For Eliza Simpkins, Appaloosas are a family affair. Eliza’s mother became involved with Appaloosas when she was a teenager and has stayed part of the family. Naturally, she introduced Eliza to Appaloosa horses at an early age. Eliza was riding with her mom as early as she can possibly remember.
Eliza entered the show pen for the first time at the age of 3 in Lead Line, showing her mother’s mare Lil’ Zip-O-Paradise. She continued riding and showing that great mare for 13 years. Eliza has continued on to show in everything from Lead Line to Non-Pro. As soon as she could, she began riding in as many events as possible. Her family raises Appaloosa Pleasure horses and she started to work with the young horses when she was young herself. She has always competed as an all-around exhibitor.
As a youth exhibitor, Eliza was a very active competitor. She was hauling three horses to shows, an English horse, western horse and a games horse. At one point, they were all red mares. She enjoyed the difficulty of preparing three horses to be shown at the same show as well as the fun she and her fellow exhibitors would have at the horse shows.
As a Non-Pro exhibitor, Eliza has managed to continue to show while completing college and attending Veterinary school. Coming from a family that not only shows but also breeds has prepared Eliza for her future career in veterinary medicine. Eliza recently finished her third year of veterinary school and completed her “White Coat” ceremony which is symbolic of her transition from a student to a student Doctor. She will graduate in May of 2022 with her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Eliza is extremely grateful to her parents who have always supported her and cheered her on. Growing up showing Appaloosas has also given her a huge support system outside of her family, that are always encouraging her and supporting her through her educational career.
The future Dr. Simpkins plans to work in Equine and Bovine medicine after her graduation. She wants to give back to the people and things that helped her achieve her success. In addition to her family and her Appaloosa family, Eliza has received a great deal of support from her agricultural community in Michigan. Growing up on a farm and involved with agriculture provided hands on opportunities to learn about responsibility as well as what it takes to make goals and to achieve them.
We offer sincere congratulations to (soon to be) Dr. Simpkins and look forward to watching her future success both as a Veterinarian as well as an Appaloosa competitor. She serves as an inspiration to us all and clear proof of the positive influence growing up in a horse family has on one’s future.