We are thrilled to present a conversation – and what we hope will be just the first of a series – with Summer Star, a remarkable 19-year-old from Tucson, Arizona, who has been making her mark in Working Equitation with her Lusitano. Summer is not only a dedicated student at Pima Community College, studying engineering, but she is also a long-time member of the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA). For those who have participated in the IALHA National Shows, Summer’s name may ring a bell. She first competed at the IALHA Nationals at the tender age of six and in 2015, was recognized as IALHA Youth of the Year.
Summer’s passion for horses and new challenges have led her to explore various equestrian disciplines. Today, she competes in USDF Dressage, Western Dressage, and, most notably, Working Equitation (WE). In our interview, Summer shares more about her journey and her goals.
Delving deeper into her involvement in Working Equitation, Summer emphasizes the affinity that IALHA-registered Lusitanos, Andalusians and Spanish/Portuguese (S/P) horses have for Working Equitation. They possess a remarkable natural balance and aptitude for collection, making them ideal partners for Working Equitation.
The primary reason for visiting with this remarkable young equestrian is that Summer recently qualified for the World Association of Working Equitation (WAWE) Young Riders Championship, set to take place in Ponte de Lima, Portugal this July. Summer sheds light on the rigorous path she undertook to secure her spot among the world’s top young WE riders from around the world. Over the past four years, she has been competing at Level 5 with her trusty companions, Belle Star and Homem Brilhante (“Humbug”), before recently moving up to Level 6.
In preparation, Summer has been honing her skills under the guidance of esteemed dressage coach Ellie Stine Masek. Recognizing the fundamental connection between dressage and WE, she knew that improving her dressage abilities would be vital to her success in the sport.
We extend our thanks to Summer Star for taking the time to share a little about her journey and future goals with the IALHA community. Her passion, determination, and commitment to her equestrian pursuits certainly serve as an inspiration to all riders!
Be sure to watch the full interview here and also to find Summer on Social Media or here in order to follow her as she embarks on her journey and to root for her success in the upcoming WAWE Young Riders Championships in Portugal!