Allison Springer The Carolinas Equestrian Eventing veteran Allison Springer adores horsey hub as a place to fine-tune and frolic

Allison Springer gets around. She and her rising star event horses just spent a month at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida for intense dressage and jumping training, and they’ll soon head north to Virginia as their basecamp for the competition year. The international event rider and sport leader loves them all, but says there’s something special about Aiken, SC, where she spends the late winter and early spring at Fox Frolic Farm.

Alison Leclerc The Carolinas Equestrian Photo by AMW PhotographyIn today’s world, all of us know that traumatic things can happen in an instant. But nothing brings that home like it happening to a friend or neighbor, especially while they’re doing some unremarkable thing you often do yourself.

Such is the case with Tryon-area trainer Alison Leclerc, who sustained serious injuries while riding in June. She is a lifetime rider who competes in hunter/humper classes, working with her own and clients’ horses. Alison was schooling an experienced show horse on the flat when the horse was apparently startled by something and unseated Alison. What could have been a “no big deal” fall was instead a freak accident that fractured several vertebrae in Alison’s neck.

JJ Tate The Carolinas Equestrian 01 Like many riders, Jessica Jo “JJ” Tate grew up horse crazy, “I’ve been obsessed since I can remember, playing horses, running around like a horse, drawing horses – everything!” laughs JJ. JJ was lucky enough, and determined enough, to turn that obsession into a prestigious dressage career. She began riding at age 7 in her home state of Wisconsin and soon focused on dressage at age 9.