The Bit of Britain’s Next Top Rider sponsorship has come around again this year, and this time I feel I am ready to commit to a sponsorship. Of course every young rider that dreams of making it to the top of the sport also dreams of having those valuable sponsors to help them reach their goals. But I feel many young riders forget there’s so much more to a sponsorship than the money and the social media posts that can create an illusion of commitment, horsemanship, and success. When you commit to a sponsorship you become a face for the company, and it’s important to hold yourself to a certain standard both online and in real life because it’s more than a sponsorship; it’s a partnership.
As my fiancé and I begin to build our own business in the eventing world, I feel I am now ready to commit to a partnership with Bit of Britain. (My fiancé, Zach, would apply if he fit the age requirement!) With the help of our ICP trainer, Brad Hall, we are beginning expand our knowledge and build our experience in training both horses and riders. At the same time, we are continuing to further our own riding. We’ve both been working with Brad for about 10 years, and he has taught us that success with horses doesn’t always come in the form of ribbons. He taught us to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal, but never to forget to appreciate the day-to-day journey of working with horses. After reflecting on Denny Emerson’s quote from “How Good Riders Get Good”, I can’t help but relate his words to what Brad has taught Zach and I. So many riders get burned out from chasing the ribbons, and some even reach their goals and then quit because what’s left now? While we might not have done the NAJYRC, made the U25 list, or gotten the blue ribbon at AECs, we know how to find the small wins every time we put a foot in the stirrup. To us, being able to recognize and appreciate the small successes in every ride is the true definition of commitment, horsemanship, and success. It’s what will keep you going during the low points, humble during the high points, and remind you why you started this crazy journey in the first place: for the love of the horse.
However, when it comes to a sponsorship and growing your own business, it’s not enough to just be a committed rider that understands what it takes to stay in it for the long haul. You have to authentically promote yourself and the companies that support you. Again, this time around I feel more ready to commit to a partnership with Bit of Britain. In December 2016 I graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Agricultural Education and Communication with a specialization in Communication and Leadership Development. Through my degree, I gained marketing skills such as website design, videography, photography, and professional/journalistic writing. What does this mean for Bit of Britain? This means I have the ability to create a professional online presence that can be used to promote Bit of Britain and its products. I don’t have a large amount of followers (yet!) only because I just created our barn’s website and social media pages this month. We were waiting for the rendering of our new facility before we “opened”, so we could provide a concrete picture of TerraNova Equestrian Center’s future to potential clients and sponsors. (The rendering of our barn can be found on the homepage!)
Zach and I are excited to see our dreams start to realize and continue working on our equestrian goals together, and I hope that Bit of Britain will join me on this journey!