By Mia Valdez, Mountain Skyline Pony Club
Mia Valdez is a participating member of Mountain Skyline Pony Club in the Old Dominion Region. She has earned her H-B in Horse Management and her C-3 Eventing so far. She has been a member of Pony Club since early 2020. Mia competed at the 2021 USPC Festival, where she earned the Vieva Perrin Memorial Trophy for best exemplifying the classical principles of horsemanship and “the American jumping style.”
At age 15, Mia was chosen to be the Ann Haller Media Intern at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. You can read her original essay here. The Ann Haller Media Internship, provided by Equestrian Events, Inc. and facilitated by the United States Pony Clubs, is an internship for Pony Club members named in honor of the late Ann Haller, H-A, who was a member of numerous Pony Clubs, an instructor, clinician, National Examiner, and Chief Horse Management Judge. Her career was spent as an international press officer, USEA Certified Instructor, and an FEI Steward. Ann was named to the 2006 USPC Academy of Achievement.
This year I had the incredible opportunity to be picked for the Ann Haller Media Internship at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. When I first learned that I was the only intern for 2023, I was slightly nervous about what that experience would be like. There truly was no need to have any nerves about it! Every single person I interacted with was just so welcoming and supportive.
I had such a wonderful experience working and meeting members of the media center. It was my first year attending Land Rover, so getting to see the inner workings of the media aspect was a one-of-a-kind experience.
When I arrived, I was immediately greeted with warm smiles from everyone and was introduced to Marty Bauman, head of Classic Communications. Mr. Bauman had set up for me to experience every aspect of media for the weekend. Within the first day, he allowed me to help out with evening interviews and the press conference.
Over the course of the weekend, I was able to interview riders after dressage and cross-country, as well as go out on cross-country and help shoot pictures. Everyone I met was incredibly helpful and kind, answering any questions I had. Getting to experience the busy and exciting workings of the media center allowed me to meet amazing people, as well as get a better understanding of what goes into the social media aspect of our sport.
I truly cannot thank the United States Pony Clubs enough for providing these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and I strongly encourage anyone who meets the criteria to apply for this amazing experience.