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"It's a Lot More than the Moment a Ribbon Is Won"

Meet Two of the Entrants in US Equestrian and NTRA’s “I Am US Equestrian” Gator Giveaway

by | Oct 8, 2021, 2:17 PM EST

US Equestrian and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association have announced a joint contest between the two organizations, centered around US Equestrian’s “I Am US Equestrian” campaign, which challenges the perceptions of who equestrians are and what it means to be an equestrian. Meet two of the entrants below: Erik Lee and Monica South.

The contest will give away a John Deere TS Gator™ to one lucky winner. The contest closes Oct. 15, 2021, and the winner will be revealed by Oct. 25, 2021.

The “I Am US Equestrian” Gator Giveaway allows USEF members in good standing to submit one photo and a 250-word description of what it means to be a US Equestrian, highlighting adversities or challenges they’ve overcome to achieve their individual goals or ambitions in horse sports. The “I Am US Equestrian” campaign was created to uplift underrepresented voices with within the sport and highlight what makes equestrians unique, yet still connected through the shared love of horses.

Erik Lee
Photo: Courtesy of Erik Lee

You must be 18+ years old to enter. Full contest rules are here.
Click here to submit your nomination!

Erik Lee

Waverly, Iowa

Entrepreneur. Janitor. Risk taker. Judge. Trainer. Friend. Teacher. Therapist. Preservationist. Chauffer. Mentor. Boss. Accountant. Showman. Caretaker. These are all roles I've been told I hold in the last few months alone. I just call it "horseman." As horse people, we have so many roles to play in the lives of our animals and customers, most of which are just expected as part of our station in life, but not all of which came naturally to us. Thanks for asking what it takes to be a US Equestrian ... it's a lot more than what happens in the moment a ribbon is won or a picture is taken.

Monica South
Photo: Courtesy of Monica South

Monica South

Duvall, Wash.

I am US Equestrian.

I am an equestrian athlete living with a debilitating disease, Stills disease, that can make it hard some days to walk or lift a cup of water. 

I am an equestrian mom raising a strong, centered family where hard work can be its own reward.

I am an equestrian rancher working on a farm where I haul water, fix equipment, and patiently answer endless questions about care for beloved horses.

I am an equestrian amateur rider grateful for each show, test comment, or clinic as opportunity to learn. 

I am an equestrian competitor successfully showing FEI dressage.

I am an equestrian explorer taking my horses on local trails and our northwest beaches. 

I am an equestrian breeder sitting up all night to wait for a birth, enjoying my first gold-medal foal last year.

I am an equestrian business owner supporting local and worldwide equestrian-related business for everything from hay to horses to trainers to equipment to land.

I am an equestrian community member assisting local kids without funds to realize their riding dreams.

I am an equestrian lifelong and passionate for the next dance with my partner. 

I am US Equestrian.