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Ava Scharbo showing Big Shot at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington.

Raine Whitman

Raine Whitman after placing third at the 2020 National Horse Show with It’s Top Del Maset.

Brittany Hildebrand

Brittany Hildebrand with Salitos 8 at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. PHOTOS BY GEORGIE HAMMOND/PHELPS MEDIA GROUP

Young Equestrians Take Challenges In Stride As They Progress In Their Careers BY GEORGIE HAMMOND AND MEAGAN DELISLE

Each year, thousands of equestrians of all ages flock to Wellington, escaping harsh winter weather elsewhere to enjoy near-perfect temperatures while competing in the winter equestrian capital of the world. While this year’s events look slightly different due to the pandemic, young equestrians are doing everything they can to take the usual challenges of the

sport and the additional tribulations of these unprecedented times all in stride. “Young equestrians face many growing pains as they progress in their riding and move through the different phases of the sport,” said Geoff Teall, one of the country’s most prominent equestrian trainers and judges.“This year, especially, these athletes are having to adapt and

change all of the time to overcome obstacles, both physically and mentally. There are many moving parts that go into the success of a young rider, whether they are just learning to ride, moving up to jump new heights, or adjusting to life changes that alter the way they compete in the sport, so it is vital that they maintain level headedness and have the support they need.” wellington the magazine | april 2021 33

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