Discipline: Show Jumping
Hometown: Lebanon, NJ
Nona Garson is as well-known for her tenacious riding as her cheerful personality. Riding since the age of five, she has captured numerous victories in the Grand Prix ring including the 2000 Grand Prix of Florida and the 1999 Budweiser/AGA Show Jumping Championship.
As a child, Garson made a name for herself riding ponies and in equitation classes. Working out of her farm in New Jersey, The Ridge, Garson now trains with USET veteran rider and coach, George Morris. Morris has well-prepared Garson for the world of international show jumping.
Garson has been very encouraging to young riders who want to follow in her footsteps and enter the horse business.
"It takes a long time and endless hours of work, but if you're dedicated and strong it can happen," she commented. She has frequently stated that she is "the luckiest girl in the world. I feel I'm totally living my childhood dreams—something that is so rare to attain."
Garson's horse, Rythmical, had perhaps the most interesting story of any horse representing the U.S. at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. At one point in his history, he was traded to a new owner in exchange for a dozen washing machines. Such are the economics of the new Russia!
Rythmical has also made a name for himself because of his strong personality and desire to win. Beyond that, however, Rythmical can be a real character. Garson says that "Rythmical lives for peppermints! He hates apples and loves carrots."
In partnership with Rythmical, Garson has won several prestigious events including the 1998 $50,000 Cosequin Grand Prix of Palm Beach, the 1999 Budweiser/American Grandprix Association Championship, and the 1999 $100,000 Jaguar Gold Coast Grand Prix.