Tori Colvin jumps Cafino in the 2016 Hampton Classic Grand Prix CSI4*, September 2016.
It’s been almost a year since the USA’s Victoria Colvin left her junior career behind and stepped into the life of a professional. The 19-year-old phenom needs little introduction; she reigned over the junior hunters, equitation, and very often, the open divisions in both hunters and jumpers throughout her teenage years.
She capped her junior career with the 2015 WIHS Equitation Championship and as winner of the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search. She was memorably named the 2014 Maclay Finals Champion, and a year prior, displayed her dominance in the hunters with victory in the USHJA International Hunter Derby Final. She made her debut at the grand prix level at the age of 16, and has several CSI open jumper wins to her record.
Needless to say, she was a household name in American hunter/jumper circles before she was old enough to drive. She was so popular as a catch rider that running from ring to ring to show over a dozen horses a day was her norm; her uncanny skill at piloting any type of horse made her one of the sport’s most in-demand riders: all while still a junior.
With that phase of her career now behind her, Colvin is enjoying the change of pace as she expands her reach as a professional.
“As a catch rider, it wasn’t about the horses so much as it is now,” she explains. “Now, I can actually flat them and get to know them. It’s not just a ribbon now, it’s more about the horse. It’s a little nicer because I can jump the horse, walk around, let him breath, talk to people and relax.”
It’s with that new rhythm that Colvin is stepping out once again—this time under the helm of Victoria Colvin LLC., and for the first time, taking the reins of her own business. That’s why she hasn’t been seen in as many show rings this year, as she turns to the horses in her own barn, and builds new opportunities. Colvin enjoys teaching, and in addition to coaching students in Florida, she recently led her first clinic, at Beverly Equestrian Center in The Plains, Virginia.
Earlier this year, her partnership with Karen Long-Dwights, who owns Colvin’s successful junior jumper Don Juan, and grand prix horse Echo von Speiveld, came to a conclusion in 2016. Both mounts are moving on to the happy and well-deserved life of pleasure riding and retirement.
Colvin enjoyed competing both horses, most notably Don Juan, and she remarks that, “I have to deeply thank Karen for everything that she’s done, and all the support she’s given me.”
“I feel like for so many years, I haven’t been on my own, I’ve had people to back me up,”
A native of South Florida, Colvin is basing herself from her Loxahatchtee, Florida hometown, and with the help of her mother Brigid Colvin, she’s building her own string.
“The last year hasn’t been the easiest; it was different watching the equitation, and watching the junior hunters,” Tori says. “But I love teaching, and I love the young ones. I feel like for so many years, I haven’t been on my own, I’ve had people to back me up, but at the same time I’ve been more of an adult than a junior.”
Her background is a boost for Colvin: all that experience made it feel like less of a transition to get to the professional level. Through her junior career and continuing on to the present, her continuing time with George H. Morris has been a guiding force. Morris and Colvin work together on a regular basis, with Morris always making himself available on the other end of the phone, or at the ingate.
“I’m ready to build my own business, and ready for new ventures,” Colvin says. “It was time for me to have my own path, and do new things.”