CRMS junior blossoming into serious equestrian rider |

CRMS junior blossoming into serious equestrian rider

Colorado Rocky Mountain School's Emily McCoy competes at the Horse Shows in the Sun event in Tucson, Ariz., in February.

CARBONDALE, Colo. ” Of all of the off-the-beaten-path sports Colorado Rocky Mountain School students participate in, equestrian is usually not one of them.

Emily McCoy has changed all that.

The CRMS junior is a serious equestrian rider, winning two championships in the last six months. Most recently, McCoy won the 16-17 age division at the February 7-11 Horse Shows in the Sun competition in Tuscon, Ariz.

Riding in the event known as equitation, McCoy caught the eyes of the judges, earning the most points based on position, smoothness and fluidity.

Before that, McCoy was honored with the Maclay Medal at the Western Stock Show in Denver. The Maclay Medal is considered a prestigious award for young riders.

“It is kind of the top medal that riders, who want to have a future in riding, aim for,” McCoy said.

The award also qualified her for the regional competition in Parker in September. If she can finish in the top four in the region, an area with riders from Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Nevada, she’ll earn a spot at the national competition in October.

Mary Faldasz, McCoy’s trainer who practices with her three times a week, believes McCoy is in a class of her own.

“She has reached a level of her riding where most people in a lifetime don’t reach,” said Faldasz, who has trained with McCoy for over four years. “She has the potential to be one of the top riders in the country. I have had so many students, over 100 a year for 25 years and I have never had a student as exceptional as she is.”

McCoy has achieved a lot of success, but it’s come as a result of a lot of work.

McCoy took up the sport at age 8 while living in Louisville, Texas. A few years later, McCoy and her mom ” who also shows horses ” and her dad ” who does a lot of trail riding ” moved to Glenwood Springs.

Growing up in the valley, McCoy showed her horses in a local circuit, but also traveled to the Front Range to compete.

“Keeping up with it every day isn’t too hard, it’s when I go to the shows,” McCoy said. “It gets tricky with doing all my work while I am down there because there are some pretty long days.”

Beginning school at CRMS didn’t hinder her ability to ride at all. During the winter, McCoy boards her horse, Toby, at the Aspen Equestrian Center near Carbondale and goes there every day to ride.

In the summer, Toby, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, whom McCoy got a year ago after he was imported from Holland, lives with her parents in Glenwood, where she still rides everyday.

“It is a little difficult. Luckily I am done pretty early every day,” she said. “Just with how my free periods worked out, I can go out to the barn and ride.”

McCoy and Toby and formed quite the bond.

“He is wonderful,” she said of the horse. “He’s 17-2 hands (just under 6-feet to top of shoulders). He is a big boy.”

“He is the quality of horse we have to have to do these classes,” Faldasz added.

McCoy is also a rock climber for CRMS and loves partaking in all of the outdoor programs the school has to offer.

“I love going on all the trips, backpacking and all that,” she said. “Just being outside.”

Currently, McCoy is preparing for her next show at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker in May. This summer, McCoy will travel to California for three weeks of riding, as well as showing locally.

“I definitely want to keep riding all of my life and have it be a part of what I am doing,” she said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User