By Jacqueline Flynn
“It sounds really corny, but it’s always been my dream to compete in Grand Prix,” said Toensing.
Grand Prix can have jumps as high as 1.6 meters (5 feet, 3 inches) and usually has a large cash prize attached to the winning riders. The challenging courses and high stakes take a special horse and rider combination to complete a course.
Her equine teammate, Blue, has been with her only since January. When she first got him, Toensing said she didn’t expect him to be able to move up so quickly.
“We got him expecting to do the High Amateurs by the end of the year and just seeing how it would go, but it ended up going much better than we thought because he’s just so good!” Toensing said.
Toensing and Blue are trained by Mark Jungherr and Kristi Smith. After only a few months together, they competed in their first Grand Prix competition in Aiken, South Carolina, where they placed sixth in the $25,000 class.
“It was definitely a surprise in Aiken. Mark just came up and asked me, ‘You want to try it?’ and I said yes!” Toensing said.
Toensing and Blue have competed in three Grand Prix classes so far. In June, they placed fifth in the $25,000 Grand Prix in Saratoga Springs. Toensing leaves for the Manchester Summer Festival next week where she hopes to compete in three more grand prix classes.
But that’s not the only exciting milestone in Toensing’s career. She recently signed with the University of Georgia equestrian team, the most decorated collegiate team in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association.
Toensing said the recruitment process took a while and that she is very excited for the fall and to compete on the team.