala Sunday Spotlight shines on Jodie Camberg, a hard-working professional that works for Golden Oaks Farm, in Ocala, Florida. Camberg, who describes herself as the “Assistant Trainer/Barn Manager/Cheerleader” is not only a hardworking professional but also a standout athlete in both the hunter and jumper rings. We had a chance to catch up with Camberg to learn more about her and get a glimpse into what a typical day looks like.
WEC: Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 24 years old, born in Houston, but moved to California when I was a kid. I’ve been riding with Megan Wexler’s dad since I was six; he basically raised me and is like a father to me. I’ve known Megan ever since. My journey with horses began when I took a carousel ride and became utterly obsessed with horses. Even though I didn’t come from a horse family, I caught the horse bug and turned into a pony-crazy, obsessed horse girl.
Starting off with pony hunters on a western pleasure pony, I competed at A-rated horse shows and the pony didn’t even have a lead change, but it eventually got one. My first experience with a green pony was when I was eight, he was a little four-year-old pony. I learned how to fall off; I even picked parts of the ring with softer ground because I fell off a lot. But I couldn’t love it more!
After the ponies, I did the junior hunters and equitation. There was a set rule by Mike Edrick, Megan’s dad, that you couldn’t do the jumpers until you could successfully compete in the 3’6” junior hunter and equitation classes. Around 15, I finally was able to go to the jumper ring and moved up the levels from there. I did Young Riders with an awesome junior jumper who taught me everything.
When I turned 18, all I wanted was to turn professional, but I went to college to earn my degree first. So, I ended up at the University of Florida in Gainesville, riding with Megan on the side. It was part of the deal – ride as much as I wanted, but degree first. And I did just that, graduating in three years. It’s so special to have been with their family for so long and continue to grow with them.
WEC: What does a normal day look like for you?
My day-to-day is pretty varied. I guess you could say I’m Megan’s Assistant Trainer/Barn Manager/Cheerleader – that’s me. I could be pulling weeds one day, driving a tractor the next, or jumping a horse in a 1.40m class. I do a bit of everything – training, teaching kids, which I absolutely love. Megan has these adorable girls, and we do the pony hunters together. It’s my favorite thing.
Right now, we’ve got 20 horses showing this week, which is a lot. When I first came out here six years ago, Megan had only six to eight horses, mostly doing the .90m jumpers. But in six years, we’ve grown to where we’re winning big competitions like the welcome and the 1.40m classic. It’s so exciting to be part of that journey with Megan, watching the barn and business grow.
WEC: What’s your favorite part about teaching kids?
I love watching the kid’s progress. Whether it’s learning to post the trot or winning their first blue ribbon or getting their first champion ribbon, it just makes me so happy to see their smile and excitement.
WEC: Tell us about some of the horses that you ride.
I own this amazing young jumper, who’s not so young anymore, he’s eight. We’ve been together for a few years now, and it’s been incredible seeing our progress. We started at 1.10m and have worked our way up; he placed second earlier this season in the 1.40m classic. I’d love to jump with him on Saturday, maybe even do some FEI classes down the line!
As for picking a favorite horse, well, even if one dumps me off, I’d still think they’re adorable. But there’s this one horse, Gatsby’s Green Light, who’s been so much fun to ride. We won the $15,000 THIS 1.40m Classic together, and I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s perfect.
WEC: What has your experience been at WEC – Ocala?
We’ve been here since day one, never missed a show. I absolutely love it here. It’s beautiful, every ring is stunning, and the progress we’ve made with our horses is remarkable. From starting in the Baby Green Hunters to now doing the big derbies, and competing our jumpers under the lights, it’s been incredible.
Thank you, Jodie for taking the time to chat with us! We will be cheering you on!