By J.B. Harris
While COVID has taken its toll on all of us, Gold Stirrup Show Stables in Miami has brought a ray of sunshine to the horse community in South Florida and beyond. www.goldstirrup.com Owned and operated by Head Trainer Thammara (Thammy) Enriquez, Gold Stirrup trains students from ages three and up to ride and care for horses. Thammy, who was born in Spain, but has lived in many countries around the world, was introduced to horses as a baby. In fact, according to Thammy, the first word out of her mouth was horse, not mami or papi. At the age of eight Thammy found herself riding bareback on a runaway horse, who was spooked by a loud sound while returning to its barn. So frightened was the horse it jumped a large stone fence in the Spanish countryside, to the terror of Thammy’s mother. Unphased, Thammy was hooked on jumping horses from that point forward.
After moving to Miami from Venezuela, Thammy ultimately opened Gold Stirrup in 1994. She is a certified hunter, jumper, and a member of the American Instructors Association. According to Thammy, “she tries to instill in her students the values of perseverance, endurance, a willingness to learn, a strong work ethic, and of course a love of horses.” To do this, she attempts to match horses that will work well with the personality of their riders, and vice versa. The synergy between horse and rider is the essential formula for producing champions.
This year, two champion equestriennes have represented Gold Stirrup at the world class Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, to compete in the Winter Equestrian Festival. Known as the horse capitol of the United States, Wellington attracts such international celebrity equestriennes as the daughters of Bruce Springsteen, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, to name a few. This year, 22-year-old Victoria Harris and 11-year-old Pierson Deseta have achieved their long-awaited goal to compete at Wellington.
To reach this goal, both started riding as young children; Victoria at the age of 8 and Pierson at the age of 5. After spending years in the ring with Thammy learning to jump ever so carefully, they began competing at the Heritage Horse Shows held at the Plantation Equestrian Center. When they reached a level of competitive competence, Victoria’s and Pierson’s parents bought for them their own horses. Whereas Pierson’s horse is named Bliss, Victoria’s is named Sincerely Me, or Murphy for short.
On her first trip to Wellington this year, Victoria placed among the top four riders in a class of 10, taking home ribbons in both equitation and jumping. Competing in a very crowded field of 18 riders, Pierson is still working on winning ribbons this year, which she is sure to do in the next round of competitions.
While no one can say for sure what the outcome of future shows will bring, one thing is certain, Victoria and Pierson love horses so much they want to pursue careers in equine management and equine veterinary medicine, respectively. Given their drive and dedication and love of horses, we are certain both will make Gold Stirrup and Miami proud in the process.