By Mary Johnson

Hardest Working Rider Contest Entry #2

When people ask me which equestrian I look up to or admire the most, my answer always gets strange looks and a ‘never heard of her’. I always laugh and say, “Well, you have not heard of her yet, but you will!”. You see, the equestrian I admire the most left home at 16 to pursue her dreams. She left school, her friends, and the life she knew and was incredibly good at to go work for an Olympian, because she knew what she wanted and what she had to sacrifice to get there.

Audrey Norrell and I met when I had just recently moved to Nevada. I was looking for a new barn, and the barn her mother trained out of wound up being right down the road. You could say destiny brought us together. Even at 10 years old, I knew Audrey was special. She didn’t grow up on the A/AA circuit doing the pony hunters. Her equitation days were spent on mostly local circuits, and the times in between were spent at the barn breaking babies, riding the new ones that came in, and conditioning fox hunting horses. In the winters, we fox hunted, and Audrey always got on the ‘rougher’ horses, the new horses, and the young horses. She never got the made horses, instead she had to help make her horses, and she had the most beautiful hand with the most difficult horses. I even witnessed Audrey hunt once with a freshly broken collar bone, and I have pictures to prove it. At the age of 13, Audrey became the youngest member of Red Rock Hounds to get her Scarlett coat.

Audrey is one of the hardest working riders I know, and she is also one of the most inspirational riders. She recently moved from Will’s to further her own career in this industry, and she once again left the known and the comforts for the unknown. Audrey doesn’t only work hard, but she is also incredibly humble. She would give you the shirt off of her back in a heart beat if you needed it, and she is always encouraging others. Audrey is the type of rider I look up to. Though she is like a younger sister, I hope to become her one day in so many different senses.

Audrey works six days a week, rides multiple horses per day, and when she isn’t riding, she is maintaining the barn, schedules, and more. She doesn’t reap the professional benefits, but she works the professional hours, and I can’t think of anymore more fitting for the hardest working pad than Audrey, the hardest working, up and coming young professional I know. This piece isn’t even long enough to touch the very top of who Audrey is or why she deserves this pad. I didn’t name numerous accomplishments, tales of dirt and dedication, or the tales of over coming the obstacles. However, I hope it is enough to consider her for this pad.

Tell us about the hardest working rider you know and enter to win not one…but TWO ECOGOLD Flip Half Pads (value $249 each). CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.