By Mary Grace Schmid
For AjPHA member Victoria Garvin, being awarded a National Sportsmanship Award by the Interscholastic Equestrian Association was the culmination of years of hard work. The 17-year-old equestrienne from Yonges Island, South Carolina, has been riding with IEA for six years, starting her career in the beginner middle-school division. Competing in horsemanship and reining, she qualified for the IEA Western Nationals four times and earned more than 160 regular season points within the organization. During her time with IEA, Victoria earned five sportsmanship honors, which allowed her the opportunity to apply for the National Sportsmanship Award.
“Sportsmanship is a very important part of IEA, and a sportsmanship award is presented at every IEA show,” Victoria said. “Those who receive a sportsmanship award during the year are invited to apply for the National Sportsmanship Award. It includes both the English and Western divisions, so the number of potential applicants is enormous.”
From a pool of 114 scholarship finalists, Victoria earned one of the National Sportsmanship Awards as the highest-placing senior sportsman for the 2018–2019 season and a $1,000 scholarship. Victoria will attend St. Andrews University this fall.
“Being named second-place overall for the National Sportsmanship Award and the highest-placing senior is a huge honor,” Victoria said. “Most National Sportsmanship Awards are awarded to English riders, so being a Western rider makes it even more special. Receiving the senior scholarship is fantastic and also shows how IEA prepares its riders for participating on a college team.”
Kenos Gold Mist, a 1998 palomino overo mare by Kenos Gold Bar and out of Fancy Nancy Bars (QH), was a large part of Victoria’s success with IEA; the mare has participated in IEA shows for eight years. Even though Victoria will not show “Misty” while she’s in college, the mare will still compete in the IEA show ring with Victoria’s younger sister.
“Misty is 21 years old and going strong,” Victoria said. “Besides participating in IEA, she does lessons and clinics, works cattle at home and competed in the National Reining Horse Association’s Short Stirrup division with my sister.”
Victoria hopes to become a large animal veterinarian and will major in biology (pre-vet program) at St. Andrews. She plans to compete on St. Andrews’ Western Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team.