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In the Ring with Parker Peacock

Meet Parker Peacock, a junior rider who has taken all 3 rings by storm over the past few years. Her accomplishments speak for themselves : Champion in the Small Junior Hunters at Capital Challenge, reserve at the past Maclay Regionals, Tri-Colors WCHR Week, numerous Big Eq wins, repeated circuit championships, and 10th in this years Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular all at Wellington Equestrian Festival, top ribbons at the prestigious Devon Horse Show in the High Junior Jumpers, as well as countless victories across the country. We were lucky enough to ask Parker some pressing questions involving her success as an equestrian. Without further introduction, let's take a peek into Parker's life as one of the current top competitors in all areas of the sport.

What does a typical day in your life look like for you?

On a normal day, I usually wake up around 7:00 am, get dressed, and eat my go-to breakfast; Dr. Pepper, an orange and a cliff bar. Around 8:00 am I normally hack my personal horses back at the farm. Then, I will typically have an equitation lesson at Ashland Farm, which often consists of practicing different exercises to help me be more prepared for showing that week. On average, I ride anywhere from 4-8 horses a day. I have the opportunity to ride many different horses, so my days constantly change depending on what my show plans are that week. I always end my night by making a schedule for the following day. 

You ride a number of different horses from week to week and continue to post winning rounds. What do you do to adjust to each horse, and how do you handle the pressure of riding someone else’s horse?

With riding so many different horses, I try to adjust to each one by going back to the basics. I don’t want to over complicate things, but when needed I try to make small adjustments to match each horses’ needs. When riding others people horses, I try to forget about the pressure and just pretend it is one of my own. I like to treat each horse the same which allows me to not get in my head as much. I also try to remember that everyone makes mistakes. When I make a mistakes, I try to move on and make the rest of the round a positive experience.

SPORTFOT: Class Act in the USET at WEF

How did you start getting catch rides? If someone is looking to get into the catch riding world, what would you tell them? 

Catch riding started for me during my time with the ponies. Catch riding is all about networking and getting your name out there. I think it’s important for people to know you as a rider and also as a person, so I try to have open communication with the different owners and trainers. You want to go into catch riding with an open mind and always be grateful for any opportunity you’re given!

As a competitive 3-ring rider, do you have a favorite ring to compete in?

I have had the opportunity to ride in all 3 disciplines but I would have to say my favorite is the equitation. It presents unique challenges that allow me to really advance my riding. Equitation also allows me to sit on a variety of different horses. I am able to learn something from each ride and apply it to my rounds in all disciplines.

What do you think sets you up for so much success in the equitation ring? 

There are many things that set me up for success in the equitation ring, but I think some of the most important are the lessons at homeworking on things that might not be my strong suit. I also think it's important to have an amazing team behind you. Ken and Emily Smith with Ashland Farm are always supporting me and encouraging me in all rings. 

How do you ride differently ring to ring? Is there anything specific you do riding an equitation horse compared to a hunter? 

When I show in the hunters, I try to ride soft and flowing to allow my horse optimum freedom to perform their best. When I show in the equitation, I try to have a stronger position while still being soft. I want to have a nice connection to my horse which allows for a more seamless round. 

Parker Peacock and Maddie Tosh at PNHS

What’s something you do at home that prepares you for the show ring?

Some things I do outside the show ring that set me up for my best performance in the show ring are a lot of no stirrups work to make me tighter in the tack. I also like to practice shortening and lengthening so that when I get in the ring you can barely tell the changes of pace. I try to go to the gym 3-4 times a week, it's something I do with my friends so that helps me be more motivated!

Who is the most influential horse in your career and why?

I would say the most influential horse so far in my career is probably my hunter, Acclaim (aka Monkey). I got Monkey when I moved off the ponies, so horses were new for me, and he was just transitioning from the jumper to the hunter ring. I feel we bonded immediately, allowing us to move up together and teaching each other the ropes of the hunters. We have been able to compete at some of the biggest shows taking many championships, while forming a great relationship. I would say he is my best friend, he’s always there for me if I’m having a hard day. 

SPORT FOT: Acclaim

Who is the most influential person in your career and why?

The most influential person so far in my career would probably be the Colvin family. (I couldn’t just choose one of them!). I've had the opportunity to train with Tori and Brigid Colvin for the past 7 years and I am so thankful for that. Tori has taught me so much in the many years I have been with her and has had an invaluable impact on my riding career. Brigid is like a second mother to me, and I’m so grateful for our relationship and being able to have a person like that supporting me 

What is the best advice you would give to anyone in the horse show world and what is the best advice you’ve received?

The best advice I would give someone in the riding world is to always be appreciative for your horses and the opportunities that you are given. The best advice I have ever been given is that “Life is bigger than the horse world and balance is important to maintain at this level.” 

What does the future look like for you in the equestrian world?

I would like to further my riding career by going D1, while still focusing on my education. I haven’t planned further than college, but I know horses will always be apart of my life so going pro is definitely possibility. 

KIND MEDIA: High Jr Jumpers at The Devon Horse Show

Goals for the 2024 Season?

My goals for the 2024 season are to compete in young riders, to have a successful year in the junior hunters, and finish top 25 at all the equitation finals!

Rapid Fire

3 things you can always find with you at horse shows?

🔥 3 things you can always find with me are chapstick, a Dr Pepper, and hair ties 

Favorite thing to do outside of riding?

🔥 To hang out with my friends 

Sweet or Savory?

🔥 Sweet 

One show that is on your dream horse show list?

🔥 LGTC Paris 

Biggest pet peeve in riding? 

🔥 Loose girths!

Thank you so much Parker for letting us pick your brain on your experience as you continue to rise as a young equestrian! Who else would you like to see "In the Ring" ? Let us know!!


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