This week’s Sunday Spotlight shines on seventeen-year-old Junior rider Annie Yorgen. We have seen Annie of Zionsville, Indiana, and her handsome bay gelding, Chocolatier (Choco), impress the crowd in several hunter derbies at World Equestrian Center with their signature style, and we had to get the scoop on the pair. Annie currently rides under the guidance of Tammy Provost of Meadow View Farm, she competes in the hunters, and is the captain of her IEA team! Annies graciously took time to chat with us about her horse, her riding experience and her aspirations for the future.
How did you get into riding?
I started riding when I was just six years old and I’ve been riding for about ten years now. My mom showed jumpers when she was younger, and when I was in first grade I attended my first horse summer camp. That’s how I got started and I really liked it. I rode for a while but quit shortly to do dance competitions, but eventually came back to riding horses and competing! My mom still rides but not very often. When I leave for college I think she is planning to pick it back up.
Tell us about your horse.
I am leasing a horse named Chocolatier or Choco, as we call him. He’s a fourteen-year-old warmblood. I’ve had him for ten or eleven months now! We show in the Children’s hunters, some Junior hunters and also the Non-Pro hunter derby at WEC. The horse I used to show was named Marco, and his show name was Marengo. He brought me from the cross rails to jumping in three foot classes. He was such a good boy. He is nineteen now and really took care of me. These horses are both great hunters, but I really want my next horse to be a jumper! I really love hunters but I think it would be fun to try something new.
Who has been the most influential in your riding?
I’ve had multiple people be influential, but they all offered guidance in different ways. The trainer that I was with for the longest time took me from not knowing how to ride at all to jumping the three foot. She was great and taught me so much! My current trainer, Tammy Provost, has really polished my riding style and I’m grateful for that too.
What is the best piece of advice that someone has given you?
Showing horses is supposed to be for fun. I think a lot of people forget that or get too hung up on beating everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, winning is so much fun – but it is not everything. Your connection with your horse should be the most important, not winning ribbons! This week I competed in the $20,000 Non-Pro Derby and I didn’t place, but I thought I had a great round on my horse and I was very proud of it. That’s what matters.
What are your plans for the future?
When I graduate high school I want to go to college and study environmental science or something similar. I’ve narrowed it down to Purdue, Ball State, University of Cincinnati, or University of Kentucky. I definitely want to ride and compete on an IHSA team! I do IEA now, and I have competed with that since seventh grade. This is my last year and it’s really fun, I am going to miss it!
We hope the best for your college career and we hope to see you back at World Equestrian Center soon. Good luck, Annie!