WIHS Leaderboard Spotlight: Equitation—East   

Looking forward to her first WIHS Equitation Finals– Q&A with Aedan Mooney,
currently 4th in the WIHS Equitation East rankings!
Rider: Aedan Mooney 
Age: 18 
Hometown: Golden, CO 
Class/Division: Equitation, Hunter Derbies, Junior Hunters, Junior Jumpers 
Trainers: Val Renihan, Findlay’s Ridge, Indianapolis, IN, and Brannon Mooney, Capall Glen Equestrian, Golden, CO 
Horse: Astro De Ravel “Finn,” 10, Selle Francais gelding, owned by Olivia Robertson 
Aedan Mooney and Astro De Ravel at The Old Salem Farm Horse Show 2023 where they took home third place overall in the WIHS Equitation Class (SEL Photography)
Question As this is your last year as a junior, looking back, is there something you would tell your younger self before your first big equitation class or final?    

Answer – I remember being extremely nervous at my first big equitation final, so I would tell my younger self to take a deep breath and have fun!

QWhat are your goals for collegiate riding at Southern Methodist University? 

A – At SMU, I want to challenge myself to adjust to different types of horses quickly, give them the best ride I can, and be a great team player. 

QHave you been to WIHS as a rider or spectator, or is this your first time?
A – I haven’t been to WIHS before but I’m excited to be able to compete with the top equitation riders and watch the best riders in the nation. 
Aedan Mooney and Astro De Ravel at The Devon Horse Show 2023 (Kind Media)
QDo you have a routine for a big equitation class, and if so, what’s the one thing you can’t skip?  

A – I usually walk the course with my trainers and get a hack lesson in before I go. I watch a handful of rounds, but I try to stay away from the ring as much as possible, so I don’t think about it too much. I usually find a place alone where I can either call my mom or listen to music, which is something I can’t skip! 

QIf you weren’t competing in equitation, hunters, and jumpers, what other equestrian sport appeals to you?  

A – I would love to try reining! I have dabbled in it a little and I really enjoyed it.  

QAre there any riders you look up to or admire? 

A – I look up to many national and international riders including McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, and Hunter Holloway. I find it so educational watching the top riders compete and train. 

QWhat three words would you use to describe your horse? 
A – Talented, dorky, and unforgettable. 

QHow to do unwind and relax with your horse(s) when you’re not at shows?  

A – I love going on trails, hanging out with them in their stalls, and taking them to graze. 

Q – Do you have a favorite equitation test?  

A – My favorite test would be either a halt or simple change of lead in the middle of a line. We have practiced this a ton at home with my trainer, Val Renihan.  

QBiggest or most memorable win?
A – My biggest win with Finn has been winning the Maclay at Devon this year. It was my first trip to the Devon Horse Show, and I was very proud to come away with a win. 

Written By: Katie Grandelli, WIHS Communications and Marketing Intern 

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