By Liza Goodlett
Elizabeth McKim, a successful junior rider from Wilmington, North Carolina, recently rode away with the win at the Tampa Maclay Regionals. While she was thrilled about winning the Maclay Regionals, she is also thrilled about her future. Elizabeth is going to continue her riding career as an NCAA Division I athlete at Texas Christian University (TCU), where she will enroll in spring 2018. Texas Christian University is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and their NCEA equestrian team consistently ranks in the top 10 across the nation. Sidelines caught up with Elizabeth, who is undecided in her major, to find out more about how she began riding and her future at college.
What was your first pony’s name?
My first pony was also my favorite pony and her name was Destiny. I would just ride her around at home. I didn’t start showing until I was 10 years old.
Are there other horse people in your family?
No, actually no one in my family rides. My mom said when I was little, all I would talk about was horses, and on my 4th birthday, they had pony rides. After that, I was hooked.
Who do you currently ride with?
I ride with Bob Braswell, and Courtney Dechavarria also helps train me.
Do you have an equestrian idol?
Beezie Madden has always been an idol to me, but I also love the way Tori Colvin rides. I always watch her and keep up with how she’s doing.
What did it feel like when you found out you won Maclay Regionals in Tampa?
It was really exciting and I honestly wasn’t expecting it because I was in 9th going into the flat. Then I moved up to 5th after flat, and then they called Grace Boston and I back for an oral test so I must have been sitting in first or second. They asked us about a horse’s heart rate, temperature, respiration rate and three signs of colic. This is the biggest career highlight for me.
How is Casper, the horse you competed on, best suited for the Big Eq classes/finals?
I am the most comfortable on him. Bobby, my trainer, calls him my old pair of jeans that I get on him and he’s perfect every time. He is very easy to equitate on, therefore my go-to ride.
When did you start thinking about riding in college?
About a year or a year and a half ago, I began thinking about it seriously. One of my friends, Grace Howard, who went to Georgia, told me all about the team spirit and the perks to riding on a Division 1 NCAA equestrian team.
How did you choose TCU?
TCU is the perfect size and the campus is so pretty. The town is not small but it’s not huge and I really liked it.
What are you most excited about heading off to college?
I’m really excited for the team. I think it will be very different, but it will be very, very fun. I’m also looking forward to hanging out with my friends.