Eighteen year-old Rachel Kolb of Lebanon, Ohio has always loved horses for as long as she can remember. Last year, Kolb and her teammate, Remarkable Can won the AQHYA World Championships in the Performance Halter Geldings. This duo also won the 2011 Novice Youth All Around at the Congress and was 2011 Reserve Junior and Reserve Youth All Around in the nation.
GoHorseShow sat down with Rachel to find out more about her background, goals, and passion for horses.
Q: Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for sitting down and talking with us. So, tell us how you first got involved with horses. A: I have loved horses for as long as I can remember and always wanted a horse. When I was little, I spent summers at my grandparents’ house because they had mules and that was the closest thing to horses that I could ride. When I was 10, I finally got my first horse, a palomino pony, which I showed in 4H for several years. I also became a member of the United States Pony Club and competed in jumping and eventing before I began showing AQHA a couple years ago.
Q: Tell us about the horse you are showing now? A: I am showing Remarkable Can in AQHA. He is a seven year-old gelding by Mr Conclusion. His barn name is Snoop which fits him very well. He is definitely one-of-a-kind and very special and he knows it! He is extremely athletic, smart, and very funny, always thinking but tries so hard to please. He is a 3x World Champion in Performance Halter, 2x Reserve World Champion, and a 4x Congress Champion. Snoop and I compete in equitation, horsemanship, trail, showmanship, and performance halter.
Q: What is your favorite equine accomplishment so far in your equine show career? A: My favorite accomplishment is receiving fourth place at the Youth World last year in Equitation with my horse, Zippity Jack Too (Jack.) When I got Jack, he was three years-old and had 30 days of training. I was 12 at that time and the intention was for him to be my next 4H project. I trained him, showed him in 4H and open shows for a few years. After winning both the County and State Fairs, someone suggested that I show AQHA. I took him to the Quarter Horse Congress in 2010, which was one of my first AQHA shows and we placed in three of our classes. I qualified him for the Youth World last year in equitation and it was our first time competing at the Youth World. We won the Intermediate Award and we were fourth overall in a group of girls that I had looked up to for years. That was so special to me because I trained Jack myself and never dreamed that we were good enough to place at the Youth World. He pulled through for me like he always has and surprised me and everyone else.
Q: What is your favorite horse show memory? A: My favorite horse show memory is showing at the Arizona Sun Circuit this year. I broke my ankle and foot in three places one week prior to the Sun Circuit, but I got permission to show in my cast so I was still able to compete in all my riding classes with one stirrup. I think most people thought I was crazy and it was very painful, but Snoop took care of me. We won the Reserve Circuit in equitation and placed better than we ever had before in horsemanship and trail.
Q: Who do you train with and what do you enjoy about working with them? A: I train with Bruce Walquist and enjoy the fun, supportive show environment and working with such knowledgeable people.
Q: What do you enjoy about showing horses? A: I love showing horses because I love horses. Specifically, Quarter Horses due to their wonderful temperament and versatility. I have truly enjoy everything I have learned from showing, places I have been able to travel, situations that I have been able to experience. It has taught me so much about working with others, I have made many wonderful friends from all over the country.
Q: What have been some of your challenges showing horses? A: My biggest challenge in showing horses is the actual show part. I have always gotten terribly nervous when I enter the show pen, even at the weekend shows. I always want to do well so badly and put so much pressure on myself to not let my hard work and parents’ money go to waste. It is a challenge to maintain poise and composure when I know all eyes are on me, but it is something that is very important to learn to get used to and cope with.
Q: What are your future goals? A: I am going to be a freshman in college in August at the University of Georgia and a proud Bulldog on the Equestrian team. My goals in showing are to continue having fun, learning, and meeting new people. I dream of one day winning the World Show in a riding class or showmanship like just about everyone else.
Q: Thanks Rachel and good luck at the Youth World this year! A: Thanks and You're Welcome!
Click here to view Rachel's ad in the July issue of GoMag