What is Eventing:
I mostly compete in the equestrian sport of Eventing. Eventing includes three phases for each competition; sort of an equestrian triathlon. The three phases are dressage, stadium jumping, and cross country. Dressage focuses on ground work developing control, obedience, flexibility, and balance. Stadium Jumping includes jumping over rails that vary in height and difficulty depending on the competition level. Cross Country is a test of endurance, skill, and agility through forests, fields, and water while jumping natural barriers such as logs, bushes, and trenches. Mistakes in all three phases lead to penalty points being accrued. The riders are ranked by the fewest points to the highest points; with the fewest points being the winner. It's challenging but my horse and I love to work together and try our best! Competitions are divided in to 10 area's across the United States. I mostly compete in Area 2, a very competitive area including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina.
I've had my ups and downs and have been thrown off a horse many times, but I have always gotten back on. At 11 yrs old, I was one of 41 riders under 14 years old who were competing at nationals in North Carolina. I surprised everyone, maybe even myself, by finishing the event with the best score of all riders in all age groups, and won a National Championship!
National's (AEC's 2017 Ashley Stout and Deo Volente)
Since winning nationals at the Beginner Novice level, my horse Grady (aka Avant Garde) and I moved up to Novice level. After a successful 2018 season, I was declared Area 2's Novice Junior Champion! I have since moved up again to Training level and am now mainly competing in 18 and under age groups. I will be continuing at this level for the majority of 2019. I am now working to qualify for the 2019 North American Youth Championships (NAYC) in Montana and the American Eventing Championships (AEC) in Kentucky.
In 2018, I began competing in Dressage only shows that are rated by the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). I attended USDF regionals covering 6 states and finished 1st in the 13 & under Equitation Seat class and 3rd in the under 18 division 1st level dressage. This Spring I will be showing at 2nd level and hope to continue on the same path.
Earlier I mentioned the North American Youth Championship (NAYC) is being held in Montana in 2019. NAYC's are considered the junior olympics for Eventing competitions. There are many expenses involved with shipping a horse across the country and to compete at this level. That's too long of a ride on horseback, so I have to pay to ship him there! To encourage young riders to be accountable for their expenses, we are expected to fundraise to help cover the costs of traveling to Montana to compete. I am going to do my best to meet expectations, and I can't do it with out your support!Like most sports, It takes a lot of time and commitment. It is my responsibility to keep this 1600 lb animal in the best possible shape. I need to feel confident that Grady can safely complete all three phases of an event whether it's 98 degrees or 20. We train 5-6 times a week, and usually more during the show season (March though November) . Most weekends you can find us at a horse show of some sort. Our barn family works together to help each other out whenever possible. It has been such a great experience learning this sport and challenging myself and my horse. I'm super excited for what 2019 has in store for us! I'm also very grateful to have the support of my family, my trainer, barn families, friends, and of course, my horse, to see me accomplish my goals and dreams!!
Your support and encouragement means a lot! Please share this page to help me spread the word.
With love and appreciation,
Ashley and Grady
Hopeful Summer Olympics 2028 :)