Amateur hunt seat competitor Sarah Nimigan of Ontario, Canada has been involved with horses practically her entire life, but she has decided to take up a new challenge with the purchase of her gorgeous stallion, IE Reason (Reason), in February of 2010. Reason is a 2007 16.2 hand bay stallion by Iron Enterprise. GoHorseShow sat down with Sarah to find out more about this Canadian and her new equine partner.
Q: Hi Sarah! Please tell us about yourself.
A: I am 25 and have been riding since I was five years-old. My parents rode horses together as teenagers. In light of my obsession with ‘My Little Pony’, it was inevitable. From age 10 to 23, I rode under the guidance of Patti Carter-Pratt and not only learned so much from her but became very close to her and her daughter, Paige. All of those years riding together and memories made will stay with me forever. I am also a professional student. I have a Masters of Arts in Political Science with specialization in Migration and Ethnic Relations, and I am finishing my dissertation to complete my Masters of Laws in International Human Rights Law.
Q: What are your most memorable equine accomplishments?
A: I have been blessed to have some really great horses in my life. In 1998, I placed in the top ten in the 11 & Under Equitation--my first “big prize” at the Congress. In 2000, I was on Team Canada for the Youth World Cup in Italy, an experience I will cherish forever. I also placed in the top ten in the Non Pro Hunter Under Saddle Maturity on a horse my mom bred and raised in 2008. Breeding and raising horses makes accomplishments that much sweeter.
A: This is an interesting one, especially with all the Rita Crundwell drama... Well, I was attending the 2009 Congress, just watching since Patti was judging that year. I was watching the Masters and started thinking about the prospect of buying a colt and pursuing the business of stallion ownership. I messaged Patti that night and asked her if we could start shopping. She had heard of Reason from various sources and immediately my interest was peaked. It truly was love at first sight. After that, we went back to Canada, but I could not forget about him. Rita wasn't willing to sell him initially. I admit, I harassed Patti and Doug (Pratt) every week religiously to call and ask if we could look at him seriously, get a price and buy him. It wasn't until February in 2010 that my persistence paid off.
Q: What's it like working with your trainers, Terry Cross and Stephen Stephens in Weatherford, Texas?
A: They are so professional and are true horsemen. I trust them completely and the care they provide the horses is top-shelf. Whatever the horses need, they get. Beyond that, their preparation and attention to detail means our horses are always presented at their best. Their combination of training and coaching ability makes being in their barn such a treat. Beyond that, they are so fun to be around and so are all of the customers in the barn. Being in Canada and having my horses live in Texas could be very stressful, but thanks to their program I have no doubt that my horses are under the best care. Stephen with his breeding background has been especially helpful getting Reason organized for his career in the shed and Terry has worked so tirelessly to tweak our presentation in the show arena. It really is the perfect combination of professionalism, hard work and fun. One of the biggest challenges for me so far has been transitioning from showing almost only in Ontario, Canada to traveling to Texas and competing at major circuits. It has really forced me to rise to the occasion and improve my riding and showmanship skills. Terry has been very patient with me during this transition and it is really starting to pay off.
Q: What do you like about showing horses and the horse industry in general?
A: I love the competitive nature of showing horses. More than that, I love the fact that all of the hard work and preparation is reflected in the arena. In the Hunter Under Saddle, not only do you have to have a good ride, but also you have to get your horse shown. I am still working on the second part – I always feel like there is work to do, improvements to be made and strides to gain. I think there is something just so special about a great hunt seater: athletic, beautiful and strong. The horse industry is really one big community and we are all striving to have the best horses we possibly can. I can’t wait to give back to the industry by breeding my horse, who has so much to offer not just to me, but to the industry overall.
Q: What are some of your future goals in show arena and career?
A: I plan on enjoying Reason for his last Junior year – showing at the major circuits throughout the rest of the summer and the fall. I am breeding him to my personal broodmares this year and look forward to opening his book to the public in 2013. I am such a big believer in this horse. I am committed to his career for the long haul inside and outside of the show arena.
Q: Thanks for sharing your story with us!
A: You're very welcome!
Click here to view Sarah and Reason's ad in the May issue of GoMag and look for them in the upcoming June issue as well.