Rider Profile: Gavin Moylan

“I’ve been in love with riding since I was 12 years old,” says Gavin Moylan, who last Sunday won the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix in Culpeper. Moylan won all weekend, also taking home the blue in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. “I’ve competed [at Culpeper] more than any venue in my professional career and it’s close to home. To win both of those classes this weekend was great,” he enthuses.

 

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Moylan first became involved with horses at age 12 , when he became involved with his local 4H Club. “That was my first taste of horses.” His parents were very supportive of his interest in riding. His father always rode horses, although he didn’t show. Immediately after high school Moylan took jobs as a working student and as a groom, working his way upwards in the horse industry. He started with young horses and served as an exercise rider on a racetrack. “I didn’t have an opportunity to horseshow,” he says.

Moylan didn’t start showing professionally until he was 25 years old. “I was a very late bloomer. I did not have a junior career,” he says. While he regrets not having an opportunity earlier in life to be involved in professional showjumping, he says that his multitude of experiences around horses didn’t hurt in his development as a horseman. Moylan believes that a good horseman knows horses “from basics all the way through” – they must be a skilled groom, barn manager, have veterinary knowledge, know how to identify a well-shod horse –  “A broad range of knowledge is so important,” he says. “You have to be able to make the best decisions possible for each horse.”

 

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Now, Moylan is a professional showjumper who uses his knowledge of horses both inside and outside the ring. In business, he buys and sells horses, travelling frequently to Europe to try potential mounts. “Selecting horses is a difficult process,” he says, but he values the same skillset while looking at horses that he does in the saddle. His horse sense is a vital part of the success of his business, he says – “That knowledge really is key.”

Moylan lives near Culpepper with his family. He has three sons, Josh, Luke, and Zack, and he and his wife Alden recently welcomed a baby girl into their family. “I have a really great wife,” he says fondly. While the rest of his family hasn’t caught what Moylan calls “the riding bug” quite yet, his daughter has been to five horseshows in the mere seven weeks of her life – he finds it likely that she, too, will grow up with horses on the brain.

 

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In his spare time, Moylan likes to spend time with his family. He makes time for it, whether it is taking his sons swimming or attending church on Sunday. He also enjoys golfing – “I’m terrible but it’s really fun,” he says with a laugh. In the saddle, however, Moylan has been all business and his winning streak last weekend in Culpeper seems like it’s just getting started.