Sloane Coles C’11

The Grand Prix equestrian and All-Landmark Conference lacrosse player on show jumping, falling off her horse and keeping it real.

Coles, a native of The Plains, Va., is majoring in sociology.

By Alex Langlois

Introduce me to the sport. I do show jumping, which is what you see sometimes on TV. My parents were both professional riders, so that’s how I got into it. Today I compete at the Grand Prix level. I’m a professional, so I only compete against professionals.

Are you familiar with Michael Bloomberg’s daughter, a fellow equestrian? Georgina is one of my good friends.

Show jumping looks incredibly dangerous. You have to trust your horse. It’s just getting in the ring, getting the experience. And I’ve been lucky and gotten that experience. I want to compete at the highest level, and I want to show in Europe. It’s amazing competing against all the best riders in the world.

Ever had a nasty fall? When I was little I got my foot [caught in] the reins. I fell off, and the pony took off and went through all these jumps and fences, and I was dragging behind. I looked like a rag doll. I had two scars on my arm, and I tore ligaments in my foot, but I didn’t break anything.

What’s your schedule like? I fly out every Wednesday night to Wellington, Fla., near West Palm Beach. It’s the equestrian capital of the world.

So you get in Wednesday and compete Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday? Yeah. I fly back either Sunday night or early Monday morning.

How do you take classes? I take a couple seminars that only meet once a week, and then my other class meets Monday and Wednesday.

And you squeeze in lacrosse. When I came to Drew, I told Kim [head lacrosse coach Kim Christos] I wasn’t going to play. Kim sat down with me and told me we could work it out. Somehow we did, and I’m glad we did because it’s been a great experience being on the team here.

Are you looking forward to graduating in 2011? The horse-show world is such a different place. I’ve always used school as kind of an outlet, and I think I’m going to miss that.

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