Thoroughbred Incentive Program October Youth Ambassador

Meet Julie Rivera!

Photo by Jilli Anna Voorneveld

T.I.P. presents the October featured Youth Ambassador: Julia Rivera. Julia, 15, is from Canada (Quebec). Julia and her Thoroughbred, Indy’s Illusion (Indy), participate in Jumper, Eventing.

Julia Rivera (15,CAN (Quebec))


  • Registered Jockey Club Name: Indy’s Illusion
  • Show Name: Indy’s Illusion (Indy)

How did you start riding?
I started riding when I was five years old, mainly at summer pony camps. I had so much fun I wanted to keep riding! It soon became my greatest passion.

What is your favorite thing about riding/or your horse?
My favorite thing about riding is how free I feel. When I am on Indy, everything is just perfect; it’s great liberty!

What would you like to do when you are older?
I don’t know. Sometimes I think about being a biologist, other times I think about being a baker, and then I tell myself I would be a great teacher. I am all over the place!

Tell us your favorite quote and why:
“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle” – Winston Churchill. This quote has such power and truth. Riding is never a waste of time and it makes me forget all my (school, homework, stress) troubles. For me, to escape reality, it’s getting in the saddle and flying with my horse on my way to freedom!

What do you think the most important aspects of horsemanship are?
It’s all about respecting each other and have fun as you and your horse are partners and friends. This connection is essential and sometimes requires adaptation. It’s not always easy. No horse is perfect, no human is perfect. But you and your horse have to have this happy feeling when working together and then the magic comes into play.

More Fun Facts

  • How many pets do you have (and what kind)?
    I have two pets, a golden retriever named Yoko and a cockatiel named Chico.
  • What is your favorite animal (apart from a horse)?
  • What is your favorite color?
    Marine blue — it’s so calming.
  • What is your favorite food?
    Nothing fancy — hamburgers.
  • What is something unique about you?
    I’m happy all the time; it’s very rare to see me in a bad mood.
  • What is one word that your friends would describe you as?
  • Other Activities or hobbies:
    Cooking, spending time outside (nature), Art, school’s running club

What is one thing you would like to tell people about Thoroughbreds or the Thoroughbred Incentive Program?
It’s so beautiful to give a being a second chance, especially a Thoroughbred. In return they will give you all they have and it will make you want to be a better person. That’s quite special.

What are your goals for your horse in 2020?
Next summer, I plan on competing at the CCI* level in Eventing at Foshay International, in New Brunswick. I am also looking forward to compete at the Preliminary level in Eventing.

Anything else you would like to share?
Here is a fun fact: I am a big fan of the game series “The Legend of Zelda”, and I originally started playing because I could ride a horse.