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Thoroughbred Incentive Program November Youth Ambassador

Meet McKayla Baker!

Photo courtesy of McKayla and Audra Montoya-Baker

T.I.P. presents November’s featured Youth Ambassador: McKayla Baker. McKayla, 15, is from Colorado. McKayla and her Thoroughbred, Gambit, participate in Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation. In October McKayla and Gambit rode at the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association Medal Finals. She qualified in the Junior 3 ft Medal where they were able to represent T.I.P. and talk to others at the show about how to get a T.I.P. number!

McKayla Baker (15, CO)

Horse

  • Registered Jockey Club Name: Big Demon
  • Show Name: 21 Aces
  • Barn Name: Gambit

How did you start riding?
I started riding when I was 3-4 after being introduced by my former step-mom.

What is your favorite thing about riding/or your horse?
My favorite thing about riding is being able to build / have an unbreakable bond with something that doesn’t speak my language.

What would you like to do when you are older?
I want to run a stable of my own.

Tell us your favorite quote and why:
“Don’t stumble over something behind you.” – Seneca; It’s my favorite because I’ve had some tough times in life and in riding, but I’ve been able to push through. The past has happened and you just have to keep going.

What do you think the most important aspects of horsemanship are?
1. Spending as much if not more time building a relationship with my horse as training/lessoning. Being a team has given us trust with each other. It also means I know if something seems off with him.
2. Having the knowledge and doing the whole picture from grooming, bathing, mucking stalls, cleaning tack, to the actual riding. It gives me more time in the barn and with my horse, and means I know more about his care, likes/ dislikes, and the responsibility of riding/ caring for a horse.

More Fun Facts

How many pets do you have (and what kind)?
I have 4 pets: 1 dog, 2 chinchillas, and a horse.

What is your favorite animal (apart from a horse)?
My favorite animal is a hippo.

What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is teal.

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is macaroons.

What is something unique about you?
Something unique is I have a big personality and I’m very bubbly.

What is one word that your friends would describe you as?
Outgoing

What is one thing you would like to tell people about Thoroughbreds or the Thoroughbred Incentive Program?
The Thoroughbred Incentive Program brings many opportunities to Thoroughbreds in their second career. I want people to know just how competitive, intelligent, versatile and athletic they are; not to mention their outgoing and loving personalities.

What are your goals for your horse in 2018?
My goal for me and my horse in 2018 is to start competing at the 3 ft level in CHJA. Another goal is to start competing at A shows.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
As Thoroughbreds grow as a breed I believe they should be recognized just as any breed. Thoroughbreds have brought love and learning and I believe they have much more to offer to future equestrians.

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program was created by The Jockey Club to encourage second careers for Thoroughbreds when their racing days are over. The T.I.P. sponsors Thoroughbred-only classes and high point awards as well as Performance Awards, special year-end awards specifically for Thoroughbreds. The T.I.P. also recognizes non-competing Thoroughbreds through its Young Rider program as well as a special award for Thoroughbreds in careers such as therapy horses or other non-profit outlets.

To learn more about the Thoroughbred Incentive Program, please visit the organization’s website.

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