Medal Finals Rider Spotlight
She’s an entrepreneur, catch-rider extraordinaire, and just an all-around fun girl. Read about last year’s winner of the Ruth Ayres Adult Medal and why the CHJA Medal Finals is her favorite show of the year.
By: HH Contributor Kristina McCombie
HH: Who is Jessica? Tell us a little about yourself …
JS: I’m an Entrepreneur. I’m the Founder and CEO of “Konnexe” and “Nexe Lifestyle,” both based out of Denver. I grew up in Massachusetts, but I’ve been in Colorado for 13 years since attending the University of Denver. I even rode on their IHSA team.
HH: What horse(s) do you have right now and what are you working on?
JS: I currently own a small jumper prospect who is a sale horse. I also try to ride as many other horses as possible, I think it makes me a more versatile and stronger rider. Also, I still own my first horse, Sunny, who I’ve owned for 21 years. She’s 31 now, still lives in Massachusetts, and enjoys life.
HH: What were some of your accomplishments this past year and what are your future goals?
JS: Winning the Ruth Ayres Medal at Medal Finals last fall was really exciting. I hope to finish strong again this year.
HH: Who do you idolize in the sport?
JS: Mclain Ward has always been an idol of mine. How he holds such a beautiful and perfect position over those huge fences always blows my mind.
HH: Who have you ridden with and what have you taken from each trainer?
JS: I’ve ridden with a lot of trainers since I moved to Colorado and I’ve been lucky enough to ride and show a lot of wonderful horses. I currently ride and train with Sarah Watson. Sarah has truly brought the fun into riding and showing. I’m someone who is hard on myself and always wants to excel. Sarah makes sure I always keep a smile on my face and enjoy every moment.
HH: If your horse(s) was/were a person who do you think he/she would be like?
JS: My jumper mare would definitely be a teenage girl. She’s fun, adventurous, and full of sass!
HH: What is always in your tack trunk?
JS: An excessive amount of saddle pads and rags. You can never have enough of either.
HH: What’s your favorite show and why?
JS: Medal Finals is my favorite. I enjoy the intensity and the pressure. I usually get to borrow nice horses for Medal Finals as well since I don’t own an equitation horse of my own! Rhobicon is my favorite (Rhobicon, owned by Emily and Kristian Eichler, is usually an adult jumper, but once a year gets his mane pulled, whiskers shaved, and plays equitation pony for Jessica).
HH: Do you have any good luck charms or are you superstitious about anything?
JS: I always wear the same leather necklace with a heart on it when I show. It was given to me by my mother for good luck.
HH: If you weren’t riding and showing what do you think you’d be doing?
JS: I would be hiking or mountain biking with my husband. Or, probably working because my companies are my other obsession.
The Hacked Horse would like to wish each and every competitor the best of luck at the CHJA Medal Finals this week. We are so proud of your efforts to get there – let it shine! Also, be sure to tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or DM us your highlights to be featured in our wrap-up article after the show.