Our Featured Junior Rider for June is Sophie Hartlen!
Sophie is one of our top riders at the barn and is always there to lend a helping hand when needed. Not all of our riders are interested in competing but they are certainly equally valued members of Lancers. Sophie is a great example of this! Now in ride 1, Sophie has been riding at Lancers for nine years and has developed into a highly accomplished rider.
She started at the Lancers summer camp and was immediately “hooked”! Over the years, Sophie has participated in the Musical ride, occasionally stable handed and acts as a barn monitor but her favourite activity is doing night hay. She loves night hay because she likes to be the last one at the barn and enjoys seeing all the horses tucked in and happily munching away at their hay.
When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Sophie noted “the wonderful horses and how easy it is to make friends because of the way the riding program is structured; I’ve met some of my best friends from being in the same ride as them!” When asked who her favourite horses are, Sophie chose easily Giquau and Val because “they both pose some challenges but have big hearts and aim to please!”
Sophie’s favourite memory of Lancers was her first (and only) time participating in the Musical Ride! To this, she quickly added, “I really regret not doing it in previous years because it was such as fun experience!” Specifically, performing at the Atlantic Agricultural Fall Fair was a highlight because it was her first time going off-property with a horse. According to Sophie, “it was rewarding to see all of our hard work be shown off in front of many people!” Participating in the dog and horse relay at the fair was also “super fun” and was certainly a unique experience!
In addition to riding, Sophie (who is quite tall!) plays basketball, soccer, and rugby.
Sophie is now into her last six weeks riding at Lancers because in September she is going to Mount Allison University in New Brunswick to complete a BSc and will pursue a career in the field of health sciences. Sophie makes sure to add that she would love to keep riding so “will make sure to always keep [her] helmets and boots in the trunk of the car in case the opportunity ever arises”.
From our perspective, this time of year is always tinged with a hue of sadness but also excitement as some of our riders graduate and embark on new adventures outside of Halifax. We take pride in adding those riders to our Lancer alumni and wish all of our graduating riders the very best and hope to see them back at Lancers one day.