Our Featured Junior Rider of the Month is Gracie Walker!
Anyone who rides at Lancers will know Gracie. She always seems to be fluttering around the barn, helping out, and enthusiastically looking for ways to keep the stables tidy. She never seems to be without her smile and her willingness to learn, answer questions, and be put to work is a breath of fresh air.
Gracie started riding at Lancers eight years ago as soon as she turned eight after being on the waitlist for two years! She was finally old enough to start the Junior Beginner Course. Over the years, she has moved up through the ranks and is now in ride 1. Gracie has been in Musical Ride for the past three years, competes at a lot of jumper competitions, is currently the Junior Executive treasurer, and always volunteers for night hay, at open houses, and the barn clean up. This year Lancers has resurrected its Lancer Pony Club and Gracie has been a significant proponent and participant. She says that she loves her Pony Club experience and in the spring she went to the regional quiz where she qualified for nationals in British Columbia. Gracie was selected for a “C” team with three Pony Clubbers from Ontario and will soon be competing at nationals!
When asked what she likes about Lancers, Gracie replied: “I love lancers because of the community that surrounds it. I think that Lancers has an amazing sense of family and it really makes me feel at home. I also love all the opportunities that Lancers offers like Musical Ride, Pony Club, showing, and Junior Executive. But most of all I love being proud to call myself a Lancer; being part of lancer's history and community always makes me feel so lucky!”
One of Gracie’s favourite memories of Lancers happens to be one of her first. She was at the end of her first Lancer summer camp and she was riding Babe. When it was time to go outside for pictures, however, Babe refused to go because of the Paul McCartney sound check going on at the Commons. Babe was not amused. Gracie also recalls getting the award for the best-groomed pony (which was a pretty big feat knowing how dirty Babe always was)! That theme seemed to have stuck to Gracie because her mounts are always well turned out, especially her favourite horses Sadie and Punkin. Sadie has been Gracie’s partner for the past year and she feels very lucky to ride her. Punkin, on the other hand, was the first horse that she rode at Lancers so she will always be one of Gracie’s favourites.
As Gracie looks to her future, it is clear that her time with horses has inspired her. After high school, she would love to go to Vet School to become an Equine vet and chiropractor. Her dream is to have a business where she can recover and rehabilitate competition horses.
Apart from riding, Gracie loves to go skiing and sailing, both of which she has been doing since she was very young. You can often catch Gracie with a camera around her neck!
Stay tuned for Gracie’s journey to Pony Club nationals. We love to see Gracie’s hard work and we are proud to have a Lancer Pony Club member competing at Nationals! Thank you, Gracie, for truly exhibiting the Lancer spirit of horsemanship, citizenship, and sportsmanship. You are so dedicated to Lancers and you are an important role model for younger riders.