Story and photos by Mackenzie Shuman
From being second at Maclay finals, to winning the $100,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon, 17-year-old Kelli Cruciotti from Elizabeth, Colo., has made her mark in the horse world. She hasn’t done it alone however. With the help of former Olympian Peter Wylde in the jumpers, and her mother, Cindy Cruciotti, in the equitation, Kelli has soared to new heights.
“[Peter] is amazing, he’s a wonderful addition to the team, and he has so many of the same values and beliefs as we do,” Kelli said when talking about her new partnership with Wylde. Wylde is helping Kelli get a new perspective on the jumpers by handing down some of his extensive knowledge and experience of the show jumping world.
Kelli has always trained with her mom, who is her biggest idol and supporter. Before every class that Kelli is in, her mom can be spotted schooling Kelli over jumps, or even riding along side her.
“My mom does everything…she really is my idol,” Kelli says.
This strong connection between mother and daughter has not only given Kelli a leg up in the sport, but has also introduced her to the business side of the horse industry. Her future plans are to continue Serenity Farm’s legacy, and to also flourish in the jumpers with high hopes of becoming an Olympian.
“I was always obsessed with the idea of having my own business and running a stable,” she explains, when telling me what her future plans are. It also helps that Cruciotti gets a first hand look at what running a stable is like from observing her mom and following in her moms footsteps. Along with keeping Serenity Farms future in mind, Cruciotti aspires to one day become an Olympian.
“Never let anybody tell you that your goals are too big. If you want something, you can always find a way to do it,” Kelli said.
“There are always good people out there to help you and to put you on the right path,” Kelli advised.
So when you are at a horse show looking for riders to watch, make sure to stop by the jumper or equitation rings to see Kelli for yourself, as this upcoming star is on the fast track to becoming one of the greats.