Upper Marlboro, Md.–Oct. 4
If you were to download the entirety of Vivian Yowan’s show record on USEF—after many minutes of computer groaning—you’d discover her detailed 218-page resume compiled over 15 years. From Devon (Pennsylvania) championships to North American Junior and Young Rider Championships individual gold, the mammoth record shows, quite literally, what the 22-year-old means when she says she showed every weekend.
“I started riding when I was 3 years old,” she said. “I started riding with Tim and Kelly Goguen when I was a junior, and I took it very seriously for a few years. I went to online school, and I lived with [the Goguens] for my whole junior career. And I had a lot of success with them.”
But once she hit her 18th birthday and enrolled at Southern Methodist University in Texas, those flying pages slowed down a little bit. She kept up with the horse show world through her NCAA team, but she didn’t march off to USEF shows every weekend.
“So the past few years I’ve kind of taken off from riding [at the national shows] actually,” she said. “I’m on the team [at SMU]. I’ve been on the team since freshman year. I did show a little bit, here and there, at the beginning of college, but definitely not like when I was a junior.
“I kind of always knew that this is what I wanted to do, so obviously I wanted to take some time off and enjoy school for a little bit,” Yowan continued. “But now that I’m a senior, it’s coming to an end. So I wanted to start getting back into it, so when I graduate, I can be ready.”
Last summer, Yowan resumed her junior ways—looking ahead towards turning professional soon after her graduation cap gets thrown in the air. And through catch-riding here and there and getting on whatever was available, she qualified for the $2,500 World Champion Hunter Rider Adult Amateur Challenge at Capital Challenge.
“I showed other horses that Tim and Kelly helped me get and ride at the shows quite a bit this summer in the adults,” said Yowan. “But I didn’t really show leading up to this [last] summer, so I was actually kind of surprised that I was leading the WCHR coming in. But I was able to do a lot this summer which was definitely helpful.”
Having only swung her leg over Bertram and Diana Firestone’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Contendro—Cantida) Calou just the day before, she whipped out her catch-riding skills to win the challenge, 5 years after her WCHR Junior Challenge victory on Ransom.
And if that wasn’t enough, she capped her day by winning the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals aboard Rebecca Morris’ 13-year-old Brandenburg gelding (Cypriano–Lordess) Candor.
“I definitely have to say winning this brings back a lot of memories,” she said. “At first, I didn’t really want to go to college because I was so deep into this. I was really at the top of my game back then. But I think stepping away from it made me realize I wanted to come back to it even more.
“I don’t think I totally really expected this to happen,” she continued. “I flew in for 48 hours, so this is definitely beyond my expectations. But winning these two classes is really motivation to keep going and get back into it.”