Sophia Calamari, 14, has been riding for 12 years and is most well-known not just for her signature brown attire in the show ring, but also for winning Overall Grand Champion Green Pony Hunter at Pony Finals. We caught up with her to see what she will be up to this upcoming year.
According to Sophia, this year she will be riding in the junior hunters, the pony hunters, and “hopefully the Big Eq.”
“This year I will be working a lot on my equitation as I prepare to start the Big Eq,” she said.
Currently, she only owns a junior hunter named Celebrate, but she catch rides other horses and ponies, including most recently California Dreamin’ II, formerly owned by Stal Wilten, where they earned Reserve Champion in the Large Greens.
Sophia is most well-known for rockin’ the brown helmet and other show apparel in the hunter ring. We asked how this became her signature.
“My mom put me in the brown helmet when I was doing leadline because she thought it matched well with my red hair, and it’s been my thing ever since,” she said. “Now for the equitation, I have to wear black and everyone, including me, thinks it looks very strange on me!”
Sophia said that to continue her rigorous riding and showing schedule, she attends online school. However, she mostly does her schoolwork at night after she has ridden all day.
Sophia hopes to one day make it onto the United States Equestrian Team. She looks up with Liza Boyd, Kelley Farmer, and Beezie Madden. She also said if she could ride any horse it would be Lucy Deslauriers’ Hester because she thinks “he is incredible.”
Although she spends most of her time riding, she does occasionally have time to unwind.
“Listening to music is usually how I unwind,” she said. “My favorite artists are Lana Del Rey and Elvis Presley.”
When asked how she deals with becoming a well-known, up and coming rider, Sophia had this to say:
“I am respectful to all the fellow riders, trainers, and other people involved in my riding career,” she said. “I am very appreciative for all the opportunities that I have been given. I want to become a good role model for younger riders.”