Written by Chloe Friedham.
Erin McGuire, a student at University of South Carolina, competes on the A Circuit in the Amateur Jumpers. Kasarr, or “Benny,” is her Dutch Warmblood that she purchased as a 1.20m horse in the spring of 2013. Despite standing only 15.1hh, Benny has proved to have a large amount of “spice,” now competing at the National Grand Prix Level.
“This quality was what led me to buy him after trying a multitude of different horses,” Erin said. Erin’s gut was right as this pair has made the spectacular progression from the 1.20 to being 2nd in their first National Grand Prix.
Erin commutes from school to the barn, which is a 50 minute drive each way, up to five days a week. On top of being a college student, she also has an internship with a veterinarian and is an avid member of Body Pump. There is only little room for normalcy in this hectic rider’s life.
How does one individual complete a heavy workload, and compete successfully in Grand Prix classes all at the same time?
Her days are separated into distinct sections, this way she can completely focus on a single task. Erin’s motto is: “Stay organized, be committed, and communicate!”
Currently, Erin majors in Psychology and minors in Athletic Coaching. One of Erin’s greatest challenges has been her mental game while riding.
Erin’s internship is with Dr. Emma Williamson at Alvine Equine Mobile Veterinary Services. Here, Erin has the opportunity to assist Dr. Williamson with acupuncture and chiropractic work.
Not only is Erin a devoted Body Pump member, she is also in the process of becoming an instructor. Body Pump is a group fitness class that focuses on weights. Erin said that fitness has “allow(ed) [her] to get more out of [her] rides and focus on more technical aspects when competing.” Exercise that aids riding is difficult for many riders to find. Erin said that this training is not only fun, but also has been extremely beneficial to her riding.
Since August, Erin’s trainer Liza Boyd and mount Brunello have become household names among the equestrian community. The International Derby Finals was introduced in 2009, and the pair has won half of those championships. Erin only has wonderful things to say about her trainers, Jack and Liza, at Finally Farm. Jack is an “unbelievable teacher,” and Liza is “humble.” Both are like family to Erin.
In her (little) free time Erin enjoys reading and baking. Casallo, Erin’s previous Junior Hunter, was one of her favorites’ to show at The National Horse Show. Blowing Rock Horse Show, in North Carolina, is her favorite show with Kassar. Other than Liza Boyd, Olympian veterans Beezie Madden and McLain Ward are among her riding inspirations.
Erin’s favorite equine friendly product is Sore Paint, which is valuable after riding on dreadful hard footing. This product along with many others come from Seashore Acres LLC.
In the future, Erin hopes to be competitive in the local 1.50m Grand Prix classes. However as of right now, she will continue to compete with Benny in the Grand Prix classes and Amateur Jumpers.
“Benny has come a long way from his days as a 1.20 horse,” said Erin. She fondly remembers the first time they jumped clear in a Grand Prix, and accredits her success with Benny to her “superb team.” Erin has become a riding, and lifestyle, inspiration to many.