Kelsey Lambert, class of 2025, takes on riders from the United States, Canada, and South America in the United States Equestrian Federation Finals, also known as the Dover Saddlery Finals this week.
Since beginning riding at a young age, she has made a name for herself in the world of equestrian. Lambert is one of the top fifteen riders in the country. Having bested forty competitors in the Maryland Horse Show Association, she moves forward to tackle an even greater challenge on a national scale. “I feel really grateful,” she said. “It’s an accomplishment I’ve been working [towards] for a while, and I have an amazing team behind me.”
Lambert will compete in equitation, a form of horseback in which the rider completes a challenging jumping course while making the performance look effortless. Aiming to enter the finals with a positive mindset, she said, “Most of the kids I’m competing against are eighteen, so having a solid round is what I’m aiming for … I [still] have several more years to compete.”
While Kelsey Lambert shoots for success in the USEF finals, she also pushes herself for academic excellence as a St. John’s student. Pursuing both her studies and her riding is a difficult balance to strike. She plans to prepare for the Dover Saddlery Finals by engaging in strength training and extra practice at her closest barn before and after school.
Training in equestrianism is often extensive and intense, as dealing with a live animal is an endeavor that does not have any off-seasons. When asked how she manages to balance riding and grades, she said, “‘It’s really tricky … But you learn to [communicate] with your teachers, the deans, and the counselors, and they’re all supporting and accommodating.’” She additionally notes that equestrianism demands immense dedication due to its expensive and time-consuming nature. It is a sport that requires a great amount of training and practice to reach success. Despite the challenges, Lambert has not only reached such heights but also continues to find enjoyment in the sport. She states that her favorite part of equestrianism is the community and the friendships built through mutual interests. “You’re all in it together because you’re all taking part in this out-of-the-box sport. It’s a really great community,” Lambert said
Through her devotion to horseback riding and her skills in managing both her life as a rider and her life as a student, Kelsey Lambert has reached success on a national level. We wish her the best of luck as she proceeds through the USEF finals.