Sophia began riding when she was three years old and was hooked from day one. She has been a true "barn rat" her whole life and while she enjoys competing, she has a very strong passion for the training and development of the horses. She has been fortunate enough to have been actively participating in both the North American Youth Championships and the US Festival of Champions both as a rider and a groom the last few years. These experiences have been wonderful and she hopes to be going back again in the future with her horse Conocido in the U25 Division. Conocido is an 11 year-old PRE gelding who she has had since he was four years old. She also has a four year-old PRE gelding (Idolo) who she backed last year, and Valiente, a wonderful 5 year-old Spanish Sport Horse who came into her life this March through the kindness of his prior owner. She backed Valiente as a three year-old and they will make their debut in the show ring this fall. Outside of horses, she acquired her Bachelors Degree in Business and Marketing in 2021 and does her best to stay involved in D4K and other youth programs through the USDF in order to learn more about how Dressage is run and what she can do to ensure it has a secure and successful future. Sophia is also an avid sports fan (especially ice hockey) and goes to watch games whenever she gets the chance!
Sophia became involved with D4K in 2014, when she was 13. Sophia was introduced to D4K through Lisa Oles, who was managing the farm where she rode. Lisa encouraged Sophia to participate in a TEAM clinic at Hampton Green Farm in Fruitport, Michigan. She sent in her application, participated in both the TEAM Clinic and Lendon's Youth Dressage Festival Midwest and has stayed involved ever since.
Sophia continues to take an active part in Dressage4Kids in multiple ways, the primary being in the TEAM Clinics and in the Training4Teaching Program. Most recently, she has had the opportunity to join the D4K Committee, where she is looking forward to learning and sharing ideas regarding how D4K is fun and regarding future programs and events.
When asked what motivates her most about Dressage4Kids, Sophia writes, "Seeing the impact that D4K has not only had on my life, but on the lives of those around me has made me want to continue to increase my involvement with the organization. D4K has afforded me so many wonderful opportunities professionally in addition to introducing me to so many great people in the sport who I would never have had the chance to meet if not for D4K. Seeing these same things happen for those around me and knowing how powerful this impact is has made me feel stronger and stronger about the influence and reach that this program has."