Page 66

RIDERspotlight

Carrie

by by Arden ArdenCone Cone

Wehle

Call her a Renaissance woman or simply a well-rounded horseman, Carrie Wehle is a fierce competitor across the board of equestrian sports. While most horse people spend their lives grappling with one equestrian sport, Wehle fearlessly takes on five. Best known for her accomplishments at the upper levels of three-day eventing, her range spans several equestrian disciplines. Wehle is remarkable in that she does each discipline so successfully. She has won at Red Hill Horse Trials, qualified horses for the Washington International Horse Show, earned her USDF Bronze Medal in dressage, and ranked nationally at the Preliminary Level of eventing. Earlier this summer, Wehle branched-out again when she competed in a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby during the inaugural, standalone, twoday Derby at Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, NY. That cross-discipline perspective, added to her already advanced knowledge of horsemanship, makes her a great educator. Most of her clients follow her lead and focus on eventing, which Wehle claims is her true love.

Horse & Style: What is your background with horses, and at what point did you begin to take training and competing seriously as a career? Carrie Wehle: I just assumed from a young age that I would always be involved in the family Standardbred farm in some way. I helped in any way I could, from unloading hay to yearling sales prep. When the Standardbred racing industry started to decline, I began to focus on off the track Thoroughbreds and retrain them as eventers. After college I decided I could make a living riding, and began to figure out the best way to make that happen. I turned the Standardbred breeding operation into a training and boarding facility for event horses. My husband Justin and I built a 100 x 200 indoor arena and started to take on training horses and students. We now have 365 acres in Scottsville, NY, known as Wehle Farms.

H&S: Your riding resume is very diverse. What different disciplines have you practiced, and how have they individually informed your training? CW: I started in the hunter ring as a child, but quickly learned I wanted to go faster than the hunters allowed. In high school I became very interested in fox hunting. Once I turned 16 and was able to drive a truck, I started to event and fox hunt as much as possible. As I climbed the ranks of eventing, I began to do more in the hunters and jumpers to improve my show jumping. I had an off-the-track Thoroughbred mare named Circular Time that I started to steeplechase and timber race. I quickly was hooked on

64

· october/november

racing and did quite a bit of that with her. We won the Fox Hunters Timber at the GVH Races two years in a row, as well as many other races in the Genesee Valley. I started doing USDF dressage shows after I had an eventing horse that was particularly cranky about dressage. I started him at Training Level and we went on to earn our USDF Bronze Medal. He is currently competing at Prix St George and we are half-way to completing our USDF Silver Medal. I bartered with a family for their games pony, “Peanut,” in exchange for breaking their two-year-old warmblood gelding. When they mentioned the pony drove, I hooked him up to see if it was true. It was, and we entered our first driving show at Walnut Hill, the largest pleasure driving competition in the world. This is roughly equivalent to starting your eventing career at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event! I was a Volkswagen at a Ferrari show with my little Haflinger pony, but it was a new challenge for me. I now have a Dutch Harness Horse stallion that I compete in combined driving events. I have recently started dabbling in the hunter derbies, doing my first one this year at The Derby at the Genesee Country Village. It was a very different experience, but I am always up for a new challenge!

H&S: In which discipline are you the least invested? How has merely dabbling in a horse sport helped you ride better? CW: Driving has been very enlightening. It is very difficult as a rider to have four of your aids taken away from you. There is no seat and no

Horse & Style Magazine Oct/Nov 2014  

From Normandy, France, to the coast of Iceland, the center of Ireland and back to Los Angeles, Horse & Style Oct/Nov is full of the very bes...

Horse & Style Magazine Oct/Nov 2014  

From Normandy, France, to the coast of Iceland, the center of Ireland and back to Los Angeles, Horse & Style Oct/Nov is full of the very bes...

Advertisement