Q&A with Camden Kitchens – WIHS Children’s Jumper Hopeful!

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By Isabelle Larrabee, WIHS Intern

Rider Spotlight

Name: Camden Kitchens
Age: 16
Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH
Horse: Nemo
Division: WIHS Children’s Jumper
Trainer: Amanda Lyerly, Meghan Kaupp and Carol Lewis at Madison Hill Farm

When Camden Kitchens was 3 years old, her mother, a member of the Great Falls Pony Club in Virginia, started her in lead line lessons. From that point on, she was hooked on horses. Now, Camden is ranked 3rd in the Children’s Jumper in the national WIHS Rankings (7/19/21), with her horse Nemo, a 14-year-old Chestnut Zangersheide gelding. Her goal every year is to qualify for the WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship, and at 3rd in the rankings, she is close to earning her place in the competition.

Camden and Nemo competing in Florida this past season! Photo: Bridgette Ness Photography

Q: Tell us about the horses you compete.A: Nemo is the most perfect boy in the whole wide world. I have been showing him in the jumpers for about a year and a half. He loves all food especially bananas, oranges and watermelon.

I began leasing a black mare named Lotje Van Het Dennehof (Lola) at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. We looked up her name in Google Translate and discovered it means Lottery Ticket from the Dennehof. She’s a Belgian Warmblood jumper owned by Dorothy E. O’Brien Farm LLC in Iowa.

My trainers found Worthy, my equitation horse, also at the Kentucky Spring show. He’s a (mostly) always clean gray horse with a huge personality, and a happy expression. He keeps his ears perked forward as if he completely understands what you are talking about. Worthy is a 10-year-old warmblood from Bridgeport Farms LLC in California.

Q: What has been your proudest equestrian moment?
A: My proudest moment is when I qualified for the WIHS Children’s Jumper Championships last year with my horse Nemo after showing less than a year together. My goal was just to leave with a ribbon, yet Nemo was on fire, and we finished reserve champion!

Q:What is your favorite part about competing at WIHS?
A: I really love the competition and how it provides riders the ability to compete against the best ranked riders in the country.

Q: What is your favorite equestrian-related memory?
A: I competed with my pony, Helicon Stowaway, at Pony Finals in 2017. I had always dreamed of going to Pony Finals and it was the best feeling ever when I qualified.

Q: How has your horse changed and affected the way you view this sport?
A: I started doing the jumpers with Nemo a year and a half ago, and I have had a lot of fun getting to zoom around the ring.

Q: If you could compete in any other secondary discipline, what discipline would it be and why?
A: If I could compete in another discipline, it would be cross-country (Eventing). Ever since my sister and I were little we would fly to Kentucky to watch the Rolex Three-Day Event, currently the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. I have always thought it would be so fun to go racing through a field and jump obstacles.

Q: Do you have any family members that ride?
A: Yes, my sister and I both ride competitively, which makes it easy for my parents because we both show at the same places.

Q: What professional rider would you most love to meet and why?
A: That’s a hard question. I would have to say the trainers at my barn because not only are they great riders, but they are great people who teach not only about riding a horse, but about life skills.

Q: What are your goals?
A: In the short term I would like to move up divisions in the jumper ring. In addition, I would like to have a successful indoors with my horses. My long-term goal is to ride at the collegiate level.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of riding?
A: I enjoy reading. Currently I am reading John Green’s new book The Anthropocene Reviewed, and it is really interesting.

Q: What is your idea of a perfect weekend?
A: My parents would say a weekend at home, but I would have to say waking up in a hotel room to my alarm on max volume knowing I have 15 minutes to get my show clothes on and get to the car so I’m not late to the show.

Good luck to Camden on her road to the WIHS Children’s Jumper Finals! 

Are you on the road to WIHS 2021? Check current rankings here.

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WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition, and is recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (CSI4*-W), US Equestrian (6* Jumpers, Premier Hunters), US Hunter Jumper Association, Maryland Horse Show Association, and Virginia Horse Show Association.