RHINEBECK, N.Y. -- For Rhinebeck High School senior, Maeve Cruikshank, exposure to horses was inevitable. Given that her mother was the director of a non-profit equestrian facility, and her family lived on the property, it's no surprise Cruikshank took to horse riding.
Cruikshank has always ridden at the Southlands Foundation in Rhinebeck where her mother worked. According to Cruikshank, it's been like a second home.
"All of the people there are like family. I’ve made some of my closest friends there," she said. "It’s really an amazing place."
This accomplished rider recently competed very successfully with her horse, Boomer, at an abundance of shows including HITS Saugerties, HITS Ocala Florida, Old Salem, Saratoga Horse Show, Lake Placid Horse Show, and Vermont Summer Festival. Last year, she won the Hudson Valley Hunter Jumper Sportsmanship Award for 2015.
So, what does she love about riding?
"I think the reason I’ve continued riding competitively for so many years is because I absolutely love animals and it’s given me the opportunity to form such strong connections with them," said Cruikshank.
Now heading off to St. Lawrence University this fall, Cruikshank hopes to try out for the varsity riding team and continue her riding career. She attributed her decision to attend this college to the positive atmosphere on campus and the visible love current students had for the school.
In addition to being an experienced equestrian, Cruikshank is also a strong student making the honor roll all four years of high school. In college, she plans to study psychology with a focus on neuroscience and possibly even attend medical school.