At 14, Taylor Ann Adams, now 17, had already made her mark in the equitation ring, winning the 2007 USEF Pony Medal Finals (Lexington, Ky.) in a class of 200 entries. That same year, her first year showing junior hunters, she piloted Lyle to the small junior, 15 and under, title and tied for the grand junior hunter championship at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. In 2010, she and Rosalynn took the large junior, 16-17, overall championship at the National Junior Hunter Finals-East. Her win in the USEF/Platinum Performance Talent Search Finals-West Coast clinched her a spot in the 2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Clinic in January at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (Fla.). Later that month, she made the adults and professionals sit up and take notice by becoming the only junior rider to steal a top 12 spot and qualify for the handy round in the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Jacksonville, Fla.
When you’re not at the barn or riding, where is the most likely place to find you?
With my family, wherever they are.
What horse that you’ve never ridden would you like to jump around?
Beezie Madden’s mount Authentic.
What are your goals as a rider?
My goals lean more towards the humane side. I’d like to make it a better sport for the horses, because it’s not always the best for them.
What is your most embarrassing show ring moment?
When I was little, like 9, I was at a horse show, and my pony lay down in the model. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t get up.
What is your favorite book?
Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior by Temple Grandin.
Who is your movie star crush?
Do you like the beach or the snow better? Where’s the best place to go?
For sure the beach. I hate the cold. Anywhere in Hawaii—I’d live there for the rest of my life if I could.
High heels or riding boots?
Honestly, riding boots. I’m not good in heels.
Do you spend more time doing homework or riding after school?
Riding. It seems like there’s very rarely time for homework.
What’s the name of the song that best describes you?
“Up Up Up” by Rose Falcon. It’s a song about an upbeat girl that just keeps going no matter what the world throws at her.
Are you thinking about college yet? Where would you like to go?
I want to take a year off before I go to school. I’ve been horse showing every single weekend for my whole life. I would love to go to Auburn or Georgia or somewhere like that—back to my roots. I’m very southern; my family is originally from Tennessee.
Do you have pets?
I have four dogs—one, “Dobby,” travels everywhere with me. And a cat.
Which do you dislike more? Cleaning tack or mucking stalls?
Who is your favorite horse?
I don’t have a favorite; I appreciate them all. But if I had to pick, I have a pony named Stormy who has never been a show pony, and he’s at a camp helping autistic children. He is just so sweet.