By Britney Anderson
It’s not often that Sidelines gets to play fairy godmother, but for young rider Jack Lube that’s exactly what happened. In 2013, Jack won the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Sidelines Magazine’s WEF Exclusive Showing Vacation Contest, which gave him the opportunity to participate in his first A-rated show. But the magic hasn’t stopped — Jack has been busy using his hard work and commitment to keep the magic alive and create his very own happily-ever-after.
Besides being hardworking and committed, trainer Jamie Stryker describes Jack as approachable, polite, respectful and friendly to everyone. Jack has been riding with Jamie since just after the contest two years ago, when Christina Schlusemeyer called Jaime to say she’d discovered a rider with a lot of natural talent. “After winning the contest, my mom took me to a clinic with Christina. She recognized me from the contest and helped get me in touch with Jamie and on some nice horses,” Jack remembered.
How Far He’s Come
Riding Jaime’s sale horses from UpCountry Farm, Jack has been able to gain experience riding many different horses and has increased his skills dramatically. “Before the Sidelines competition,” said Jaime, “He really hadn’t jumped much more than 2’ or 2’6”. Two years later he’s now done the 3’ and the 3’ 6”, and he qualified for USEF Medal Finals, and the Maclay regionals.”
In addition to qualifying for the Medal Finals and Maclay, Jack has competed two years running in the Hunterdon Cup at the Brandywine series, groomed and shown for Allen Nabors at the Tyron International Equestrian Center, shown at HITS Ocala, and participated in the Emerging Athletes Program (EAP) with Geoff Teall and Nanci Snyder in Conyers, Georgia. “I was able to attend EAP on a horse that a friend of my mom’s loaned us. He had been having some time off for a few years and it was a project getting him back in shape and ready for EAP, but I’m so grateful that we have him and I’m hoping to do him in the jumpers this year.”
EAP was a lot of fun,” Jack said. “I met a great group of other riders and really enjoyed the stable management aspect. I learned to pay attention to the small details of horse care which has helped when I groom for people at shows. The clinic with Geoff was great, he expected us to ride out of our comfort zone. I think he helped make me a more effective rider.”
The Typical and Not-So-Typical
When asked what makes Jack different from other young riders, Jaime responded, “Jack has a natural ‘softness’ about him — his way of riding is a little bit soft, so a lot of the horses just automatically like him. He’s very hard-working and he spends a lot of time in the barn working.” Currently an AP/honors junior in high school, during the school year Jack goes to school from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., rides in the afternoon and does homework at night.
Earlier this year, Jack was able to “pay it forward” by giving the Tucci boots and Hatfields coat he won in the WEF contest, but had outgrown, to another young rider who needed them. “People have continued to be so generous to me even after the contest,” Jack related with gratitude. “I was lucky when I outgrew my Hatfields coat … a mobile tack shop called ‘The Collection’ fitted me with two amazing coats. I was given new custom boots last summer for working at Palermo Show Stables in New Jersey, a job that Jamie arranged for me riding horses. I got new boots and more riding experience, I’m so grateful to them for that opportunity.”
The Story Continues
Elements of his prize package are still helping him forge his riding career. “I still have my Charles Owens helmet that Beval Saddlery gave me … it’s still the only helmet I own and it still looks perfectly new. The Saddle!! I love my Voltaire saddle, it’s amazing. I ride so many different horses at UpCountry and it fits them all perfectly. I don’t think I could ever part with it. It’s so comfortable.”
With two years left in his junior career, Jack’s goals include going to the Maclay Finals, bigger equitation classes, and working his way into the jumper ring. “If it wasn’t for the contest and the generosity of so many people, I would not be showing at the A level and definitely wouldn’t be doing the Big Eq and jumpers; I don’t have a horse of my own,” he shared.
Jack’s character and his story are summed up in his own advice for other aspiring riders: “You will have to be willing to work hard, but if you do people will notice your dedication and opportunity will come. Also, be thankful for every opportunity you get, even if it’s not on a horse.”
About the Writer: Britney Anderson believes in following one’s dreams, currently pursuing her own of being involved in professional equestrian events. When not riding an OTTB at Creekside Equestrian in Payson, Utah, Britney can be found working at home with carefully mismatched socks and possibly a princess crown. Read about her journey at horseworldlife.com.