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Youth Spotlight: Daniel Schmidt




(Editor’s Note: The following Q&A took place between the Walking Horse Report’s editorial director Sadie Fowler and youth rider Daniel Schmidt.)

WHR: Tell us about yourself, and what the important highlights of your world are these days.

Schmidt:
I will turn 11 years old on Aug. 25. I always have my birthday celebration during the Celebration. I love horses and all animals. I help my Coco with dog rescues. I enjoy swimming and traveling and especially want to go to France and Mexico. I enjoy going to church and my friends at St. Anthony Catholic Church. I have a sister, Aubrey, who is eight. 

WHR:
Tell us about your journey into the horse world? How did you get started and what has riding taught you?

Schmidt:
My grandmother showed performance walking horses when she was young and thought that my sister and I might enjoy giving riding a try. She made arrangements with Alice Klein to take us for lessons and camp. We showed Academy first and I was very interested in showing more. We also met Jeff Willis and he knew of a horse that could work for me. That led to my grandparents purchasing Another Image Of Cash (Steady Freddy) for me. After a year or so, Jeff started working for someone else and we moved to Winky Groover Stables. When we retired Freddy we found Tha Pink Panther for me. 

WHR:
What is it about the Tennessee Walking Horse that most attracts you?

Schmidt:
I like the way they look and walk. I like that they are a smooth ride and I like their nice personality. 

WHR:
Who is your favorite horse of all time? Tell me in your words what makes this horse so special to you?

Schmidt:
My favorite horse is The Pink Panther. He is my best buddy, and I love him.  

WHR:
What do you most enjoy about the show horse industry in terms of what it provides you with things like friendships and new experiences? 

Schmidt:
I like the friendships I have made. I like traveling to different places for shows and I enjoy being with my family at the shows and barns. I have made some very good friends, both young and “older” … I can’t name them all — it would fill up the whole page!

WHR:
Who is your trainer. Describe to me what he or she is like, from your perspective as a student of riding. 

Schmidt:
Chad Williams is my trainer. He is awesome and works to make me a better rider by always being a great coach. He is very patient but also pushes me to always try harder. Nathan and Blaise are there to help me, too. 

WHR:
What has been your most special moment in the show ring? 

Schmidt:
My most special moment is always my last show, especially when I win. 

WHR:
Tell me about your world outside of horses. What do you do for hobbies and what to you want to pursue as a career when you’re older?

Schmidt:
I like to swim, I like to play football with my friends. I like video games but I would always rather be outside. I like to travel. I really like helping my Papa at work in construction. I will be in the sixth grade this fall. I want to be a horse trainer. 

WHR:
What is one new thing you would love to learn?

Schmidt:
I want to learn how to canter. I want to learn how to fly planes. 

WHR:
Who is someone you admire and why?

Schmidt:
I admire Chad Williams because he is successful at what he does and horse training is what I want to do. 

WHR:
If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be and what would you have for dinner?

Schmidt:
I would like to have dinner with Peyton Manning and I would want crab legs to eat. 

WHR:
Who is your favorite American president and why?

Schmidt:
George Washington, because he was our last president and had to unite our country at the beginning. 

WHR:
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone brand new to the horse show world?

Schmidt:
Ride hard, be tough, and be mannerly whether you win or lose. 

WHR:
What is one of your goals for the upcoming year?

Schmidt:
I want to win a World Grand Championship at the Celebration. I want to make my middle school football team. 
 

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