Caitlin Boyle won the USET Talent Search
Wellington, FL - January 23, 2015 - Caitlin Boyle started week three off strong by winning the first equitation class of the week, the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search. Boyle and Ability Dance flowed around the course and stayed well within the tight time allowed. The recent graduate from the Laurel Spring High School just started riding Ability Dance during week one of the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Ability Dance is also new to Boyle’s trainer, Andre Dignelli and to the equitation ring but she pleased with him so far. “He is pretty new to me, but he is a great horse,” Boyle said. “He has come a long way in a short time. He did jumpers before and he is trying to make the transition into the equitation ring.”
Boyle describes the bay gelding as a “great water jumper.”
“He never wants to land in it and he is very brave,” she said. “He has learned a lot of adjusting and everything you need to make a smooth round. He is really a great horse.”
Boyle, who is no longer a junior competitor, plans to continue to compete in the USET classes throughout WEF, which is offered to riders under the show age of 21.
Close behind Boyle was 13-year-old Ava Stearns and Come Alive, owned by Missy Clark. Even though Stearns is one of the younger riders competing in the 3’ 6” equitation classes her young age did not hold her back. Sterns has grown up in the saddle due to her mother being a trainer and having their farm right at their house on Marthas Vineyard in Massachusetts. She has worked hard from the start; mucking stalls, taking care of her horses and traveling on a ferry with her horses to compete.
Her mother, Sarah Doyle was close to tears as her hard working daughter took the second place ribbon after the flat phase of the competitive USET class. Doyle was excited for her daughter and even though she is a trainer she claims “I wouldn’t be honest if I said I didn’t get a little nervous.”
“The mom side of me does get a little nervous because you always want your kid to have the best experience they can have,” Doyle said.
Although Doyle is a trainer she has taken the mom role in the equitation ring with Staerns and has Missy Clark and North Run train her. “I try to get myself in the mom box and stay in there, let everyone do their jobs,” Doyle explained.
Doyle could not be more thankful for the opportunities North Run has provided for Stearns and believes her daughter’s success wouldn't be possible without the team behind her.
“North Run has been amazing to Ava, they have been so nice to her from the start, ” she said. “They help her in the equitation and jumpers and they have done such nice job helping her have horses to ride.”
Stearns not only has support from North Run but also from her “older sister figure” Maggie Gamfer. Gamfer, a member of the Oklahoma State University Equestrian Team, has worked for Doyle for the past two summers and has taken Stearns under her wing. She has taught her a work ethic and taken Stearns to shows when her mother couldn’t bring her. “It’s all because of Maggie,” Doyle stated.
Doyle was quick to inform Gamfer, who is at school, about how well her daughter had done.
“To her it really isn't about winning,” Doyle said. “It is about doing good job every time and I think that’s what helps her a lot.”
Stearns will continue to compete throughout the twelve weeks offered and the Winter Equestrian Festival and looks to “improve as a rider, continue to grow and learn and hopefully have some fun doing it.”