Hannah Addington is the epitome of a go-getter. This 16-year-old puts most others her age (heck, even my age) to shame with the level of productivity she packs into her days.
Case in point: in addition to being an avid and active equestrian, Addington is taking college-level courses as a high school junior, is a budding photographer, volunteers within her community, is working toward earning a Congressional Gold Medal, and is the author of The Geek Equestrian, a blog that is on par with many professional (and money-making) blogs.
Her blog, which carries the tagline, “A Brainiac in Breeches Who Loves Food” explains it all. Addington's blog focuses mainly on three main topics – Equestrian, Math and Science and Food.
“Horses have been a huge part of my life, so that was a no-brainer. I started getting into the science fields more since my freshman year of high school, and I'm also a big superhero fan, as well as some of the “fandom” shows, so that became the “geek” part of the blog. Then, food is something I never seem to get enough of, like everyone my age, so those became my blog topics because they are what I am made of,” said Hannah.
Hannah's interest in writing and blogging came from her mother, who is also a blog writer. Her popular parenting blog, The Mom Spot, is where Hannah first found her stride as a writer, covering topics for her mom and traveling with her on business trips and to blogger events.
“I really wanted to write about my own interests, because the parenting topics weren't exactly my specialty,” Hannah joked, “so I started bouncing ideas off of my mom, and in August of this year I formally opened my blog.”
Topics Hannah has written about in her blog have included “Why I Ride” and “Riding in the Rolex Ring,” as well as the computer coding-themed “Math with Java Script,” which is part of a longer series she's working on about Java script.
With her interest in math and science, it's no wonder Hannah plans to pursue a degree in engineering once she officially embarks on her college career.
“My plan is to get a minor in computer science, major in mechanical engineering and afterward get an MBA. You've got to pay for horses somehow, right?” said Hannah, who began riding at age 8.
While she says her strongest discipline is dressage, in the past few years she has been getting increasingly involved with combined training with her off-track Thoroughbred, Gus (who raced as King Albert). Her experiences with Gus are what brought her to Lexington several weeks ago for the Retired Racehorse Project's Thoroughbred Makeover, where I learned of her impressive accomplishments and ambitions.
“Since my horse is an ex-racehorse, I thought it would be a good way to take a slight peek into what his past might have been like,” said Hannah, who was on-hand for the event, blogging and photographing throughout the weekend. It was the second event for retired racehorses that Hannah covered this year (the other being the New Vocations Thoroughbred show at the Kentucky Horse Park) “Thoroughbreds are a huge part of eventing, and I got Gus to learn the ropes of the discipline.”
As for her future, Hannah has plans – big plans – but as lofty as her goals might be, they are infused with a dose of realism.
“Right now I plan to use my engineering degree to either build my own business or get to the point that I can make riding my full time job. Someday I want to compete at Rolex and eventually the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics,” she said. “I would love to make a name for myself as a riding powerhouse and an overall good rider at the top levels.”
And as for that Congressional Gold Medal, which is one of the highest civilian awards in the United States, Hannah is working toward donating 4,000 books to schools in need of reading materials for students both in the classroom and at home.
Jen Roytz is a marketing, publicity and comprehensive communications specialist based in Lexington, Kentucky. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, her professional focus lies in the fields of equine, health care, corporate and non-profit marketing. She holds board affiliations with the Make a Wish Foundation, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Retired Racehorse Project, among others. While she currently has no plans to build an arc, she is the go-to food source for two dogs, two cats and two off-track Thoroughbreds.
Email Jen your story ideas at [email protected] or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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