aboutariel 1
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"One only needs to spend a few minutes with Ariel to get a sense of her integrity and class as a person, focus and determination as an athlete, and compassion and "feel" as a horsewoman. She is an absolute standout in all the ways it takes to be a successful elite athlete. It's rewarding to be part of her top-class program and to work with such a great group of horses."

- Bobby Costello, Former US Eventing team member

Ariel grew up around horses and her mother put her on a horse before she could walk. Her family moved to a farm in New Hampshire when she was just a couple years old and she was lucky to be able to care for and ride horses at home. After riding her pony at local hunter/jumper shows, Ariel tried eventing and quickly developed a passion for the sport. She grew up riding at Hitching Post Farm in Vermont where she was fortunate to gain mileage through the preliminary/one-star level and competed at the 2004 North American Young Riders’ Championships. Ariel then went to work for Sue Berrill and brought along her homebred gelding, Practically Perfect. That pair competed through the intermediate level while Ariel began training his half- sister LBF Oleagh’s Image “Leah”, purchased as a weanling by Ariel’s mother, Carol Rittenhouse.

Ariel continued to ride and compete while attending the University of Vermont, focusing on bringing “Leah” along through the levels. Upon graduation, she began a laboratory research job but soon decided to commit to riding and competing full-time in order to achieve her upper-level eventing goals. Shortly after moving to Southern Pines, NC in the winter of 2012, she started working for Annie Eldridge. Along with competing two of her own horses, Ariel was fortunate to train and compete several of Annie’s horses. After winning several intermediate and two-star events and being named to the 2014 USEF Under 25 Developing Riders List, Ariel and Leah moved up to Advanced in the spring of 2015, winning the Carolina International Horse Trials.

In the summer of 2014, Ariel traveled to Ireland in search of a couple young horses and there she found Leamore Master Plan. Annie purchased “Simon” as a 5 year old and Ariel has brought him along through the levels. They finished the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky CCI5*-L in 12th place, with her most recent 5* finish at Burghley Horse Trials in Stamford, UK this past September, finishing in the top ten, and the highest placed Burghley first timer.

Beyond competing successfully at the top level of Eventing, Ariel also makes time to ensure her horses also compete in straight show jumping and dressage. She believes that ensuring a well rounded education in the various disciplines allows her horses to fine tune their skills and develop them as world class athletes. She regularly show jumps Leamore Master Plan at the 1.40 level, and hopes to take a crack at competing in a Grand Prix Jumper class this year.

"Ariel’s talents as a rider, trainer and horsewoman were evident to me immediately. But it was her compassion and kindness that made her so special to me."

- Annie Eldridge, Setters' Run Farm

She and Annie also enjoy starting horses’ competition careers as youngsters and producing them through the levels. Ariel believes this is critical in forming long-lasting and trusting partnerships with her horses. This can be seen with her incredibly successful partnership with Leamore Master Plan, whom she has had since a five year old, producing him through the top level of sport. She tailors her training programs to the horses’ individual needs. Ariel enjoys figuring out what each horse enjoys, and how to get the most out of them because they are happy and educated in their work. She spends a lot of time with her horses in the barn, and finds this just as important as the training in forming relationships with her horses. It is important to Ariel that the horses are cared for in a positive environment, and Ariel and her dedicated team at Setter's Run Farm does everything they can to ensure all horses are happy and healthy, so they can perform their best.

Currently, Ariel has an exciting string of promising youngsters, thanks to wonderful owner Annie Eldridge. Together they enjoy developing young horses through to the top levels. With a talented string of horses and a supportive group of people behind her, Ariel looks forward to the future of producing the horses to the top level, and being able to represent the United States in future competitions.

Career Highlights:

2020 USEF Developing Potential Training List
2019 10th place and highest ranked rookie at the CCI5*-L Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
2019 12th place CCI5*-L Land Rover Kentucky
2019 Millstreet, Ireland CCI4*-S
2019 Jacqueline B Mars International Grant Recipient
2019 Developing Potential Training List
2019 USEF/USET Foundation North American Futures Team Challenge; member of Erik Duvander’s winning team at Carolina International CCI4*-S
2014 USEF Under 25 Developing Riders List
2004 Area 1 Team for NAYRC