Ginny Wegener spent the first half of her life being a professional pilot and a horse show mom to her three daughters. But when the kids moved out, her equine adventure was just beginning.
“When the kids were gone, I thought, ‘I really miss having those horses around’,” she said. So at age 58, she bought a horse of her own—a seven-year-old Arabian named Sam who had been trained in dressage.
She fell in love with the sport. And though she came to riding as an adult, she wasn’t intimidated. After 30,000 hours of airtime as a pilot, teaching others to fly as an FAA Examiner, and racing in the Powder Puff Derbies of 1966-1973, 1975, and 1976, an activity that occurred entirely on solid ground must have felt pretty tame.
A friend told her about the Century Club—an organization that honors dressage riders and horses whose combined age is 100 or more. Riders can compete at any level to be eligible for a free black and gold Century Club ribbon.
“Well heck, he’s old, and I’m getting old, so let’s do it,” she remembers thinking before competing in her first Century Club ride on 30-year-old Sam in 2002. “And when Loki came along, I thought heck, I’ll do it again.”
So far Ginny has done two Century Club rides. She hasn’t decided yet if she’ll go for a third.
“I just ride for fun…The Fjord is 20 now, but he’s very healthy; he could do it.”
For Ginny, horses have brought joy at every stage of life.
“I have three wonderful daughters and they’ve never been a problem,” she said, “They spent all their time with their horses. I think it’s important for young people to have something they care about.”
And that same passion has carried on for her through the years.
“I think the Century Club is really wonderful because it does give encouragement to older people. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re aching or hurting to get out and ride, but if you have something to look forward to, it keeps you going.”
Now Ginny and Loki live on a farm in the Colorado mountains, and trailer out to ride with friends once a week.
“It’s that passion; it keeps you moving,” she said.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Ginny, and thank you to the Century Club!