We caught up with Gianna Aycock of Argyle, Texas, who currently trains USHJA Gold Star Riders Carolina Villanueva Suarez and Megan Cleland.
How was the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships experience?
I think the Championships are a great opportunity for riders and trainers. As a trainer it’s exciting because you have the opportunity to help your students and parents see the value in moving up in the jumpers and being able to have something to look forward to.
What does a typical day look like for you as a trainer?
When we’re home, first thing in the morning until about 1 p.m., we ride everything from Grand Prix horses to our young horses, we have 3-year-olds and up. Between shows we really try to do some work with our young horses. Then we have after school lessons. During horse shows, it’s the horse show craziness.
What do you think about the Emerging Jumper Rider Program?
When I heard about it, I was extremely excited because it gives me an avenue to really work my program toward, a very clear goal for my students and their parents. It kind of gives them a mini-Olympic goal, which is really fun.
What was it like for Carolina to participate in the Ocala Junior and Children’s Team Competition?
Doing the team competition in Ocala was definitely a crowning moment between the Championships, Prix des States and the (Gold Star) Clinic. It was a really fun week to see where all your preparation comes together.
Do you have any advice for young Show Jumping athletes?
Work hard, really keep your eyes open and learn from everyone and never give up. It can be a soul crushing sport and some days you have to be your own cheerleader, or call your mom, because she’ll always be your cheerleader.