Cover Story - Vol. 50, No.2, Issue #7

Cover Story - Vol. 50, No.2, Issue #7

Cover Story: Sophie Yih
by SARAH JAYNE JOHNSON

This summer you can expect to see the familiar face of Miss Sophie Yih in the show arena at Youth Nationals in Oklahoma City, OK. Riding out of Stachowski Farms with trainer Jon Ramsay in San Marcos, CA, Sophie moves up to the 14-18 youth division this year.

Showing three of her Arabian horses at Youth Nationals: CF Bella Luna, Heiritage TRGR and Supreme Sensation SMP, Sophie will be competing in both purebred and Half-Arabian equitation, purebred country pleasure, English pleasure and park. She may also show in Half-Arabian country. Either way, her extreme dedication to her passion of showing horses makes her a force to be reckoned with.

Like any athlete, Sophie recognizes that her abilities as a top equestrian comes with help. “Jon Ramsay at Stachowski Farms trains my horses and me; he does an amazing job teaching me new skills. And Anne Speck is my equitation instructor; no matter the situation, she makes sure that my horses are always taken care of.”

Recognizing her poise and dedication, Jon Ramsay has similar praise for Sophie. “As all young riders worry about jumping into the next age group, Sophie has done it with ease. She puts a lot of time into getting to know her horses, on and off their back, making them better teammates.”

Sophie’s dedication is truly remarkable for her young age; as well as her love for a challenge in the arena with all the different disciplines offered. One aspect Sophie has been working on is strengthening her equitation. Speaking about her favorite past youth memories and what she cherished the most from the 2018 Youth Nationals, Sophie shares, “I’ve worked so hard on improving my equitation, and to win my very first championship in the UPHA 13 & Under class last year, is something I will never forget. Especially after getting the gate in that very class the year before.” She also enjoys the challenge of show hack. Sophie noted, “Both disciplines require precision and I love those kinds of challenges.”

It is the anticipation of going to Youth Nationals that has Sophie excited. “I love the rush of adrenaline I get as I go into the ring and getting the opportunity to pull together everything I have worked on throughout the year to hopefully have that one great ride.” Her favorite part of Youth Nationals is her reunion with friends from all over the country.

It comes as no surprise that Sophie’s parents are proud of her every step in her show journey. Sophie’s mom, Cathy, spoke about her favorite parts of Sophie showing, “I think it gives me an opportunity to be involved in her world. Every rider needs a show mom! No, but really, I love being involved in her world and having the opportunity to build a strong, lasting bond with her. Also, I enjoy having the opportunity to meet so many inspiring people. Many I have met, quietly and selflessly do things for others … and without hesitation.”

It will be an exciting summer for Sophie. In addition to showing her Arabians and Saddlebreds, her family plans to sneak in an overdue family trip to Hawaii, their first in the last 4-5 years.

AHT wishes Sophie the best of luck at Youth Nationals!