Taylor Griffiths & Lady Like
Taylor Griffiths had never before competed at the USEF Talent Search Finals—East when she arrived there last October, but her inexperience did not play a factor once she entered the ring for what is widely known as the most rigorous of the “big equitation” finals.
Showing as a 14-year-old at the time, Griffiths impressed the judges so much that she moved up from 10th to make the Final Four, ultimately finishing third. This year, she’s hoping to make an even bigger mark on the finals and continue to climb the ranks in the junior jumper divisions. She's already set the tone for a successful indoor season by winning the Region 2 Maclay Championship in North Salem, NY, aboard Lauren Hough's Mac One III. That win safely qualified her for the ASPCA Maclay National Championship in Lexington, KY, in November.
Taylor & Mac One III win the Region 2 Maclay Championship at Old Salem Farm
Griffiths is the daughter of professional Jennifer Madden and the stepdaughter of trainer Frank Madden. Together, they represent Capital Hill, based out of JT Farm in South Salem, NY.
Griffiths is also the latest junior rider to be sponsored by Equiline. The poised, professional, and bright teen—she’s now 16 but currently shows as 15—caught up with Equiline for our latest “Get To Know…” feature.
Equiline America: What is life like for you right now?
Taylor Griffiths: We’ve been traveling a lot. I’ve been to Europe looking for horses, and I’ve been showing constantly and riding so many different horses. I’m also going to school online—I’ll be a senior in September—and I’m thinking about riding in college.
EA: Tell us about your horses.
TG: I’m lucky enough to have the ride on Mac One III through finals, who is for sale. I have a new sale horse from Europe that’s coming in soon. She can do the Junior Jumpers—her name is Lambruska Balia.
EA: What has been the biggest highlight for you so far in your riding career?
TG: Being third at the USEF Talent Search Finals—East last year was definitely a special moment. I didn’t think it was going to happen. It was my first year being there, so I was just hoping to have a decent time!
EA: What is your favorite Equiline product so far?
TG: I love Equiline. Everything is just so nice and comfortable. I’ve always liked the brand, and when I got to work with them, I was really excited.
I really love the breeches. I wear the Ash. I’m also riding in the American Jumper and the Marghe saddles, and I use the S1 Safety stirrups (pictured) and the Lorenzini stirrups. The saddles are very comfortable, and they’re so light; you feel like you’re really with the horse. I really like the S1 Safety Stirrups, especially the lateral sliding system, which really helps your foot stay in place. Plus, they slip with you if you feel yourself falling off; your foot won’t get caught.
EA: What is something people might not know about you?
TG: I skipped the eighth grade! I’m going to take a gap year after I graduate high school—I’m taking classes online with Palm Beach International Academy—so when I start college, I’ll actually be starting school with my own age group.
EA: What’s next for you? What goals do you have for yourself?
TG: After the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, MI, we go to Silver Oak in Massachusetts for the jumpers.
I would like to place at all the equitation finals. I’m not sure yet if I want to become a trainer or do something else, but I’m definitely going to keep riding!
Photos by The Book, LLC
Rapid Fire: Taylor Griffiths
Favorite Food: Peas! Peas and chicken nuggets are my go-to dinner!
Favorite Movie: I just saw Incredibles 2, and I really liked it!
Favorite Thing To Do On Your Day Off: Probably relax and get [non-horse related] things done!
What would you do if you didn't ride? I definitely think I'd be playing tennis. I take lessons, and my coaches want me to compete, but I really don't have time!