Erika started riding in 1986 at the age of 10. With the guidance of her trainers Yves & Christine Sauvignon she started her ride to the top. By the age of 14 she was already competing at the international level and took home the Bronze medal CCI*** at the 1992 NAYRC (Junior Olympics) in Bromont, Canada on her 7 year old mount Zanzibar. She has trained most of her horses from scratch; taking 4 of them up to the international levels.
Erika has been chosen on two separate occasions to participate in the Developing Rider program; the first time being in 2002. This program is for future US team hopefuls. There she was able to train with world renowned riders, Captain Mark Philips and 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor. Over the years she has also been fortunate enough to work with Ian Stark (4 x Badminton CCI**** winner), French Olympic team member Jacques Duley, Leslie Law, Phillip Dutton, & members of the Spanish Riding school. With this experience, Erika is able to bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to West Michigan.
While living on the West Coast, Erika competed at the advanced level, and now is winning events in the Midwest.
Not only has Erika excelled on the eventing circuit, she has been successful on the dressage circuit as well. In 1994, on her Young Rider mount, Zanzibar, she qualified for the California 4th level dressage championships. In 2009 she earned the USDF Bronze medal and in 2015 earned her USDF Silver medal on her old eventing 4* TB. She feels that dressage is the foundation for all riding and promotes this in her training. Erika says, “Dressage teaches balance and harmony of horse and rider; no matter what discipline you ride, dressage can improve it.”
Even though she has been competing at the highest levels of eventing and dressage for over a decade, she still finds joy in teaching others. She wants her students to have fun and create fulfilling relationships with their horses. She has a very calm demeanor paired with an enthusiastic attitude. Erika is always willing to take the time to show riders what they need to know. She wants riders to understand why they are doing what they are doing.
Currently, Erika is continuing her pursuit to become a USET member and has been chosen, for the Developing Rider program. Keep checking back on her progress.
1989 Area VI Novice Champion – Zanzibar
1990 Area VI Training Level Champion – Zanzibar
1991 Area VI Young Rider Preliminary Champion – Zanzibar
1992 Bronze Medalist NAYRC – Zanzibar
1994 California Dressage Champion 4th Level – Zanzibar
1995 Area VI Novice Champion – Splendid Outcast
1996 Zone 8 Training Level Champion – Splendid Outcast
1998 Area VI Preliminary Champion – Splendid Outcast
Western DeBroke Champion – Splendid Outcast
1999 Area VI Intermediate Champion – Splendid Outcast
Area VI Leading Rider of the Year
2002 Chosen for the Developing Rider program & long list rider
Competed at the Fox Hall Cup CCI4*; Georgia
2003 Novice wins with Under the Influence
2004 Area VI Training Level Champion – Under the Influence
2007 Area VIII Prelim Reserve Champion – Under the Influence
2008 Area VIII Rider of the Year 5th place
Area VIII OI Reserve Champion Horse and Rider – Under the Influence
TEAM OI Horse and Rider of the Year – Under the Influence
TEAM Novice Reserve Champion – Crimson Tide
TEAM Horse of the Year – Under the Influence
2009 Area VIII Advanced Rider of the Year 3rd place
2009 Dressage 3rd Level Champion DSBB – Under the Influence
2009 Chosen for the Developing Rider program
USDF Bronze Medalist
2011 Area VIII OI Rider of the Year 3rd place
2011 Area VIII OI Horse of the Year 2nd place – Notelo de Rox
2011 Area VIII Prelim Reserve Champion Horse and Rider – Crimson Tide
2011 USEA Blue Ribbon Award (1st-3rd at 3 Prelim shows) – Crimson Tide
2012 USEA Blue Ribbon Award (1st-3rd at 3 Prelim Shows)- Crimson Tide
2012 1st Place Rocking Horse Preliminary- Crimson Tide
2012 Reserve Champion Great Dayton Preliminary- Crimson Tide 2014 Qualified for the USDF Championships at 4th level 2015 USDF Silver Medalist qualifying for Championships at PSG level 2015 USEA Novice Champion on Kaloo