“Be kind; be gracious,” begins equestrian and philanthropist Lindsay Maxwell of Aiken, South Carolina.  “Always remember and appreciate those who make the competitions possible, from your trainer and grooms to the in-gate staff, jump crew and show management.  A few benevolent words with these incredibly busy and hard-working people go a long way.  This translates to all facets of life – take time to notice, acknowledge and appreciate those around you.”

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Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Lindsay began riding ponies at age four and has ridden regularly since with the exception of a two-year break for graduate school at Georgetown in Washington, DC.  “I primarily ride show hunters in the Amateur - Owner Hunter, Hunter Derbies and occasionally compete in Open Hunter classes.”  Lindsay has also recently begun competing the jumper ring and is really enjoying the change of scenery.  “I absolutely love the hunters, and being able to get in the jumper ring where mistakes are so much more forgivable is refreshing.”

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Prior to moving to Aiken earlier this year, Lindsay had been living and showing primarily in California.  “I absolutely love California and cherish my time there (we do still have a home in Beverly Hills), but the logistics of moving horses from coast to coast became cumbersome.”  Lindsay and her team made the decision to keep the horses on the East Coast after competing in Florida this year, more specifically the South.  “My father has family in Augusta, Georgia, and my parents and two brothers live in Charleston, SC, so I wanted to be close to them, as well.”  Lindsay visited Aiken for the first time last year and then again at the end of the Florida circuit this spring.  She was sold.  “The town is beautiful; the people are wonderfully friendly and the location is perfect.  In fact, the week we were there, Aiken was named ‘Best Small Town in the South,’ and I could see why.”  In addition to the various world-class equestrian facilities located in Aiken, the proximity to the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) serves as a significant convenience for Lindsay.  “We have shown at (TIEC) most of the summer because not only is it a top facility with many shows, but it is also less than three hours away.”

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Philanthropy has been a top priority among the Maxwell family’s values, and Lindsay has learned by example from her parents and grandparents.  “Our equestrian community is replete with many wonderful people doing so much to create access and opportunity for others while advancing a passion for our sport,” she offers.  “It’s been personally rewarding for me to share this passion with my fellow equestrians in a way that hopefully honors my family’s tradition of giving.”  Consequently, the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund (LMCF) was founded in 2016 in order to assist organizations that promote causes that are significant to Lindsay and reflect her personal priorities and values: improving the lives of children with special needs; enabling access to educational opportunities; and providing care, compassion and protection to animals.  “The Fund represents an opportunity to expand my giving interests as distinct from those of my family, and also creates a formal structure to support my passion for philanthropy to maximize the impact and benefit on our community.”  Growing up, Lindsay shares that she benefitted enormously from the generosity and support of the riders and patrons who came before her.  “I have long been aware of a sense of generational obligation in the equestrian community to ensure that the same experiences and memories that helped define my childhood would be available to future riders.”

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In fact, the LMCF is spearheading a number of initiatives this fall!  Beginning this September, it will return as the sponsor for the $2,500 World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Pony Challenge for the 25th anniversary of the Capital Challenge Horse Show.  On the topic of monumental anniversaries, Lindsay’s team is proud to work with another legendary show, the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), which is celebrating 60 years this October.  “We are eagerly watching an amazing group of young riders work hard as they look to qualify for the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. Additionally, we look forward to awarding the LMCF WIHS Equitation Grant (deadline early September) in the coming months.”  Next up the LMCF will be returning to partner with the National Horse Show in November to sponsor the riders lounge that will also include "Maxwell Place" for convenient shopping!

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Last, but not least, November will see the conclusion of the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/United Stated Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Emerging Athlete's Program at Findlay University.  “We hope everyone has been following along on social media or through USHJA email newsletters as dozens of young riders in each zone have spent a week learning from the professionals, both in and out of the tack.”  Sixteen of these phenomenal riders, and a select number of stable managers, will be invited to Findlay University to participate in the National Training Session in a Nation's Cup Format.

“It’s equally important to enjoy the moments as well as the milestones.  While we’re each competitive and want to perform our very best, part of the enjoyment of a horse show is the opportunity to appreciate so many talented riders and incredible horses in one place.”

Lindsay offers that as she looks back at her junior career, the best memories that she has are not necessarily about trophies or championships, but rather the times she shared with her fellow riders and dear friends.  “Blue ribbons fade much faster than memories.”