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Lily Gillespie (Equine)

Age: 16
School: The Community School
Siblings: Older sister, Emily, younger brother, Thomas
Pets: Quarterhorse, Wellington, and two border terriers, Macy and Mackay
Styles: Hunter/Jumper


From the Old West wagon days to being home to America’s most beloved dressage horse, Brentina, of Hailey’s River Grove Farm, the Wood River Valley has a long and distinguished history in equestrian endeavors. It’s a tradition proudly being carried on by local riders like Lily Gillespie. Gillespie, who lives north of Ketchum, is considered to be one of the best young hunter/jumper equestrians in Idaho.


How long have you been riding horses?

Since second grade. My older sister was riding so I asked if I could ride, too.


What are your greatest achievements so far?

I’m the Idaho Hunter Jumper Association state champion in 2’6” jumpers and reserve champion in 2’9” jumpers.


What horse do you ride for competitions?

I always ride Wellington. He’s a seven-year-old quarterhorse trained by Lorraine Wilcox.


Where do you usually ride?

The Lucky 13 Ranch in Hailey and I love to ride outdoors whenever I can.


Is horseback riding your passion?

I love riding in general. If I don’t jump for like a week I get antsy and bored. (Life) just isn’t as exciting. I enjoy competing, too.

Do you have any favorite riders?

Top level riders like Beezie Maddon.


Any tips for young or new riders?

Be patient.


What’s your favorite flavor ice cream?

Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie frozen yogurt.


Who is your hero?

My older sister.


What’s your favorite “kids” food?

Mac and cheese, especially at The Cornerstone in Ketchum.


What’s your motto?

Be myself. Be happy. Go with the flow.


Do you participate in any other sports?

I dance with the Sun Valley Ballet School.


Favorite movie?

“Black Beauty” and “Center Stage.”


Favorite book?

The Hunger Games and The Glass Castle.


Favorite musician?

Adele, Kelly Clarkson.


Place you’d most like to visit?

Italy and Argentina.




Sun Valley Magazine encourages its readers to post thoughtful and respectful comments on all of our online stories. Your comments may be edited for length and language.

Old to new | New to old
May 17, 2012 03:24 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

First of all, you cannot compare a girl who won a low-level competition in Idaho, to Debbie McDonald. Debbie McDonald is an Olympic medal winner, this girl rides horses. Good for her.

Secondly, if anyone is carrying on Debbie McDonald's equestrian legacy, it's Adrienne Lyle, Debbie's apprentice, assistant trainer, oh yeah and AN OLYMPIC HOPEFUL. Maybe you guys should do an article about her.

Thirdly, Q&A format? Really? This is journalism at its worst.

This has been flagged
May 18, 2012 08:58 am
 Posted by  Mac

Thank you for taking the time to respond anonymously.
In response to your feedback:
Debbie McDonald is never mentioned in the article. Her horse, or rather E. Parry Thomas's horse, is referenced as the height of the wide ranging local equestrian history.

Adrienne Lyle is certainly a gifted rider, but this is a magazine about kids and families. Lyle is in her mid-twenties and, as far as we can tell, doesn't have a child so she wasn't in the target demographics for this issue.

Finally, the Q and A format for the profiles was used to match the quick, easy reading design of this guide-style publication. Sorry you don't agree with our journalistic practices. Luckily for us, you obviously don't serve as a judge for any national or regional journalism contests, otherwise we wouldn't have taken home so many first place awards this year.
Thanks for reading,

May 21, 2012 06:24 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Wow, such a rude reaction to what is clearly an effort to recognize our youth in their sport of choice. Something that no doubt, gives this girl a great deal of pleasure. This young lady actually seems to be well rounded and practices other sports. I wold be surprised if she would offer such an inappropriate response to another. The first readers response is such an insult to what we typically hold so dear in our valley. Encouragement and support.

I would think that winning an award, no matter the level, should be cherished as a sign of dedication. I hope that Lily does not allow such a narrow minded reaction (from someone who is probably jealous) to interfere with her rise in life.

To Lily: Stick to your motto:

Be yourself. Be happy. Go with the flow. Might I add, comments like the first reader are almost always a reflection of some sort of lack of self worth. Too bad they couldn't just be thrilled for you.

As to the comparison to an olympian...might I suggest slowing down to actually read what was written before you make a jerk of yourself.

May 22, 2012 03:12 pm
 Posted by  Chicks in Charge

Lily is an amazing girl and I give kudos to Sun Valley Magazine's new kids magazine for featuring such a young and diverse group of kids, teachers and leaders in our valley. Thank you for much needed and welcome publication for the youth and parents alike. The first comment is so appalling, SERIOUSLY picking on a 16 year old girl who is being celebrated within her community. As a long time reader of Sun Valley Magazine and NOW 360 I'm not sure the first commenter is really your audience anyway. Keep up the great work to the staff at SVM & to Lily, ride high!

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