The Fifth Annual NARG Riders' Grant Congratulations go to...
Wellington, FL - February 23, 2016 - Now in its fifth year, the NARG Riders' Grant is designed to give an emerging show jumper an opportunity to receive a boost in order to achieve goals not otherwise available to them financially. The grant provides the winner with $15,000 USD for expenses within North America approved by the NARG Board.

The North American Riders Group congratulates twenty-four-year-old Zazou Hoffman of Los Angeles as the recipient of the 2016 NARG Riders' Grant. 

Winter and Zazou Hoffman
Winter Hoffman, Zazou's mother, loves everything about horses. Zazou picked up her mother's equestrian passion at a young age - she rode at a local community ring, helped with the ponies, at camps, and was lucky to develop a great foundation from a local trainer. With Zazou always up for a challenge, Winter began finding project ponies for her daughter to show. A true talent that remained calm and cool under pressure early on, Zazou began catch riding in the pony ring.
"Since we weren't in a position to own a horse or pay for horse shows, my mom searched for opportunities for me to advance my riding," Zazou recalls. "I rode some really nice ponies and was able to work with some of the best trainers in California."
Zazou Hoffman at the 2016 HITS Thermal Desert Circuit (Photo: Sara Jorgensen)

At age thirteen, Zazou applied for and received the Ronnie Mutch Working Student Scholarship, earning the chance to ride with Missy Clark and John Brennan for two weeks. Those fourteen days changed Zazou's equestrian path significantly.  

"Missy and John graciously invited me to continue as a working student for them, so I spent two and a half years traveling back and forth from California to the East Coast to ride with North Run. I then spent two years full time with them on the East Coast showing in the hunters, jumpers and equitation, culminating in a Circuit Champion in the Medium Junior Jumpers at WEF in 2009, a win in the 2009 ASPCA Maclay Finals and a 2nd place in the 2009 USEF Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal Finals," she explained.

Devoted to the sport as well as to school, Zazou received a solid equine education at North Run, "working tirelessly in the barn, taking full care of the horses I was given to ride, helping with barn management from feed to shipping to entries..." Directly after her success during her final junior year in the show ring, she turned her focus to college. Four years later, graduating magna cum laude, Zazou had not given up her time in the saddle. During her college tenure, she worked part-time with California's Meadow Grove Farm. Trusting this extremely talented and mature young woman, Meadow Grove trainers Dick Carvin and Susie Schroer sent Zazou with one of their clients to Europe one summer for a 2* tour. The decision was a good one, and the tour successful.

Now working full-time for Meadow Grove, Zazou is handling her role as assistant trainer and teacher as well as a show rider. She recognizes the value of learning all the angles.  "From looking at some of the most successful riders around the world, I think it is clear that being able to manage a program for horses and riders with focus and a clear head void of emotion is imperative."
Zazou Hoffman competing at Thunderbird in 2015 (Photo: Totem Graphics)

For the short term, Zazou has her eye on the U25 Division, with a goal to be in the Finals at the 2016 CP National Horse Show. Certainly illustrating she has everything it takes to be a top rider as well as an educated horsewoman, she ultimately seeks to compete internationally, representing the United States.  
The NARG Riders Grant gives Zazou that leg up to finance some competitions that she otherwise would not be able to participate in. "I am constantly trying to find more horses to show in the Grand Prix classes and sometimes this means picking up expenses. I need to keep getting experience in the ring and proving myself as a rider to have the chance at more rides and sponsors, so this grant would be a huge contribution to my ability to continue gaining experience."
Zazou appreciates the people who have played an integral role in her riding career over the years. "I would love to thank Missy Clark, John Brennan, and Meredith Bullock for helping me as a junior. Then Susie Schroer, Dick Carvin, and Francie Steinwedell Carvin for allowing me a great environment to continue growing as a professional. And my mom, who has been there for me since day one."
NARG is confident that Zazou is on her way to a successful career, and is pleased to award her this opportunity. NARG, and the grant recipients, are extremely grateful to the Southern-Heathcott family who make this grant possible.


The North American Riders Group, NARG, remains steadfast in achieving an essential goal - improving our sport so that once again show jumping in North America will rank among the greatest in the world. It takes teamwork to achieve a goal of this magnitude. Representing the riders, trainers and owners in North America, NARG takes the necessary steps to work openly with show managements, governing bodies and associations, as collectively we all make up the team that must evolve with the times to see this come to fruition.

With your participation, NARG's voice becomes incrementally stronger and clearer. To bring change we must be able to speak with a singular voice. Join us. Visit or call 561.386.4525 for more details.