Hoag’s childhood days of wishing for (and getting) an English saddle, are quite a contrast to the well-equipped dressage competitor that Hoag has become today. With a string of top horses, a committed coach and her signature trait of persistence, Hoag has become a formidable force in dressage. She is serious about her future in the sport. Tami has set high goals for herself and Coco, including riding in the USEF National Grand Prix Championships at Gladstone, long-listing for the US Equestrian Team, and moving up into the top 100 in the FEI World Ranking.
“I believe firmly in setting goals, and having to stretch to reach them. There’s that persistence thing again! My motto has always been: If one in a million is going to make it, that one might as well be me,” states Hoag.
With her high performance goals and commitment to sport , Hoag’s profile is more aligned to that of a professional rider, and after years competing as an amateur changed her status to professional. “I am so committed to the sport of dressage”, says Hoag, “I want to be taken seriously in the international arena, and I worry that having that Adult Amateur tag after my name on may put me at a psychological disadvantage with the judges. Even though I make my living behind a desk, I approach the sport like a professional athlete. Also, I have accomplished so much as an amateur, maybe it's time for me to step aside and open up new opportunities for other adult amateurs coming up the ranks, as I go on to pursue my high performance goals.”
"On the other hand, I have so many amateur riders come up to me and tell me what an inspiration it is for them to see an amateur out there riding with the big names and competing very successfully. I would love to see more amateurs pushing beyond the Prix St Georges comfort zone and working toward the Grand Prix. It doesn't have to take a fancy horse to compete at the local level. Any properly trained dressage horse should theoretically be able to school the grand prix movements. They don't have to turn out to be the next Salinero or Brentina. Nor do the riders have to be the next Anky or Debbie--or Tami Hoag for that matter. The biggest components essential to advancing in anything are dedication and to believe the goal can be achieved. I hate to see people limit themselves.”