Gwen Poulin will turn 21 this year. That means this is her last year to compete at the North American Young Rider Championships, to be held in Wadsworth, Illinois. Gwen has won the individual silver medal for the last two years and was a member of last year's gold-medal-winning Regions 3 team. Having put off college until she finishes Young Riders, Gwen is going for the gold in 2001.
Working for her parents, professionals Michael and Sharon Poulin, Gwen also has four horses in training herself. She is currently competing Jeko, owned by Joan Korecky, and Pik Cachet, a Hannoverian gelding by Pik Senior, out of Wild Magic, who is owned by Marcia Boles.
Gwen has been riding Jeko since the end of December, and they have had a number of seconds this season. Things are really clicking now the pair got it together for the highest score for Young Riders at the Heidelberg Cup in Clarcona, Florida March 15-18, 2001. Pik Cachet was recently imported to the US and Gwen is the only one to have been training him since his arrival.
An avid soccer player, Gwen played through high school her home state of Maine. Her family is now based in DeLeon Springs, Florida; this will be the first year that they will spend year-round in this state. Gwen says that soccer takes a close second to her passion for horses, and is looking for a club league to play in. "It's a wonderful sport," she says. "I would love to play again."
Next year she plans to begin taking classes at a Community College while continuing her riding. "I may take it easy on competing then, but I might not," she says. She looks forward to moving Pik Cachet up to Intermediaire next year and hopes that Grand Prix is on the horizon for them.
In the meantime she is busy with fundraising for this year's Region Three team heading to Illinois. She wishes to express her thanks to last year's sponsors, from individuals who donated a set of polo wraps to Dover Saddlery, who supplied them with equipment and Blue Chip Horse Transport, who transported their horses to Colorado for the cost of the gas to get there. "Without the sponsors we couldn't do all that we've done."
DressageDaily.com wishes Gwen and Region Three the best of luck!
Text by Amber Heintzberger for Dressagedaily.com