Dr. Heather Houck (right) and Elite are presented with the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award by April Leonard. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)
Wellington, FL (November 18, 2014) — “If I get to ride, I’m happy,” smiles Dr. Heather Houck. “If you get to ride you have to be very grateful, because the alternative — not getting to ride — would be terrible!” Like all true horsemen and horsewomen, Houck cannot imagine life without horses. Her obvious joy to be a part of the dressage discipline inspired the popular footing and arena company Premier Equestrian to award Houck with the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award at the Gold Coast Fall Fling, presented by the Gold Coast Dressage Association, on November 8-9, 2014.
At the Gold Coast Fall Fling, Premier discovered that Dr. Houck shares its priority of treating horses and equestrians exceptionally well. “I think it is important to have a positive attitude in general with all riding,” Houck of Loxahatchee, Florida explains. “If you are grateful for being able to get on a horse every day, that comes through when you talk to the people who help you, and it shows in everything you do.” Premier awarded Houck for her exemplary attitude with a Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award ribbon and a copy of The Horse Angels, a novel by Premier Equestrian’s CEO Mark Neihart.
Houck was thrilled to win the award, which was not her only victory during the Fall Fling weekend. She and her five-year-old Dutch gelding Elite (Zapatero VDL x Laurentin) had a phenomenal ride in the USEF First Level Test 2 Open division. The pair scored 74.324 percent, winning the class by nearly ten points. Houck was proud of her young horse for how far he’s come since she imported him from England. “I got Elite when he was two. I saw him on a jumper video where they chased him in a field and he jumped right out of the field. I immediately said, ‘I want that horse!’ So I imported him — and he showed up here and was probably the ugliest horse I’ve ever seen in my life,” Houck laughs. “And now he’s beautiful! He’s such an interesting young horse — I love him. I think it’s important when developing a young horse to always be happy and calm. If you’re grateful to be riding, you feel happy and calm anyway.”
For Houck, a cheerful disposition is especially important because she must budget her time to as a professional competitor in the dressage ring and as a full-time dermatologist. “My career is fantastic!” Houck enthuses. She operates Palm Beach Skin Solutions with her business partner Stacey Macleod, as well as seeing patients as a dermatologist. “I’m excited,” says Houck. “We just came out with a new line of products that include anti-aging moisturizers, acne treatment products, and sunblocks — which are especially important because here in Florida we need them. The products are elegant and don’t block your pores, so you can really use them. They are all medical grade so they actually have very good active ingredients.”
In another display of sportsmanship, Houck was quick to thank everyone who helped make her success at the Gold Coast Fall Fling possible — including Premier Equestrian, the show staff, those who helped with the horses’ stalls, and her sponsor dac ® Direct Action Company.
Premier Equestrian is pleased to announce Dr. Houck as the newest winner of the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award. To learn more about Premier and its affordable and high-quality products, including dressage arenas, horse arena footing, horse jumps, barn equipment, and accessories, visit www.PremierEquestrian.com or call 800-611-6109.