College student and Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association competitor Emily Jane Hilscher died in the Virginia Tech shooting on April 16 in Blacksburg, Va. She was 18.
Miss Hilscher, Woodville, Va., was a freshman equine science and poultry major at Virginia Tech. She planned to become an equine veterinarian and spent the summer after her graduation from Rappahannock County High School working at the Rose Hill Veterinary Practice.
A confident all-around rider, Miss Hilscher got her start with trainer Moody Aylor of Old Mill Stables at the age of 8, and before long she began riding with the Warrenton Hunt with her pony Sude. The pair also competed at the pony races at the Virginia Gold Cup in The Plains, Va.
As a teenager, Miss Hilscher showed in the hunters with her Thoroughbred gelding Florejack, an ex-racehorse she helped re-train. She became an invaluable assistant to Aylor, breezing his race horses and helping him train green horses. She continued riding at Virginia Tech as a member of the “B” IHSA team and competed in her first IHSA show in February.
Despite Miss Hilscher’s love of competition and a thrilling cross-country gallop, on her favorite afternoons she joined her mother for a quiet ride down the trails of Old Mill Stables.
“Emily had the right combination of skill, finesse and nerve to handle anything that happened,” said Aylor. “She always put the best into everything that she did.”
Miss Hilscher is survived by her parents, Eric and Elizabeth Hilscher, Woodville, Va. She’s also survived by her sister, Erica Marie, Woodville, Va., her paternal grandparents, Carl and Merle Hilscher, Luray, Va., and her maternal grandparents, Gilman and Mary Carlson, Camden, Maine.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Rappahannock Animal Welfare League, P.O. Box 396, Amissville, VA 20106 or to the Emily Hilscher Memorial Fund, University Development (0402), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.