At the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Championships, Emily Miles is riding horses that are brothers, she works in partnership with her mother, and she brought two junior riders, sisters Madison and MacKenzie Peer, to the Dressage Seat Medals Finals. If she weren’t from Kansas, Jeff Foxworthy would have a field day with her family dynamics. And she loves it that way.
On Friday, Miles won the red ribbon in the FEI 6-year-old Young Horse Preliminary Class aboard Floretienne with a 79.80 percent. Then, she turned around and claimed the blue in the FEI Intermediaire II (Developing Grand Prix) on Wakeup with a 72.149 percent. Wakeup is Miles’ own 10-year-old American Warmblood stallion by Wagnis out of Maiden Montreal by Macho.
During the Young & Developing Horse Championships, held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center n Wayne, Illinois, she is riding the half- brother to Floretinne, who is an Oldenburg gelding by Florestan I out of Tamarande by Jazz. His brother, an embryo transfer foal named Quantum Jazz, is a 6-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quarterback out of Tamarande by Jazz. Both horses are owned by Leslie Waterman and were bred by Judy Yancy.
“They are totally different horses,” she said. “One is a big chestnut with four white socks and the other one is this little bay with not a lot of white. You would not guess they are half brothers. They really keep me on my toes. They are so different but there’s stuff I love about each one of them. With ‘Q’ you just feel like there is so much power and you can build him up and you can go. And ‘ET’ is extremely talented for collection. Piaffe, passage, pirouettes as a 6-year-old? Done. Easy. It’s totally easy for him. He’s really uphill in the balance and open in the shoulders. Such different, different horses but really fun to ride.”
While at Lamplight, Miles is coaching two junior riders in the Dressage Seat Medal Finals, sisters Madison and MacKenzie Peer. MacKenzie placed first in Second Level Test 3 on Macu with a 62.683 percent and Madison placed second in Second Level, Test 3 aboard Stella Luna with a 62.317 percent
“They are practically an adopted family,” Miles explained, adding that she and her husband married at the girls’ parents’ house in Vermont. “So we’re very, very close. They actually just moved from Michigan down to Kansas, so now they’re at our barn all the time and they are just fantastic, salt-of-the-earth, quality girls.”
The barn Miles referenced is Wally Woo Farm in La Cygne, Kansas. She trains out of it with her mother, Jana Wagner.
“My mother is very German,” she said. “The name of the farm when she bought it 30 years ago was Valley View Farm. So she said ‘wally woo’ and it’s the woo of the wally. She makes up some crazy stories like the Wally Wooies were the first African tribe to ride horses and then says it’s named for them, but it’s really because she couldn’t pronounce the name.”
Along with her mother, Miles has been coming to Lamplight for years. “his is like home,” she said. “Wakeup has been here as a 4-year-old, 6- year-old, 7-year-old, 9-year-old and 10-year-old. It’s a gorgeous show grounds. The people are so nice. It’s so well run and organized. We’re very lucky to have this.”
The year they didn’t come to Lamplight, Wakeup qualified as a five year- old but they went to Verden, Germany, and the competitions were scheduled too close together. “But, I still consider it that he qualified,” she said.
Although Miles refers to herself as an “old married lady,” she is a whirlwind of activity and fun, and she’s blissfully happy. “I’m very busy but I’m super luck to be busy,” she said. “I’m in heaven. It’s every rider’s dream: to be paid to ride great horses.”
She can’t decide which horse she likes the most on any given day, but Miles has a special bond with Wakeup and she’s proud of what they have accomplished. His oldest babies are now 6 and he passes along some of his finer traits to his offspring−his hind end, his personality, and his gaits.
“We have a mare that is his daughter,” she said. “A 6-year-old. I’m really excited to have the next generation coming up. It’ll be fun to see how she is.”
After all, it’s all in the family.