CE driver profile: Olivia Pittenger

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

BY TYLER BUI

After achieving success in the pony ring, 14-year-old Olivia Pittenger has her sights set on the final of the THIS Children’s National Medal.

“I’m from Austin, Texas, and I started riding when I was five years old,” says Pittenger. “I’ve been to the Pony Finals, I’ve been to the Capital Challenge twice. I love the sport.”

Pittenger trains with Woodhill Farm in Dallas, Texas. She currently competes in a variety of equestrian medals as well as the 3’3″ junior hunters.

“I have had my horse Fernando since January 2022. I compete with him,” explains Pittenger. “Fernando is a very fun horse to ride; he is very relaxed in the show ring. He’s got experience, he knows what he’s doing and he’s just a great horse. The CECI children’s medal was my main goal this year, so we strived to get those points.

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Pursuing goals in the riding ring provided significant challenges for the junior rider, who enjoyed the testing demanded of riders who surpass the first round of CE’s Children’s Medal Classes.

”Memorize your jump numbers [and] asking the judge to come up with a complicated test — I think that’s really fun,” she says. “I like to compete in equestrianism, because it’s judged on the rider, so I know what to work on, and I like being able to challenge myself to do my best with complicated courses.”

Pittenger’s goal is to continue to compete in equestrianism and move up to the 3’6″ “Big Eq” classes. She plans to compete at Tryon, the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, the Capital Challenge and the National Horse Show.

“My greatest accomplishment so far has been winning the Texas Hunter Jumper Association Medal. [Final] and to be ranked in the top 10 of the THIS Children’s Medal,” says Pittenger. “[I also won] the class twice at Pin Oak this year. It was a very big accomplishment for me.


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Earnest L. Veasey