Plaidcast #107: Hard Work and Gender Equity with Michael Tokaruk, Jen Wood

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Brought to you by StableguardPlaid Horse MagazineSales PaddockSpringtime Supplements, Equestrian Voices Writing ContestTokaruk Show Stables

January 19th, 2019

Everyone wants to know how the secret to success in the horse business. But is there one? Michael Tokaruk tells us how he’s become a well-respected young professional and how he approaches buying and selling horses. Then we catch up with Jennifer Wood of the Equestrian Businesswomen’s Summit to talk about gender equity in the horse world and how the Summit will make a difference to women building careers in the industry. This episode is hosted by Piper Klemm and Sissy Wickes. Listen in!

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Here are some snippets of our great conversations:

Michael Tokaruk: I love riding in Grand Prix, that’s kind of what I live for, but I have to make a living as well. And being based in the South, there’s more hunters than jumpers in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi. And when I first started riding professionally, the majority of my rides, and sometimes I’d be showing 25 horses a day, most of them would be hunters. And so I really made a living doing that for a long time. And more recently I’ve had more upper level jumpers, and that’s been a lot of fun. But I really enjoy doing both, and I find it’s very challenging to ride a perfect hunter course, or as close to perfect as you can, and the art and subtlety to that. And all of the various challenges that jumper courses can offer, they’re unique in their own ways but I really enjoy both of them.

Jennifer Wood: I think the biggest takeaway is that this was something that was needed and something that people really wanted. When I went into it, I thought it was a good idea myself and it was something that I wanted personally, and I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. It exceeded my expectations on every level. I think from there, we can grow and we can do even bigger and better things. We have so many different ideas that we want to pursue and have long term goals and plans for the company and the summit as an annual event.

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