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“#BestOfBlenheim – A Closer Looke” with Elena Haas and Della White

by | Jun 14, 2022 | Featured, Show Stories

Throughout the 2022 Blenheim EquiSports show season, alongside photographer Amy McCool, we’ll be taking “a closer looke” at many of the best of Blenheim, from riders and trainers to the individuals that are integral to the shows’ success – and perhaps even to a few horses!

During the June Classic I, young athletes Elena Haas and Della White gave us a look at their week competing in the NAYC Zone 10 Selection Trials!


Elena Haas

Elena Haas, who trains with Meredith Herman and Richard Spooner, competed in the North American Young Rider Championship Selection Trials, earning the win in the $2,500 1.40m Jumper Classic/NAYRC Trial.

What horses are you competing this week?

Elena: This week I will be competing with Centana and Global Jativia. I’ve had Centana for about a year and a half, and she’s been an incredibly special horse for me. We’ve grown up together quite a bit; I jumped my first grand prix with her, and we also experienced both of our first team and championship events together. Centana has a huge heart and always tries her hardest, and she’s very focused when it’s time to compete. She’s incredibly sweet on the ground and is always eager to greet anyone who walks by her stall.

Jativia is a newer ride for me; I’ve only had her for about four months. She’s a bit more experienced at the higher levels so it’s been amazing to learn from her. She’s a bit hot and has her own style, and she’s naturally very quick which makes her super fun to ride. She’s eager to please and has a such a sweet personality, it’s been a lot of fun getting to know her!

Who is your biggest influence?

Elena: The two people who have had the biggest influence on me are Meredith Herman and Richard Spooner. I’ve been training with Meredith for nearly four years and her work ethic, thoughtful horsemanship, and thorough organization skills are all things I greatly admire. Meredith has always pushed me to be the best that I can and is always thinking ahead for what’s next, and I’m so grateful to have had her unwavering support from the start. Richard began helping me in the summer of 2020, and he quickly became a very big part of my life. He pushes me each day to be better than I was the day before, but he also reminds me to enjoy each different aspect of the sport. Richard has always encouraged me to continue to prioritize my education and aim to be the best that I can in all areas of my life. He’s helped me grow my confidence and I’m so lucky to have gotten to learn from him these past few years.

What’s your favorite horse show memory? 

Elena: My favorite horse show memory was during Prix Des States 2021. Centana and I were lucky enough to represent Zone 10 there, and with it being my final junior year, I really wanted to try and end on a high note. It takes a huge effort from a lot of people on our team at Burgundy Farms to make sure all the pieces are in the right place, and Prix Des States was made very special because a lot of our team that typically stays home were able to be there in person. Centana jumped incredibly that week and posted all clear rounds, and I was the first to jump clean on the final day. I was thrilled with the result, but getting to share that moment and excitement with the people closest to me was something I’ll never forget.

What are your current riding goals?

Elena: My main priority for the summer is the North American Youth Championships. This will be my first year competing in the Young Rider division, and being competitive there is a big goal. I am also hoping to gain more experience in some FEI classes this summer as we head to Spruce Meadows and then Traverse City. I’d also love to be able to represent the U.S. at the Youth Nations Cup Finals this fall!

Outside of riding, what do you like to do?

Elena: Outside of riding, I love to spend time with my friends and family. I really enjoy working out, and I love going to watch my brother’s baseball games whenever I can.

Della White

­Della White rides with Sean Leckie at Blue Ridge Farms, and this week, she competed for a spot on the Junior team. She notably earned the win in the $7,500 Riderzon Open 1.40m Jumper Classic/NAJC Trial aboard Giggs.

What’s your favorite horse show memory?

Della: My favorite horse show memory at Blenheim was last September when I was awarded circuit champion of the 1.40m division on Laurenz 29.

What horses are you competing this week?

Della: I am riding three horses in the junior trials this week at Blenheim! Joey [Complete Luck] is a chestnut gelding, and I’ve had him for a year and a half. Joey is the goofiest horse and has such a fun personality. He is definitely one of my favorites to ride because he is always game and ready for anything.

I have had Yagudin for about 5 months. “Yoda” is definitely my favorite to jump because he has such a powerful jump and it feels like I’m flying. He has the sweetest personality, and he loves when you spend time with him. Lastly, I’m riding Giggs. I have only had Giggs for three months so I am still getting used to him. He is so fun to ride and has a super floaty jump. He’s pretty sassy in the barn, but other than that he’s super cool!

Who is your biggest influence?

Della: My biggest riding influence is my Aunt, Molly Talla. I have been so lucky to ride with her and watch her ride for most of my life, and I have always looked up to her in the ring. She gives me the best advice and guidance and always helps me with my horses.

What are your current riding goals?

Della: My current riding goals are to qualify for the Junior team for the North American Youth Championships and hopefully compete in Michigan!

Outside of riding, what do you like to do?

Della: Outside of riding, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, my family, and my dogs.

All photos by McCool Photography