Named Best Adult Rider of 2017 by the Greater San Diego Hunter Jumper Association, Romi Skolnik is not one to be missed. Don’t worry – you likely won’t miss her and her painted mount, Hanky Panky, around the Southern California shows; not only is “Hank” an eye catching drink of water, but Romi stands out from the crowd both in and out of the saddle with her warm personality and effervescent positivity.
After a long and successful Junior career, Romi has effortlessly transitioned into Amateur life, rocking the medal, equitation, and hunter rings and racking up top honors like the aforementioned Best Adult Rider title. With a life full of athletics, adventure, and living life fully, Romi always manages to prioritize the first love of her life: horses.
We caught up with Romi and got the inside scoop on her favorites, best memories, and future goals in this edition of Amateur Spotlight.
Name: Romi Skolnik
Current divisions: Adult Equitation, Adult Amateur Hunters
Horses: Hank aka “Hanky Panky” is my main man! I am also leasing a great horse, Relativity, for the season.
Where do you reside, & where do you ride? I live in Solana Beach, California and ride at Newmarket in Del Mar. I’ve ridden with Pat and Gretchen at Newmarket for around 23 years!
What drives you to prioritize riding in your busy life? I look forward to going to the barn and seeing all of my “barn buddies” regularly, and to spend time with Hank. I love when he whinnies to me when I arrive in the morning!
Highlight of your year last season? It was such an honor to be named Best Adult Rider of 2017 by GSDHJA. Wow! So thrilling and humbling. Honestly it was such an unexpected highlight.
What are your goals this season? To have a much fun as possible, and to only dismount on purpose.
What have been some of your favorite horse shows to attend? I loved competing in the Big Eq finals as a Junior. Watching the International Jumping Derby in Newport, Rhode Island was a highlight.
What is your fondest memory from a horse show? OMG, I’ve been riding for so long that I have way too many standout memories, but one that comes to mind is going off course in the work-off after being called back in a HUGE medal class. Oops! Never did that again!
Tell us about your pre-show routine: I lay out my show clothes the night before, polish my boots, and make sure I’m stocked up on carrots for Hank.
Any lucky items? My unicorn C4 belt.
Your best advice for staying stress-free at shows? I haven’t figured this out yet! Please let me know when you do!
Best advice your trainer has given you? Use the entire 2 minutes in the show ring. That’s code for take a breath, relax, use those corners, and focus on pace and track.
How does riding enrich your life? Riding improves my life in so many ways! I have wonderful friends, a four legged best pal, and a reason to feel proud of myself. I’m super lucky to have a supportive family, too. My husband makes sure that I have plenty of time to ride so that I’m easy to live with!
What is the best part of the ammy community? Camaraderie, moral support, and you always have someone to hold your horse.
What makes your local show circuit so special? We are so lucky to have the GSDHJA as our local organization. It is the best, most supportive, and most fun show community ever. Awesome people, the best trainers, and amazing show locations.
Go-to post ride celebration treats? I’ve never met a vodka/lemonade, bag of gummy cherries, or cupcake that I didn’t like!
What’s an ideal weekend look like? Well, if I’m not here in San Diego or at a show, it would involve a drink with an umbrella on a chaise lounge in a Caribbean destination with my husband and son – or a big mountain with lots of snow!