Mavis Spencer Makes The Transition From Groom To Show Jumping Ring

Mavis Spencer was just five years old when she declared that she would someday make horses her profession. As she grew up, she realized that she would need a way to support her aspirations financially, so Spencer signed on as a groom for top-ranked American show jumper Kent Farrington. Now, just eight years later, the 25-year-old California native is a world-class rider who holds her own in the Grand Prix ring while managing the sport horse sales for Neil Jones Equestrian as well as her own Gallop Apace LLC.

Spencer was given the chance to get back in the saddle in 2014 when she took over for Neil Jones Equestrian’s top rider, who sustained an injury. A few weeks later, she began to show the sale horses, and a few months later she was taking a group of horses to Wellington for the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival season.

The temporary riding arrangement evolved into a permanent one. Quickly rising through the ranks, Spencer competed and ribboned in her first Grand Prix events in 2016 and jumped her first World Cup qualifier later that year. She burst into the limelight this year during her first Saturday Night Lights Grand Prix at WEF, jumping a clear round and placing eighth in the $86,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix with her own 11-year-old Westfalian Cornetiero.

Spencer believes that much of her success is due to her hands-on approach and her attentiveness to the physical health and fitness of her horses — a direct result of the unique experience she accumulated by starting out as a groom.

“I like to be very involved with all of the horses, because for me, just getting to work with each of the horses every day really allows me to notice if one is a little more sore one day to the next,” she said. “It helps me as a rider to know how a horse feels that day and how I might help get them back to performing their best, and that’s where TheraPlate becomes a big part of my program.”

To keep all 20 of the horses she is currently training in peak condition, Spencer relies on TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms. Regular use of the TheraPlate offers a wealth of physical benefits for high-performance show jumpers, countering the effects of chronic inflammation, speeding healing, and aiding in the prevention of injury. Spencer was introduced to the TheraPlate in 2011 while working for Farrington. She made arrangements to obtain a demo TheraPlate for Neil Jones Equestrian. On the heels of her successful 2017 winter season, TheraPlate invited Spencer to its team of elite riders who share her enthusiasm by naming her an official TheraPlate brand ambassador.

Since making TheraPlate part of her team’s daily routine, Spencer has noticed a significant difference in the health and happiness of her horses.

“There are so many specific issues that you can target and treat with the TheraPlate,” she said. “I have the TheraPlate app on my phone that I can go through and set up a program that is tailored specifically to each horse.”

Spencer’s core group of horses use the TheraPlate multiple times a day, and she also uses it for her sales horses. “We ask so much of these horses, it’s good to help keep them happy and comfortable,” she explained.

She has especially noticed a difference in Cornetiero, a horse that she has been working with for the past three years. “Cornetiero is not a necessarily a body-sore horse, but because he jumps so hard, he is prone to soreness when we are showing a lot,” Spencer said. “Using the TheraPlate has not only helped to prevent this, it has helped his overall demeanor — he is a lot happier and more comfortable because of it, so his personality has improved.”

Neil Jones Equestrian operates out of Wellington from November through April, and Spencer and her team are currently making plans to travel to Kentucky and California for the spring, summer and fall show circuits.

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ABOVE: Mavis Spencer is a TheraPlate brand ambassador.