Megan and Vinny - photo by Christine Traynham

Megan and Vinny – photo by Roy Traynham

My name is Megan Traynham, I am 14 and I own a 7 year-old Holsteiner gelding named Lord Lombardi, best known as Vinny. I have been riding him since September and then purchased him in January from Kristi Nunnink. Kristi gave me an amazing opportunity to ride him and show him before buying him, I am very thankful for that. I did one novice then finished my Training NQRs. I moved up to Prelim in February 2015. Training to Preliminary is one of the hardest move ups.

- photo by Christine McNabb

Training to Preliminary is one of the hardest move ups – photo by Christine McNabb

I had all 4 of my Prelim NQRs by April then traveled all the way to Texas in May with Sami Clark. We both were in the same boat, in order to get selected we needed our CCI 1*. I remember being in the startbox with the butterflies in my stomach and hearing 3…2…1 then it was happening! I was on course and it was just me and my horse. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I jumped off, walked to the 10 minute box and it hit me right as everyone started throwing ice water on my horse that I had gone clear and was qualified for NAJYRC! It was the best feeling completing my first 1*!

Prelim and CCI have a huge height and width difference as you can see in the picture below. This is my friend Sami standing in the ditch brush!

- photo by Christine McNabb

Gulp! – photo by Christine McNabb

In early June I received an email that I was one of the riders going to representing Area 6 in Kentucky this July. As soon as I found out I asked who else was one the team, and it was Madi Holzman, Sami Clark, Amber Pearson, Maddy Temkin and myself.

This is all of us jogging our horses at Young Rider Camp.

Area 6 - photo by Christine Traynham

Young Rider Camp! – photo by Christine Traynham

It was definitely a long and hard journey for all of us to get here but it was well worth it. We leave for Kentucky this week and Vinny is conditioned and ready to go!

I am very grateful for Brian Sabo the team coach for teaching us at camp, Kim Littlehale for organizing the whole thing and providing us with all the information that we need, Bec Braitling for shopping with us and helping fit our horses to the right gear that we need, Lauren Billys for organizing jogs at events and answering any questions we have, my parents for driving me to the places I need to be and for always being supportive and Kristi Nunnink for helping me get to know Vinny in the best ways possible.

Thank you to everyone for making my dreams a reality!