BY LINDSEY RAINS
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good underdog story. Whether it’s a racehorse like Seabiscuit or the story of a rescue horse conquering their fear to carry the likes of a timid child, the transformation gets me every time.
While our focus is often on the underdog of the story—the adversity they suffered, the journey they took, and the odds they overcame—we don’t often focus on the champion who stands beside them. There are countless equine legends in show jumping history who achieved far greater things than anyone expected of them. And some of them belonged to an incredible equestrian, Jessamy Rouson.
Jessamy Rouson left her home in New York City at fourteen years of age to ride horses professionally. She has had a lifetime of success within the International sphere of show jumping. For her, riding has offered a passport to the world.
Jessamy has ridden, trained, developed, and sold multiple Hall of Fame horses. She has also trained with the United States Equestrian Team, and has written for the well-respected Barron’s financial paper regarding the syndication of show jumpers.
Jessamy began the career of the world-famous jumper “Philco.” Philco came off of a New Jersey racetrack as a severely abused and extremely neurotic animal. He was purchased for a mere $1,200, but with Jessamy’s kind touch, compassion, understanding, and skill, Philco eventually became one of the top ten jumpers of all time with Britain’s legendary showjumping rider, David Broome. Philco is just one of Jessamy’s success stories with horses.
From Where My Strength Lies – The Life of a Horse Whisperer is an engaging story about an inspirational life in the International World of Showjumping. The book has tales from all across America and Europe, as well as Russia, Northern Ireland, Britain, Wales, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, France, New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda.
There are many more stories of exceptional equines, including “Dreamy Sam” who came from a racetrack in Ohio for $600 and became a winning Grand Prix horse with Jessamy. There was also the nearly savage German mare “Matadora,” who became a Grand Prix winner and the greatest horse of Jessamy’s career.
This captivating story also has harrowing tales of riding horses professionally in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles”, amidst constant gunfire, bombing and the threat of a brutal death – all while Jessamy was seventeen years old. She then went on to ride in England for Britain’s great showjumping rider David Broome. She also rode in Wales, before coming back to America and starting her own very successful business in Virginia.
This book contains a lifetime of stories that span the globe. Her all-encompassing love and understanding of animals is a constant throughout the book and extremely moving. Jessamy teaches us the wonder and reward of understanding our horses.
It reads like a page-turning novel, but the most amazing thing is that the stories are truly real and extremely captivating. You’re sure to leave these pages with a reignited passion for the sport and inspiration to press on through adversity in your riding career.