BY ANNIE BIRMINGHAM
Kennedy and Lauren McCaulley, hailing from Elgin, Illinois, are two siblings training with the Jayne family at Our Day Farm. Kennedy, 16, competes in the low/medium junior jumpers aboard Zara and Zershina, the high junior jumpers aboard Show Show, as well as the large junior hunters and international derbies with Frosted Blue. Lauren competes in the high children’s jumpers (with plans to move up to the low junior jumpers shortly) with both Blue Sugar OTG and Tenacious D. The Plaid Horse caught up with the sisters at the annual Devon Horse Show to discuss their first time riding at the prestigious event, and to hear what it’s like to compete with your siblings.
What is it like showing with your siblings?
“We both find the opportunity to ride and compete as sisters amazing. We get to travel together, and can always help each other out with course questions, questions about our horses, and more. For example, I showed Darcy in the medium juniors this year at WEF, and Lauren started riding her after the circuit. Because of this I have been able to share tips with Lauren about riding her, and Lauren can talk to me about everything she feels.
We do not ride in the same classes yet, but we will be soon. Lauren is hopefully moving up to the low juniors this summer, and we might end up overlapping in a few classes. It would be a fun new experience to be able to ride the same courses so we can talk over the plan and results with each other.”
Are you competitive with each other?
“We are definitely competitive, and we push ourselves to do our best, but since we don’t compete in the same divisions yet we haven’t been competitive with each other thus far. I imagine that when we do compete against each other, we will think more about putting in our own personal bests, learning from one another, and being supportive, rather than being competitive!”
How do you stay supportive of one another, both in and out of the saddle?
“We are always talking over courses and plans, and like to review our rounds by watching videos and talking over what we are each seeing and feeling. Out of the saddle, we often go to fitness classes together; hot yoga, cycling, kickboxing. We also help each other out with homework assignments and other school projects since we both do the same online school.”
Why do you love the Devon Horse Show? What makes it special?
“We both immediately loved the ring and show grounds, which are a very unique and exciting environment to show in. Especially when the crowds picked up and we showed in the night classes; [it] was such a charged and stimulating atmosphere….and it’s so nice to see people who don’t know about our sport come out to support the events and riders. Both Lauren and I felt that our jumpers especially liked the ring and the atmosphere, because they were very careful and excited as soon as they stepped in front of the crowd! We also enjoyed the competition at this show. Being able to compete against the best riders in the country within our respective divisions was a great opportunity!”
What are some of your favorite things about Devon?
“Outside of the show, we spent a lot of time in town. Several days a week, Lauren and I, as well as the other girls from our barn, would walk to restaurants, the farmers market, etc. This was a great way to pass time and get away from the show for a few minutes when we didn’t compete until later in the day. The showgrounds at Devon were also a lot of fun. Although we didn’t make it to the country fair, it looked like a great way to hang out with friends and relax after the show day. We also enjoyed the setup of the rings at Devon. We spent a lot of time sitting in the bleachers watching all of the other amazing riders go. After going this year for the first time, it is definitely one of our favorites, and we hope to be back next year!”
About the Author: Annie Birmingham is an 18 year old equestrian from Long Island, New York. A freshman at Long Island University studying equine management, Annie can usually be found spending time at the barn and grooming at horse shows up and down the East Coast.
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