BY TYLER BUI
Thirteen-year-old Lily Epstein jumps back and forth between her ponies and horses and has developed a love for the equitation while doing so. The young rider will soon compete in the THIS National Children’s Medal Final for the first time at the 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show.
Epstein is based out of Miami, FL and trains with Hanae Leeman of Forever Equestrian LLC. She sat on her first horse at age three and began riding at a competitive level around age seven with Leeman, who has brought her from ponies to horses.
Currently, she shows her own Deja Blue in the Medium Pony Hunter division, Duncans Mill Mac Dougal in the Large Pony Hunter division, Fiat in the Children’s Hunter division, and Cumano Boy Z (affectionately known as “Wally)” in the THIS Children’s Medal and other 3’-3’3” equitation medals.
“Wally is just a very good boy—he knows what he’s doing, and he’s been doing this for a while now, so he’s a good horse to take me around the THIS Children’s Medal Final for the first time,” says Epstein.
She previously attended the indoors championships in 2021 to compete on her ponies, but she will be showing at Capital Challenge for the first time on a horse.
“At indoors, I like being with all the people there; it’s super fun,” says Epstein. “Competing in the THIS Medal Final will be a great learning experience, and I am hoping for a confident round and just to go and have fun. I love the THIS Medal, especially how there’s one round, and then if you make it to the test, you can show off the skills and techniques that you know.”
Epstein’s goals for the future are to maintain consistency and to eventually compete in the 3’6” equitation finals—while having fun.
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