Wilmington, Ohio – This week’s Wilmington Sunday Spotlight shines on Lanie Thomas of Ontario, Canada. The hard-working amateur athlete has been a frequent competitor at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington since 2016. When she is not on the fiery mare, Zendaya, in the Standlee Sanctuary, Thomas can be found working in the business center at WEC in between classes. We caught up with Thomas to learn more about the life of working amateur, Zendaya, and her experience at WEC – Wilmington.
WEC: How did you get started riding?
My mom used to ride. She did western stuff, but we had a family farm and they bought me a pony to keep me out of trouble! It really snowballed from there.
I met Neil [Badcock] in 2009 after I got a horse named Albion and have been riding with him ever since. I got Albion to do the CET Medal Finals and he ended up being my first grand prix horse and first World Cup horse. He jumped his last grand prix here in 2016, the first year that WEC ever ran a grand prix! I am very lucky with Neil and the entire team at the barn. I get to ride a lot of other horses and sales horses that come up.
WEC: Tell us about Zendaya.
She is a ball of fire. She is very brave and is just starting her career. She is only seven and jumped here as a six-year-old as well. Wilhelm Genn actually bred her and now that she is jumping big, he has taken a special interest in watching her here! She jumped a few Welcome Stakes here last year and the Futures Prix. We are trying not to step her up too quickly. She has the heart of a lion, and she is just so much fun. She is like a can of pop that you shook and then opened! At home and in the warmup ring she is a firecracker and the only place that she is relaxed is in the ring. She is so sweet and a really nice horse to ride.
WEC: How do you balance your full-time job and showing?
I don’t sleep very much! We have a great team at the barn, and everyone helps out. The barn culture that is promoted is to help each other and always put the horses first. I run above the Sanctuary and jump on meetings and do some work quite frequently. The ingate will help me out if I have a meeting that I can’t miss! They are all great and always help me figure it out. A lot of my work is remote, so it is hard, but I definitely make it work. I have always just done it for fun and had a normal job, and it is really hard to try and jump in the big classes and keep the work life balance.
WEC: Tell us about your experience at WEC – Wilmington.
We love coming down here. It is so much fun. I remember jumping the grand prix in the R+L Arena when we were just trying to get enough horses in the class to run it. Ever since then, we have always wanted to be here as much as possible. The horse show does a fantastic job. It is so much fun. People forget that horse showing is meant to be fun. You are supposed to have a lot of enjoyment and success and I think WEC just sets you up for that. WEC makes it possible to be a working amateur!
Thank you, Lanie, for taking the time to speak with us. We wish you continued good luck in and out of the show ring!
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Results can be found at wec.net.
All horse show images are provided by Winslow Photography and can be purchased onsite at WEC – Wilmington or online through their website.