Eric Antman, a William Woods University equestrian student, has been named Junior Exhibitor of the Year by Horse World magazine. He was selected by his peers and the readers of the magazine.
A freshman from San Diego, Calif., Antman has been riding with Anne Speck for 12 years, under the banner of Rancho del Mar.
During the 2004 show season, he showed People’s Choice Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle Horse of the Year, Dreammaster Irish Emperor. He also showed Junior Classic Pleasure Saddle Horse of the Year, On the Move.
Antman won the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle World Championship in 2004. He also won the Classic Pleasure Junior Horse Finals. Previously, he had collected wins in many divisions, including the 2003 Classic Saddle Seat Equitation World Championship.
While he enjoys winning ribbons, he says the memories outside the show ring are equally important.
“I can’t remember a single time at the barn or at a show where I was unhappy,” he said. “I owe all those memories to being surrounded by friends and family who all have something in common—the passion and love of horses.”
Antman is majoring in equestrian science with a concentration in saddle seat. Although this is his first year at William Woods, he already has established post-graduation goals.
“I plan to return home to San Diego and open my training and lesson barn,” he said. “I hope to have a barn full of competitive show horses and amateur riders as well as equitation students.”
At William Woods, Antman is studying with Gayle Lampe, professor of equestrian science, who earlier this month was in San Diego, where she said everyone asked about him.
“I think he is absolutely California’s favorite son and everyone, both Morgan and Saddlebred people, are all wishing him the best and hoping he has a wonderful career training horses once he graduates from William Woods.”
She went on to say, “He’s been a delight to have as a student. We’ve waited a long time for him because he has talked about coming here for a quite a while, and we’re thrilled to have him here at William Woods University.”