May 7, 2012--The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce that the Jacqueline B. Mars Domestic Competition and Training Grant has been awarded to Jolie Wentworth of Martinez, CA. The grant is given to an Eventing rider who has been identified and recommended by the USEF Eventing Selectors, with an impressive record and potential to represent the United States in future international competition.
Wentworth began riding at the young age of seven, and one of her earliest trainers was Tracy Bowman of Kismet Farm in Martinez, CA. She entered her first competition at age nine and was hooked. Eventually Wentworth became a working student at Kismet Farm, and now she is Bowman's partner in the business. Her Young Rider career took off at 19 and she began producing several horses at the advanced level. Currently, Wentworth is a USEF High Performance listed rider, and has set her sights on the world's most demanding competitions.
"I am drawn to eventing because it's quite difficult, and I think when someone finds something difficult that they enjoy, it keeps pushing them to attain the next level of success, and I am definitely somebody who wants to do that," explained Wentworth. "You keep moving one event to the next trying to improve each performance. I think we would like to try to get to Europe in the next year or so to get some international experience. Of course, making a U.S. Team is always something you want to do."
The USET Foundation recognized Wentworth's talent and determination, making her the perfect fit for the Jacqueline B. Mars Domestic Competition and Training Grant, which helps offset the costs of competing and training at the highest levels. "It is a great honor to receive the grant because I know there were a lot of people up for it," stated Wentworth. "Grants like this remove the unnecessary stress that we as riders have, and we get to really focus on the riding and competing. It's such a valuable part of the sport. I think that this is an amazing grant and the opportunities that I had to learn and to grow have been extremely valuable."
This year, Wentworth used the grant to help campaign her mount Goodknight at the four-star level. Last year, this pair finished fourth in the CIC*** at The Event at Rebecca Farm (MT), second in the CIC*** at Woodside (CA) and second in the CCI*** at Galway Downs (CA). This spring they were fifth in an intermediate division at Galway Downs.
Using the grant, Wentworth and Goodknight flew from California to Ocala, FL, to compete during the Fork Horse Trails, and the next two weeks gearing up for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI****. "I think he learned a lot and I learned a lot," she commented. "My horse is very green at the four-star level, but I think it was a huge education for him to get to do this. I don't think it did anything but increase his confidence, so we are very excited about building from this past experience."