Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
Number of years riding: 32 Years
Career accomplishments to date:
• Seven-time World Cup Finals Competitor
• 2002 World Equestrian Games Team Member
• 2008 Short list for Olympics
• 2008 2nd Olympics Trials
• 2010 Winner of the World Equestrian Game Trials in Florida
• 2010 Nations Cup Winning Team in Rotterdam
How you got started in your event: I grew up on a farm in New Jersey. My mom was into show horses and so was my dad. So I was pretty much raised doing it.
Length of time you’ve been sponsored by Ariat: One year
Favorite Ariat product (by name): Olympia Breeches
Proudest career moment: 2002 WEG Team
Tell us about your first horse: I had a little pony called Bay Berry. He was my first pony, the one I learned to ride on.
You ride because: It’s in my blood and it’s a natural thing. I cannot picture my life without horses in it. Also, it’s the challenge of being with an animal’s everyday ups and downs – plus the competitive aspect.
If you weren’t a professional rider, you would be a: I don’t know anything other than the horses. It’s just like breathing.
Favorite mentor or idol growing up: I grew up at Overpack in New Jersey. Our barn was there. When you start show jumping, you start on foot and a few of my friends and I would compete by foot-jumping the jumps. We would compete against each other saying that we were Katie Monihan, Leslie Bur, and Melanie Smith, because they were the top riders at the time. I would always say I was Leslie Bur. When I was a Junior I was able to meet and ride with Leslie.
Favorite place to travel: Home
Name one fun fact that people don’t know about you: I love to cook! And many people think I am very unapproachable, but really I am a very nice person.
Favorite way to unwind outside of the barn: I really enjoy ceramic painting.
Good luck charm: Just having my kids being supportive of what I do. It is very special to me. They are there – good bad or indifferent – and they are always behind you.