Coco Fath placed 9th at the 2014 Pessoa Medal Finals and was Champion in the 2015 Small Junior Hunters at Devon. However, she is more than just her riding accomplishments. When asked, Coco said her friends would probably describe her as “entertaining.”
Coco, 15, has been riding for 9 years.
“I began riding because my sisters were riding and I had always been in love with ponies,” she said. “My great grandmother fox hunted which got the rest of my family (my grandmother then my mother) into it.”
She currently owns 7 horses and trains with Molly Ashe. She also has her own LLC, Hillside Farm, which she hopes to make into a real barn one day.
Currently, Coco’s goals include earning ribbons at Equitation Finals and “mak[ing] sure all of [her] horses are happy and healthy.”
This winter, she will be competing at WEF, which she said is one of her favorite shows. She has found that every time she returns home from WEF, her riding is much better.
“Every time I come home to Connecticut after WEF, my position is always 10x better,” she said.
Coco said her biggest strengths as a rider are being able to seeing distances from far away. She also has another strength which has been super important and helpful to her, especially when she is competing at bigger finals: she has the ability not to choke under pressure.
However, Coco said she does “occasionally” get nervous at big finals. But, to deal with this, she channels the nerves into “focusing on [the] course and [her] position.”
Coco did say that competing in the Big Eq Finals is “a little scary.”
“…but once you get over the big crowd and difficult jumps it’s really fun. The time of year, however, is very stressful with school and prepping the horses,” she said.
Speaking of school, how does Coco balance school and her rigorous riding/competition schedule?
“It can be really difficult at times, but I’ve been lucky enough to work with tons of tutors … you just have to manage time really well. I also stay down during WEF and use a tutoring service in the winter,” she explained.
This year, Coco plans on working on her position and also moving up in the jumpers. Long-term, she would like to compete in more hunter derbies.
As an avid equestrian, Coco is obviously up on the latest in equestrian brands. She said her favorites are: Equiline, Charles Ancona, Ariat, Parlanti, Tailored Sportsman, and Hermes.
Coco isn’t always riding, and when she does have time to relax and unwind, she does so by hanging out with friends, playing tennis, or doing homework.
Coco has obviously had a lot of success in the show ring. She had this advice for young equestrians who want to follow in her footsteps.
“[R]ide as much and as many different horses as you can and … remember to always have fun with it,” she said.
Coco said if she could ride any “famous” horse, it would be Brunello because of his jump. Brunello also just won USEF Horse of the Year. Additionally, if she could clinic with anyone, it would be George Morris, who has a new book coming out this year and wrote one of the most well-known books about hunter seat equitation.
Finally, we asked Coco what her plans are in terms of whether she would like to become a professional rider. She had a very smart answer.
“It would be amazing to go professional, but I plan on going to college and cannot predict the future so I am not sure,” she said. “I would spend some time as an amateur, for sure.”
Much like other equestrians, such as Lillie Keenan, it seems as if Coco values education just as much as she values her riding – something we certainly cannot disagree with.
If you’d like to keep up with Coco and her adventures riding, she can be found on Instagram.