60 Second Q&A with Hillary Dobbs, college student and leading rider

Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, N.J., is one of the most successful young grand prix riders on the circuit today. In her first year of top competition, she won four grand prix classes, and at the 2007 Washington International Horse Show, she was named the Leading Open Jumper Rider. To cap off 2007, Dobbs’ horse Marengo was named the Leading International Horse at the 124th National Horse Show. Dobbs represented the U.S. for the first time last fall when she rode on the gold medal winning team at the Nations Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

This past winter, Dobbs and Corlett won back to back Winter Equestrian Festival Challenge Cup Grand Prix events. She was selected to represent the U.S. for a second time on the Nations’ Cup team that competed in Wellington, Fla., where she helped the team win another gold medal.

Dobbs just finished her sophomore year at Harvard University and balances school with riding. She is the daughter of CNN’s Lou Dobbs and wife Debi. Her twin sister, Heather, also competes successfully on the hunter/jumper circuit.  Dobbs trains with Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run.

How many times have you shown at Washington, junior and amateur?

I have competed at Washington for about four years now, but 2007 was my first time as an open jumper rider.

What do you like about competing at Washington?

I always look forward to competing at Washington.  The best in every division makes it a prestigious event at a beautiful venue that we all look forward to each year.

Why was your success at Washington last year important?

Being leading open rider last year will always be a moment I will cherish.  I know it is not a title that comes easily or often, so I am very grateful to have had that moment.  To do it in my first year in the open division made it even more special.

Did winning that title help your confidence as a competitor?

Winning that title was a great honor that did help my confidence, but more so than for confidence, it meant that all the pieces came together with the three horses that I showed—that the training that year paid off. I owe my trainers and the special horses that I rode.  I am honored to have received the title, and I know how rare an honor it is.

Will you be showing at Washington this year?

I will be attending Washington again, and I look forward to being more competitive in the grand prix.  Last year was a great year for experience for me, and I look forward to building on that experience.