This week’s Wilmington Sunday Spotlight shines on 12-year-old Elizabeth Rinehart. This young athlete is already making a name for herself in the hunter/jumper world, taking numerous top placings in national hunter derbies and equitation classes. We caught up with Elizabeth to learn more about her and some of the horses that she rides.
WEC: Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have been riding ever since I could walk. I was afraid of horses for the first two years of my life, but now I love them so much. My parents are Richard and Catherine Rinehart, and they own Rinehart Farms. I compete in the Junior Hunters, 3’6” Equitation and Children’s Jumpers.
I also did the Pony Hunters for awhile and just last year, I got eighth overall on a medium pony named Rosewood at Pony Finals in Kentucky. Now I am focusing on equitation and the junior hunters.
WEC: What horses are you riding here this week?
I have three horses here this week. I have my Children’s Jumper, Junior Hunter and Equitation horse.
My Children’s Jumper, Wender is a bit older now, he’s 19, but still loves going into the jumper ring. It’s fun to go fast every once in a while because I am used to going slow in the hunters and equitation.
Billy Cromwell is my equitation horse. He’s only eight-years-old and is still a bit green. He doesn’t have that much experience, but he is so much fun to ride. He always tries to do his best for me too.
Chablis 162 is my Junior Hunter and derby horse. She was my brother’s horse before she was mine. She is really great and always takes care of me. I really like doing the handy courses on her, because she is great at inside turns and trotting fences.
WEC: Tell us about your favorite things about each discipline.
I love the jumps in the hunters. If I am on a really brave horse I like the really spooky jumps, because they are more exciting to jump and ride up to.
In the equitation, I love the tests. I enjoy when they ask for a counter canter or a hand gallop. I also like the challenge of a trot fence.
I love the jump-offs in the jumpers. It’s fun to leave out strides and take tight turns. I also like the competition in the jumpers, it’s really exciting.
WEC: What does a normal day look like for you?
Sometimes I wake up before school and ride if I know that I have something to do after school, but most of the time I ride after school. I usually get home from school around 4pm then head straight to the barn. I’ll tack up my first horse to ride and flat around a bit. Sometimes I lesson with one of my parents, then I go and hop on another horse. I try and ride until we have to leave. Then I do it all over again the next day.
WEC: Can you tell us about one of your favorite horses?
My favorite horse would have to be my 2’6’ hunter. Her name was Lavana, and she took me from 2’ to 3’ in just one year. She taught me so much and I am so grateful to have been able to learn from her.
WEC: What is it like to compete against your brother?
We like to compete against each other. We are both very competitive and like to joke with one another. Just this past derby we were separated by .5 points, but I got the higher score that day. Luckily, we work well together and it’s always good to have some friendly competition.
WEC: Tell us your favorite parts about WEC.
I love their decorations here. They are always so fun and festive. They also host fun games like horseless horse show after the grands prix, which I love to do with my friends.
I have been to the Ocala location twice and I love the candy shop there. I also like riding on the trails by all the outdoor rings.
WEC: Where do you see yourself in the next five and ten years?
I would like to compete at the big equitation and medal finals and hopefully, get a ribbon. Next February our plan is to do the Premier Equitation Cup Championship at WEC – Ocala, so I am very excited to compete in the Grand Arena. I would also like to do the bigger national derbies.
In ten years, I hope to be a professional. I would love to be able to compete in the grands prix and the international hunter derbies. I also want to be like my parents and train people too.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us Elizabeth! Good luck with all your future endeavors!