Wellington, FL (March 7, 2015)— With the wind at their backs during a blustery day at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, riders took to the ring demonstrating their skills and, in some cases, their sportsmanship. Young Ayden Uhlir, a nineteen-year-old based out of Hampton Green Farm in Wellington, rode into the ring with an attitude that exemplified excellence and teamwork with her horse. Uhlir’s sense of sportsmanship earned her the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award. “In the beginning, there were a couple of spooks” Uhlir said about her ride in the FEI Prix St. Georges. “Usually I let that get to me, but this time I really stayed focused. Every time we went down to the far side, I said ‘you are not going to spook, we need to focus on our work,’ and that’s what happened!” She smiled.
Premier Equestrian provides revolutionary horse jumps and dressage arenas to top performers competing at the international level and at every other level along the way. Sponsoring the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Premier Equestrian recognizes riders who demonstrate exemplary sportsmanship in and out of the ring towards all whom they encounter— with four legs or two. Winners of the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award contribute to the overall positive experience of the show and guide their fellow competitors to act in the same way. Uhlir received a tri-colored Premier Sportsmanship Award Ribbon, a copy of Horse Angels (a novel by Premier Equestrian’s CEO, Mark Neihart), and a Premier Equestrian polo shirt as encouragement to continue portraying her positive attitude.
Uhlir and her mount, a sixteen-year-old KWPN gelding, received the award after competing in the FEI Prix St. Georges. “Sjapoer is usually pretty spooky— even though he is an old man, he’s still a little baby at heart,” Uhlir informed. He just celebrated his “sweet sixteen” on the seventh of February, when he received a carrot cake sprinkled with sugar cubes. Uhlir is proud of her competitive season with Sjapoer (Contango-Jenia/Woldgang) thus far. “The season has been going great!” she exclaimed. “At the last couple of shows we have been achieving top ten in the Prix St. Georges, and now we are working on dressage piaffes—which at sixteen is a bit of hard dream, but he puts a lot of heart in and I really appreciate him teaching me everything I know.”
Uhlir explains that sportsmanship is important in and around the ring because a rider isn’t just competing in the ring, but in everyday life. “You get to know these people and be in their same world,” she explained, “so why would you not have a great attitude. To be negative is a poor way to live. I want to spread the idea of being nice and just moving forward when stress or negativity comes your way.” Uhlir is appreciative of where she is today, and thanks Kim Boyer of Hampton Green Farm for all of the opportunities that she has been granted. Her ultimate dream is the Olympics, though her short-term goals include the Small Tour where she plans to do as much as she can do to go as far as she can go.