The Equiery is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Sponseller Webster to its team as associate publisher. As associate publisher, Jennifer will handle new client advertising, will manage social media and the hunter/jumper blog on equiery.com. In her first few weeks, Jennifer spearheaded the makeover of The Equiery’s Facebook presence (friend us on www.facebook.com/equiery).
Jennifer has extensive experience as a top advertising sales executive in regional publications and advertising. She began her career with Chesapeake Life, but when horseman and former New Market neighbor Ross Peddicord founded Maryland Life in 2004, Jennifer immediately signed on.
Jennifer is also a lifelong horsewoman, from a family of lifelong horsemen. She grew up foxhunting and showing, dabbling in Pony Club and earning her C-1 before deciding to dedicate herself to being (in her words) a “hunter princess,” showing with a wide variety of Maryland trainers, including but not limited to Carolyn Krome, JoAnn Robertson and Streett Moore. Jennifer is a 1988 graduate of the McDonogh School, where she was a four-year member of the Varsity Riding Team.
In 1987, Jennifer went to work for eventer Packy McGaughan, an old family friend. Packy and Tanzer had just finished second at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and had earned a spot on the 1987 Pan American Games team. Packy needed a groom to take to the Pan Am Games, and Jennifer needed his help in return. Jennifer had a brand new junior hunter horse who was honest, brave, and had some style, but who was, as she puts it, “your typical stiff and rigid ’80s hunter which lacked any flatwork education at all, and it was evident when he performed. And I was the typical ’80s hunter rider, who lacked this, as well. Packy found the holes in both my horse’s and my own programs and zeroed in on them in true Jack LeGoff style. It was the most painful, terrifying, and rewarding summer of my then 17 years. In May, I was a slightly pudgy but very determined, half-decent riding kid with a strictly hunter background, and by Labor Day, I was a lithe, educated young horsewoman, with a horse who could now be called an athlete. In addition, Packy and Tanzer won the individual bronze and were part of the gold medal team at the Games.”
While working for Packy, Jennifer and her horse got to work with five-time Olympian, two-time Olympic Silver Medalist Anne Kursinski, plus Danny Robertshaw, and Tom Wright.
Unfortunately, the Olympics were not in the cards for Packy and Tanzer. Packy went to law school and Jennifer went to college under the strict parental orders to hang up her tack, put down her copy of the Maryland Horse, and pick up some school books. This lasted about four weeks before she secretly placed a “Position Wanted” ad in The Chronicle of the Horse, which landed her a job at Lee and Neil Vosters’ Randalia Farm in Chesapeake City. Explains Jennifer, “It was here that I learned in short order that exercising fire-breathing three-year-olds along the banks of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on a windy November morning while ponying a wild-eyed two-year-old who spent more time on two legs than four was not something I was cracked up to do. I was never so scared in my life!”
Jennifer’s next job was at Charles and Cynthia McGinnes’ Thornmar Farm in Chestertown. “This was not a riding job and I haven’t mucked as many stalls since as I mucked in that year, but I learned volumes about breeding winning Thoroughbreds and about sales prep for yearlings and two-year-olds, and best of all I got to occasionally care for and enjoy the company of the four-legged gentleman of all time, the great stallion Horatius.”
In 1992, Jennifer graduated from Washington College with a BA degree and began her professional career, quickly finding a niche in regional publishing and advertising sales. As an adult, her riding career in the show hunters has primarily been spent south of the state line with Tony Workman at Winter Hill Farm in Purcellville, VA. She eventually migrated back to foxhunting, and today is one of the Joint-Masters of her childhood pack, New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds.
Today, Jennifer and her husband, Chauncey, have one toddler son (Thomas) and one very spoiled Labrador retriever (Clementine). Her current two horses were both bred by her family, include a Warmblood cross mare called Avenue, who shows and occasionally hunts, and IdleHour Patriot, a Cleveland Bay sporthorse gelding who will start his hunting career in the fall. After Ross left Maryland Life to become the executive director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, Jennifer too moved on. After a brief respite, Jennifer took the opportunity to merge her vocation with her avocation by joining The Equiery. In her new position as associate publisher, Jennifer will be able to combine her customer service skills in advertising with her passion for content about all things horses and all things Maryland. Jennifer can be reached at 410-489-7826 x106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1990, The Equiery has been Maryland’s source for horse information, the only print and digital publication by, for and about Maryland horses and Maryland horse people. For more information, please visit www.equiery.com.