Wilmington, Ohio – This week’s Wilmington Sunday Spotlight shines on Savannah Embly of Lexington, Kentucky. The 17-year-old junior rider of Embly Stables LLC has been a familiar face at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington since her days in the Roberts Arena showing ponies. The dedicated, hard-working young rider recently made her first grand prix debut during the Spring/Summer Series and caught up with us during Fall Classic 1 to tell us more about her riding journey!
WEC: How did you get started riding?
My mom is an equine veterinarian, so I have been around horses for as long as I can remember. I got my first pony when I was four and the rest has been history. I am stuck with it forever! I ride with Nicki Simpson and I ride with Donald Cheska right now. We are here at WEC this week with Donald’s brother Richard, so I met up with him to show! We have our own farm with about 11 horses right now. My mom and I do all of our own barn chores every day and we do everything at the shows from chores to braiding the hunters. It is a family affair; we are our own grooms!
WEC: How has WEC been influential in your riding career?
I actually did my first Grand Prix here this summer with my horse Diamo! I’ve actually been coming here since the beginning. I came here with my ponies when we were still in the Roberts Arena. I have really worked my way all the way from the ground up here.
I think it’s just always nice to be able to go somewhere different. We show Kentucky a lot at the Horse Park since we are so close, but it’s always nice to come up here. It’s not super far from us. It’s a little bit longer when we bring up the trailer of course, but it is really only two and a half hours with the trailer so it’s not far. I brought my equitation horse, Fine Line, here this week so that he can practice for Indoors. We wanted him to have some indoor practice and I have only had him for a month, so it has been nice to practice with him here at WEC.
WEC: How do you balance school and riding?
It is definitely tricky. I do online school. I go to Indiana University’s online high school and then I do Upper Echelon Academy when I am in Florida for the winter. There are tutors and teachers who can help me with anything I need help with so it has a format like a real school system, but it’s super flexible. I definitely would always prefer to be in the barn, but I make it work and get it all done!
WEC: What are your future riding plans with your current horses?
The plan is a little different for each horse. Diamo or Harry as we call him, will hopefully be my big horse. I’d really like to go up the levels with him. I just started with him this spring so he’s a little bit green. His first big classes were my first big classes, so we are doing it all together! It is a work in progress, but it is super fun. I always love to have a little bit of a green one and take them up the levels. He did Young Riders this summer, so hopefully we will go back and do that again next year.
I just got Catoki’s Son Z, who we call Tiki in the barn. This is actually my first show with him. He has been there done that, and he’s super experienced so it’s always nice to go in the ring on one that has seen it all before. He knows the job. He’s always prepared. He goes in the ring. He’s all business. He’s classy, and he loves it. You never have to convince him to do his job!
I hope to keep going in the equitation with Fine Line. I have some equitation finals this fall and then I’d like to do like the WEF Equitation Challenge and the Premier Cup at WEC – Ocala. Hopefully I will be able to commit to a division one NCAA school to ride! I can’t imagine not riding in school, it’s what I have been doing my whole life!