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Olivia Esse Makes the Transition From Ponies to Horses with Ease

Burbank, California. Since she first started riding and showing, Olivia Esse amassed an impressive string of victories in the Pony Hunters with a number of champion ponies, including Budweiser, Newsworthy, and Believe in Magic. In 2006 she began riding in the Junior Hunters, equitation and medals, and she did it with little difficulty. Trainer Randy Durand has coached Esse since she first started riding and finds her a joy to work with. Esse is equally positive about Durand.

While some riders find the transition from ponies to horses a challenge, Esse took it all in stride. “The horses are more simple than the ponies,” stated twelve year old Esse. “They are more easy going.” Durand has selected some wonderful horses for Esse to begin her Junior career with. In the Small Junior Hunters, Esse pilots After The Laughter and Country Grammar. In the Large Junior Hunters, Valor and By Design are Esse’s two mounts.

Esse is also making her mark in the equitation ranks and is showing that she is poised to be a serious contender despite her young age. She shows Clocktower Optimist and the veteran, Dutch Star, in the equitation and medals. At the recent Los Angeles International Jumping Festival, Esse finished an impressive 9th in the USEF Zones 8-9-10 Hunter Seat Medal Regionals. With almost 40 riders in this competitive finals, Esse’s top ten finish marked her first 3'6" medal finals.

Esse and Durand headed east for a taste of national level equitation. As this is only her first year riding horses and showing at 3'6", Durand decided to show just at Capital Challenge’s equitation weekend. They plan to focus the hunters towards Devon and qualifying for the indoors shows in 2007. At Capital Challenge, Esse rode Dutch Star in the Twelve & Under Equitation section where they earned ribbons in both over fences classes. Then she finished 11th in the Show Circuit Children’s National Medal Finals.

Esse plans to conclude her year at the National Preview and the Los Angeles National held in November at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. She promises to be a serious contender for the competitive and prestigious Onondarka Medal Finals for riders twelve and under. Regularly, East Coast judges are impressed at the caliber of California’s twelve and under riders.


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