Wilmington, Ohio – This week’s Wilmington Sunday Spotlight shines on Michael Janson (USA) of Legacy Farms in Boston, Massachusetts. After the young professional spent four years at Boston University riding casually through his family operation, he ultimately made the career switch from working in finance to working in the barn full-time. During a busy week at World Equestrian Center, switching between young hunters, young jumpers, the $10,000 Futures Prix and the $30,000 Grand Prix, Janson took the time to speak with us about his passion for his riding career.
WEC: Tell us about your riding journey.
We are from Boston, Massachusetts. You know, we started Legacy Farms about a year ago. I went to Boston University and was working at a financial firm after I graduated. I did that for a few years out of college and I started bringing over some horses and it got to the point where I had some really exciting young horses and I decided to make the jump to do this full-time.
My mother grew up riding and that is how I got started. We are a full horse family and everyone’s part of it. My girlfriend Dylan rides every day and so does my sister; she went to Oklahoma State University for their NCAA program. I live a mile down the road from the farm which is at my childhood home. Originally there were two stalls on the property and then my parents expanded it and we have 20 stalls now. So we’re just very much a horse family and I am a professional now!
I did the equitation and the jumpers growing up, and then I started some young horses that I kept through college. Originally, we got our horses from Chili, but we got our first one out of Europe during COVID on the online Zangershiede auction. It worked out great especially now we have developed an amazing contact through that first horse.
WEC: How did you juggle college and riding?
It was hard. We were just really busy and at that point, I was just doing it for sport and juggling that and being in the office. It got to the point where I was putting work hours into the sport, so I looked at it and I enjoyed my job at the time, but the horses were it. I was really compelled to do it. Yeah. I love doing all the jobs, I love getting up and doing stalls and working with the horses on the ground.
WEC: Tell us about your current string of horses.
Caveman is actually a horse that my family bred. He is jumping the grand prix today. He is an older horse now but we bred him in South America and we just love him. He is great.
Kasandra is the eight-year-old mare that we did in the Futures Prix and then we brought some other young ones. I have a nice six-year-old, Quincy. He is out of the same sire as the mare, Durango VDL.
We have a couple of sale horses as well. Colvino is one. He has done the jumper job and equitation job. I have had Hornet’s Obelensky. My partners found him when he was four and he stayed there in training for a year. I have had him for a year now and he is coming seven this year. I could see him doing any job.
WEC: What is your favorite part of your job?
I love all parts of the job! Anything I’m doing with the horses. I am crazy about it. I think for me training and development are my passion for horses. Some of them came to us a little bit older, but if I can look at them, or if I can try something new or show them different and work together with them, that’s what I get excited about. Anytime, any situation where I can be competitive, even if it is the small wins, the first clear in the 1.00m class, it gets my blood going!
WEC: How has WEC Ohio played a role in your riding career?
We don’t have a lot near us, the biggest venue is Fieldstone Show Park in Massachusetts. We started going down to Florida almost every winter since 2005. We came here in November for the first time because we wanted to give it a try and were just totally blown away. We really love it. We weren’t sure what we were getting ourselves into and it is a far trip, but we had such a great time and decided to keep bringing the horses back here this winter. It’s cool because the classes are really competitive. You have got to hustle in the classes, but the part that we really appreciate is that it is so horse friendly. Our sales horses and the young jumpers have benefited so much from coming here.