Categories: Rolex Three Day
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Interview with America's 14th place finisher Allison Springer following her showjumping round at Rolex Kentucky placing her 14th overall
Allison Springer Many people, who decide to take on a task, do something or learn something, will give up on it if they find it difficult, hard to do or fail the first time. That is not Allison. She is tenacious. If it is hard, she tries harder and will keep working at it until she succeeds. And we are not just talking about riding horses. Allison is not a one-note person. She excelled in school and was active in and out of school. In high school she pursued a rigorous Advanced Placement curriculum (A.P. Physics, Calculus, English, Spanish, etc.). She was a varsity diver, alpine ski competitor, in student government and assistant editor of the literary magazine. She earned her colors in the Fox River Valley Hunt at an early age and achieved the A rating of National Pony Club by the age of 16. She went on to graduate from the highly selective Bowdoin College where she was on the Dean’s list. She continued her active involvement in the Bowdoin community.
Yes, Allison is tenacious. She sets goals for herself and works day and night to achieve them. Does anyone question her extraordinary work ethic? At the American Eventing Championships this year, two of her students who had driven down for the week to watch her, regaled us with tales of what a great teacher she is and how long and hard she works. They said that at times Allison will give 10-12 lessons with out a break and that everyone is thrilled with their improvement because of her.
Allison has great empathy for horses. I have heard it said that Allison likes to ride difficult horses, perhaps enjoys the challenge. I don’t believe that is true. I think she feels something in these horses, she understands them, and she has a connection to their spirit, a great empathy, an understanding of them. I truly think she can sense horses capabilities and loves to bring it out in that horse. An example of this that I love is her little wild red horse Ben, who was unridden until gelded at 7. She took him all the way to Rolex and we all marveled at that. And what a turnaround we are seeing in Arthur. He was so wild and spooky to start and now we have watched him perform a most magnificent dressage test at the Radnor 2 star.
big-jumpAllison has such fortitude. She is so good under pressure and so resilient. It amazes me that when she succeeds she is always thinking how to make it better and when bad things happen she can somehow go forward with even more determination. When “Berger” was kicked, it was a devastating blow both to him and to her. But her determination, hard work, and care, not to mention lots of expense, have won out and I believe that we will see great things for that pair.
But best of all, Allison has a truly loving heart. Not just for horses, but for people too and again an ability to bring out the best. There are many examples among her students but I will give just one. Several years ago, Allison had a teenage working student that did not talk; she had stopped talking in kindergarten. There was nothing physically wrong with her and she was home schooled because of this. After working with Allison for several months, she became a chatterbox.
It is true that Allison is always working to improve herself. Her trips to Wellington have become a mission to improve her dressage and jumping by working with the best dressage and jumping people. And as humble as she is, she feels the improvement.
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