Martha Ingram ’20 competed in the Capital Challenge Horse Show in late September “just to have a good time.” But she came home a winner at the 25th anniversary edition of the event held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Ingram, a politics and international affairs major from Nashville, not only won the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships, she did so riding her “plan B” horse because the vet determined Ingram’s original horse wasn’t in top shape to compete.
So with her stand-in mount, Airport 48–a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding–she trotted, cantered and jumped for the roses, besting 26 total entries in the championship class.
“It was just a really nice surprise. I was hoping to do well, but I wasn’t expecting anything. I was going in to have fun, so to come out on top is really nice,” said Ingram during an interview with Jump Media.
Airport 48 was initially purchased over six years ago to be Ingram’s equitation mount but instead was ridden to great acclaim in the hunter ring by her father, John Ingram. So in a pinch, Airport 48 stepped up and was nevertheless able to help Ingram win the class in his first attempt.
Ingram, an 11-year veteran in the riding world, said, “I’m really lucky that my dad let me show him. (The horse) is like a dog. He just loves people and loves his job. He’s very smooth and comfortable; he really jumps nicely. He’s always there for you, so I’m really lucky.”
After her Sept. 28 equitation championships win, Ingram returned to Furman for classes only to make another trip the following week to Maryland. There, she finished as a reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter division at the Capital Challenge.
“The support I’ve received from my professors and Furman has been amazing,” said Ingram, whose professors permitted her to take exams early and make up work so she could travel and compete. “I am so grateful and appreciative for everyone who allowed me the chance to pursue my goals.”