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Intern Update: Eleanor Davis

It’s hard to believe that I’m already writing my last blog post for Dressage Today- it seems like just yesterday that I was sitting down to my desk in the intern area on my first day of work, amazed that I was finally in the office of a magazine that I’ve been reading for years.
If I had to use one word to describe my overall experience working at Dressage Today and living in the Washington DC area, it would have to be “star- struck” (okay, that’s two words, but they’re united by a hyphen, close enough!) Even the mundane tasks of working at a horse publication, such as sending out comp issues or updating the rolodex become a little more exciting when you realize that the likes of Adelinde Cornelissen and Steffen Peters are going to read your hand-written address label. Even better, later on in my internship, I was lucky enough to get to interview several great horse people, including the gold medal champ in dressage at this year’s NAJYRC, as well as a trainer who had worked and studied under Edward Gal, my idol.
My fellow horse people at DT’s office were also really fun to talk to, as some of them did very high level showing, or had ridden with big name trainers.
My weekends took on a similar flavor: I volunteered at a barn in southern Maryland called Leighton Farm, where they retrain off the track thoroughbreds for new careers. The first time the trainer at the barn said something about schooling with Jimmy Wofford, Olympic silver-medalist in eventing, as well as longtime coach of the USET, I was speechless. While at Leighton Farm, I got to ride all types and levels of horses, from a green two-year-old to an experienced Third-Level schoolmaster, and learned something from each. I would have to say the highlight of my experiences there though was getting to ride the winner of a talent search contest for young North American-bred Grand Prix show jumping prospects. The grand prize to this contest was three months’ training at Olympic show jumper Beezie Madden’s farm, so riding Constant Star was really a treat, as you can imagine. Even though all I did was walk/trot with her, her athleticism and intelligence was incredibly apparent to me. Another special memory of volunteering at Leighton Farm was getting to audit lessons with Linda Zang as well as Elizabeth Madlener. I was more than a little in awe when meeting these living legends in the sport of Dressage, but I needn’t have worried, because both were perfectly nice, and happy to answer any questions that I had about the rides I was watching. Working at Dressage Today, and having the opportunity to volunteer at Leighton Farm in my free time has been an amazing experience. I’m excited to go back to Wisconsin because I get to see my horse, family and friends, but I will definitely miss all of the incredible opportunities that were available to me this summer. 

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