This month I’m pleased to introduce Show Season rider, Ms. Jamie Costanzo (or, as I call her, Hi-Mae), who is not only a fab fashionista and rider, but is also my cousin.
New(ish) to the amateur horse show community, by no means is Jamie new to the world of horses. In fact, some of my fondest memories growing up are of the two of us and our horses, ripping up trails, all the while laughing like wild animals.
I guess you could say it was in our genes to love horses. Just as we both grew up riding together, so did our moms; and they were both the ones who introduced us to this passion/obsession.
“My dad recently sent me a picture of me as a baby riding a horse with my mother. I grew up on the back of a horse! My mom also grew up riding horses; my whole family has always loved them and viewed them as part of the family,” says Jamie.
Jamie and I even showed as youths together for a couple of years with trainer, Kimberly VerHage. But then, for Jamie, life got busy, and she took a hiatus from the show world.
Although she continued to ride for pleasure at home and at the local barn by her house, it was not until 2013 when Jamie dove back into the show scene. That year Jamie became a ‘Lowe rider’ (aka, riding with trainer, Jim Lowe), and won the U.S. National Champion title in the H/A Country English Select class, with her horse Prince James SF (or as she calls him, Yamison). She followed 2013 with another amazing year in 2014, going Top Ten in her first ever US National’s amateur class.
As she prepares for the 2015 show season, get to know a bit more about Jamie in our Show Season exclusive –
Show Season: Describe your riding fashion style.
Jamie Costanzo: I am drawn to the more rich earthy tones, enhanced with a little added “bling” to make it stand out. When creating a new Show Season suit I always start with a brown or burgundy coat that has some sort of metallic expression. The gold and bronze tones always tend to catch my eye. I try to add a little personality in my outfits, while still maintaining an elegant polished look.
SS: What is your favorite head-to-toe riding outfit?
JC: The suit I designed with Mellissa last year at Region Two is probably my favorite. The coat is a rich chocolate brown with a little sheen to it. Underneath it we came up with a complimenting vest that has intricate winding sequins in champagne, copper, and bronze. The shirt I am most fond of with this outfit is made of a burgundy silk material. And the final touch is a tie, which compliments the mood I am in!
SS: Do you wear anything for good luck in the show ring?
JC: I do not have anything specific I wear for good luck while showing. Just having my family there with me is my good luck charm.
SS: What is one thing you never go in the ring without?
JC: My horse! Love my Yamison.
SS: How would you describe your non-horse show style?
JC: Very similar to my show attire. Lots of earthy tones… I am not terribly fond of bright colors, although, I do love turquoise and purple. I have too many Free People outfits, and my favorite pair of shoes are a pair of over the knee, worn-in brown boots that have the top lined in small metal studs. I actually bought them at Nationals two years ago, and now I never go anywhere without them!
SS: What has been your biggest accomplishment as a rider?
JC: Treating my animals with care and compassion. I love them like they are my children and will care for them until I can no longer. They make my life full, and I try to make their lives full and healthy as well. I cannot imagine my life without them!
SS: What are your riding goals for the future?
JC: Currently, I have an obsession with reigning horses. I may have to wait until after Veterinary School, but I think it will be my next equine “investment.” I wouldn’t mind having a horse I could be a bit less cautious with than I have to be with my show horses. I miss reckless trail riding with a nice, surefooted horse.
SS: Who has been the most influential in your riding career?
JC: There is no one person who has been influential in my riding. I would say my family as a whole is the foundation to my riding. When I go home to San Diego I ride at my parent’s house, or I ride at my aunt Lori and cousin Nicole’s house.
As for the horses, they have had too large of an influence in my life to name one relationship that has been the foundation of it all. However, it was my mother who put me on my first horse. And her and my dad rarely miss a show.