The next member of team USA that we will be spotlighting is sixteen-year-old Avery Ellis of College Station, Texas. Avery has been riding horses for as long as she can remember on her grandmother's ranch and started taking lessons at the age of six. Avery shows in the Western Horsemanship, Showmanship, Trail Western Riding, Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation under the guidance of Nancy Cahill of Madisonville, Texas. When not riding horses, Avery enjoys hanging out with family and friends and doing volunteer work.
How old are you?
I am 16 years old!
Where do you live?
I live in College Station, Texas
What school do you attend and what grade are you in?
I go to A&M Consolidated High School and I’m going into my junior year.
What are your plans for next year?
My plans for next year are focusing a lot on my academics, start looking at colleges, and ride as much as I can!
Have you traveled to Europe before? If so, when, where and why?
Yes, my family and I spent a summer in the UK and Europe while my mom was teaching a study abroad for Texas A&M University. My Mom and brothers spent a month in London where I joined them after the Redbud show. My Dad joined us all in Scotland later. We also traveled to Paris for a week, and spent a week in the Black Forest region of Germany.
What's your favorite memory from this trip?
Since we were there so long, there are a lot of great memories! Getting to go shopping at Harrods in London was one of the things I remember the most from that trip, considering I went there 3 times in two days! I bought a soft face brush for my horse in the equestrian clothing department. We also shopped on the Champs Elysees with my Mimi and Aunt Elana in Paris. I really remember that my youngest brother bought only “weapon” type souvenirs everywhere we went- like toy guns and a really cool carved wooden knife at Loch Ness. He got EVERYTHING confiscated at the Frankfurt airport on the way home and boarded the plane crying. Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp was another day that sticks out in my mind. Very emotional.
Where else outside of the United States have you traveled?
The United Kingdom and Europe are the only places I’ve been outside the U.S.
What are your equine accomplishments?
Some big accomplishments throughout my showing career, besides being part of the world cup team, have been winning the saddle in Arizona, being top 10 at Congress, and winning many high points at major shows.
Why do you think you got chosen for the youth world cup team?
I think I was chosen to be part of the team because I am a team player, and have ridden many different types of horses. My love for riding shows in everything I do. From my volunteer work to my community service, usually horses are somehow involved.
What are you most looking forward to during the YWC?
I’m super excited to meet new people, and to go to Europe with some of my best friends to ride horses! I am looking forward to not only meeting kids from all over the world who love to do what I do, but also to bringing home the gold for the USA!
What are you least looking forward to during the YWC?
The big thing I’m worried about is my lack of skills in learning a new language… like German. I got Rosetta Stone but it is such a difficult language! Guten Tag!
What were your feelings when you found out you made the YWC team?
I was completely amazed, and shocked when I got the phone call, it was literally a dream come true and a huge accomplishment! I ran down the stairs and told my Mom first and we celebrated right there in the hallway! I didn’t even know if I was a rider or on leadership and I didn’t care either way- it is such an honor to be chosen for the team and every single person on this team has so much talent and experience that we will all learn from one another.
If you were to create a playlist for your trip to Germany, what would your top three song choices be?
Lights by Ellie Goulding, Work Hard, Play Hard by Wiz Khalifa, and definitely Call Me Maybe!
If you could ride any horse alive or dead, what horse would it be?
I would want to ride my very first horse Mariah. I still have her but she’s very old now so I can only ride her bareback.
Tell me one thing about yourself that most people don't know?
Most people don’t know I like going hunting; it gets pretty competitive in my family!
What is a unique or quirky habit you have?
It’s not as much me, but my horse, Spencer, has a fetish for plastic bottles. He will take them in his mouth and roll them up and down the alley, and up down his legs too. Really weird. He also tried to bury a stick in his stall one time. He is more puppy than horse. My trainer also calls him a raccoon because he is always into EVERYTHING. My quirky habit is that I tear up all my food before I eat it. You’d just have to see it to understand…..
If you had to chose one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
BLESSED, because I have the privilege to be able to show horses and travel and I have made some of my best friends at horse shows.
If you had to choose your career right this minute, what would you choose?
I would for sure be a Princess!! My parents say that it isn’t a career, but if you look at what Princess Kate does every day, I think maybe it is. I would certainly like to give it a try! My Mom groans every time I tell someone that is my career goal. Dr. Tommy already calls me a princess so I have one supporter at least!
Who is your role model in the horse world and what is it about this person that makes you choose them?
Nancy, my trainer, because she has not only taught me to be the best rider possible, but has also had a big influence on making me the person I am today. I am eternally grateful to her, and to my parents for sending me to her.