AHT's July Leader Of The Times
Leaders Of The Times: Hadley Ames
by SARAH JAYNE JOHNSON
Hadley Ames, the beautiful face of AHT’s July calendar page, is eager to compete at the 2018 Youth Nationals in Oklahoma City, OK.
Ames started riding at the age of 9 at Cedar Ridge Arabians with Leah and John Golladay in Minnesota. Her interest in riding Arabians comes from her family’s long history with the Arabian breed. A little over a year later, Ames was showing at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse show with her first horse, Legend, and she has been hooked to the show world ever since.
This show season at Scottsdale went down as one of Ames’ favorite moments, having gone champion in the Arabian English Pleasure 18 & Under division, but it ties for favorite show of the year, her other favorite being Youth Nationals. Another favorite moment was finding out she was the AHT July Calendar cover. “It was quite an honor,” she says.
With Youth Nationals also in July, Ames will be showing in multiple disciplines in the 13 & Under division, including: Half-Arabian Saddle Seat Equitation and Country Pleasure with Blazn Heir HPF; Arabian Country Pleasure and Equitation with Ames Inspiration; Arabian English Pleasure with Goblet of Fire CCF; and Halter with GS Neapalotan RCF—all under the watchful eye of two barns, Cedar Ridge Arabians and Vicki Humphrey Training Center (VHTC).
Vicki Humphrey, owner of VHTC, could not emphasize Ames’ ambition and dedication to showing enough. “The two best words to describe Hadley Ames are Game and Fierce! Whether it is diving from a cheerleading pyramid, 20 feet high, or busting through the gate on a new horse whose knees are higher than she is tall, Hadley gives 100%, has no fear and holds nothing back (and she dances like nobody’s watching)!”
This year Ames started riding with Vicki and Jessica. Riding with two training facilities has helped build her riding skills in different ways. Ames explains the benefits of working with both barns, “Both programs have taught me an incredible amount. Their different strengths and areas of focus offer the perfect balance.”
Ames’ ambition was clear when was asked about what her favorite part of showing is, “Showing progress and the excitement you get when going in the show ring.” Her love for a challenge is what makes Ames a spectacular rider and someone people want to train. If her love for a challenge is not yet evident, she makes it very clear when talking about her favorite class to compete in. “I enjoy showing in all of my classes,” she says, “but especially in English; it challenges me the most.”
Over the last few years, Ames, her parents and trainers, can see her growth as a rider. Ames believes she has become more independent in the show ring, focusing more on her equitation. This focus, Ames believes, has helped in her overall riding and becoming more confident.
Ames’ mom, Michelle, spoke about her daughter’s improvement over the years and becoming the rider she is today. “This experience has been such a whirlwind. Watching Hadley in her very first lesson, it was inconceivable that we’d be here today. Hadley is fortunate to have the opportunity to show truly amazing horses, and to be trained by an incredibly talented and experienced team. She complements these opportunities with her extremely driven and competitive core,” proving her game personality in every step of her riding.
Besides showing at Youth Nationals, Ames is most looking forward to the new experiences and friendships she will make this year. Any advice for her peers at Nationals? “Have fun and be present in the moment.”