Two Spence students, Sophie G. ’21 and Mimi G. ’23, made equestrian historyas they both earned gold medals in the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) North American Show Jumping Individual Championship. They are only the second sibling pair since the competition’s founding in 1974 to receive individual jumping gold medals at the same time.
Sophie came out on top in the Young Rider division of the Adequan® FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), while Mimi claimed the highest title in the junior division.
Sophie also received the United States Equestrian Team Foundation Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award,after being the highest placing United States Young Rider at the 2019 NAYC in the Individual Show Jumping Final, held this year from August 1 to August 4 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York. The honor comes with a trip to an FEI Nations Cup Show Jumping competition, a major international competition, where she will be able to observe what goes on in the stabling, veterinary inspections, schooling, and show office, as well as being able to walk the courses with U.S. team riders and the chef d’equipe. Sophie shares the honor of having received the Maxine Beard Award with other Spence alumnae, Lillie Keenan ’15 (2016 recipient) and Georgina Bloomberg ’01 (2004 recipient).
Sophie expressed, “I am looking forward to learning from some of the best riders in the world, and I hope that the lessons I learn from observing a senior Nations Cup will not only better my riding, but also my horsemanship.” She acknowledged how having the support of the USET Foundation has benefited her as she continues on her path toward competing for the United States at the highest level of the sport.
“To win at NAYC and get to do that victory gallop is such an honor,” Sophie told USHJA, noting that she and her sister are “really grateful for our parents, who supported us.”
“I’m so honored to be here and to have won gold. It’s an amazing experience,” Mimi stated. “My goal was just to stay consistent throughout the week and have nice clear rounds. It feels great to have five clear rounds. My horse jumped his heart out for me.”