Wilmington, Ohio – This week’s World Equestrian Center – Wilmington Sunday Spotlight shines on dedicated amateur rider, Annie Ricigliano. Annie, a recent University of Kentucky graduate, kick-started her riding career in her hometown of Fox Point, Wisconsin. Since moving to Lexington, Kentucky, she has frequently shown at the World Equestrian Center – Wilmington, training with Sarah Meier of Punchestown Stables. Working night chores at a farm in Lexington and showing the incredible mare, Chanel, she continues to grow her passion for the industry.
WEC: How did you get started riding?
I played soccer my whole life. There were a ton of farms in Wisconsin where I grew up in and I was getting tired of soccer. My mom rode a little bit when she was younger and I have always loved animals and horses, so I decided to start riding! I started when I was 12 years old. It has been so fun for me, and I love it more than I ever thought I would.
WEC: Fast forward, who do you ride with now?
I ride with Sarah Meier at Punchestown Stables in Lexington, Kentucky. I met her through my trainer in Wisconsin because that’s where she is originally from. I started working for Sarah in 2019 and then took a year off from riding. I started riding again in 2020 and I have been with Sarah ever since! Sarah has given me so many amazing opportunities to ride not only some of her experienced horses but also some of her young horses. I am so grateful to be able to learn from her.
WEC: You recently graduated from college, what has riding looked like for you the past four years?
I was on the University of Kentucky Equestrian team. I was the Vice President my third year on the team. I also continued to ride with some different trainers in the Lexington area and showed some sale horses and stuff like that. I’ll go home sometimes over the summers and ride with Kristen Maclay in Wisconsin. I’m mostly have ridden with Sarah Meier the past few years.
WEC: What has WEC – Wilmington meant to you in your recent riding career?
WEC – Wilmington has been such a good place for me to grow and continue gaining experience. I’ve been coming here since 2017. I have been here pretty much every winter since then. It’s so close to home for us and just an easy trip over for the horses. Everyone is so nice and friendly. Hospitality is great and the classes are fantastic. It is just a very fun place to be.
WEC: Your current mount, Chanel, has previously shown in the WEC Welcome Stake’s and Grands Prix with your trainer. Tell us what it is like to ride her?
It is honestly such an honor to ride such an experienced horse. She’s been Sarah’s horse for the past six years. I just started riding her this past August. She’s a very quirky horse. But when she gets into the ring, she knows what to do when she always wants to win. So, it’s very fun being on such a competitive and cool, accomplished horse.
WEC: How frequently do you show?
This past summer we’ve been doing a lot. We were at the Kentucky Horse Park almost every week. We do two weeks on a week or two off. We did the entire Split Rock series in Lexington and then just did it in Aiken, South Carolina. We typically show two to three times a month. We always try to come to WEC at least once a month.
WEC: What is your 2023 horse show plan?
We are starting out the year at WEC – Ocala. We are going to take Chanel to the Split Rock Jumping Tour $100,000 Championship class in Sarasota at the end of the month. We will head back to Wilmington to do two weeks of the winter series in February, and then Ocala again in March, and back to Wilmington in April!
Thank you, Annie, for taking the time to speak with us. We wish you continued good luck in your future career with Chanel!