Reynolds Martin ’15, the daughter and granddaughter of R-MWC alumnae, began riding at an early age.
When Anne “Reynolds” Martin ’15 began riding for Randolph College, she had an ambitious goal in mind: compete in a national competition.
As the daughter and granddaughter of Randolph- Macon Woman’s College graduates, Reynolds was determined to live up to the legacy of excellence that earlier alumnae had set. As a competitive rider, she challenged herself to excel.
(Left to right) Meaghan Hynes ’16, Chris Mitchell, Randolph’s equestrian coach, and Reynolds Martin ’15, celebrate their College history-making victories at the IHSA National Horse Show in May.
It took just three years, but Reynolds did more than make good on her goal. She surpassed it. At the National Horse Show in May, she became the 2014 national champion for her class, novice equitation on the flat. She is the first student-athlete in the history of the College to earn a national title.
“It was unbelievable,” Reynolds said. “I laughed. I cried a little bit. I was really excited that I was able to do that.”
“From the beginning, she was very focused on getting to nationals,” said Chris Mitchell, head equestrian coach. “For her to win it in that fashion was phenomenal.”
Reynolds has enjoyed the challenge and the rewards of working with horses for most of her life. “It teaches you a ton of responsibility. You have to learn skills to take care of your horse,” she said. “Through all of that, you create a really special relationship with your horse.”
As the daughter of Owen Murray Jaeger ’83 and granddaughter of Jane Reynolds Murray ’66, Reynolds heard stories about the College her entire life. Their experiences at R-MWC motivated her to tour Randolph when she was choosing a college. Randolph’s academic reputation and equestrian facilities ultimately made the final decision easy. She and her thoroughbred, Kelso, came to Randolph in 2011.
Reynolds and her roommate, Meaghan Hynes ’16, both qualified for the National Horse Show through rigorous competition in the 2013–2014 season. Meaghan also found success, taking third place for her class in the national contest.
Just a few minutes after cheering for her roommate, Reynolds rode into the ring with 15 others. As she followed the judges’ instructions, she knew the competition was stiff. “I felt like I was in the ring at nationals for an hour,” she said. “It feels long because you are using every ounce of your strength to look the best out there.”
Her victory was a thrill not only to Reynolds and her family, but to her entire team and her coach.
“I think it’s phenomenal that we’ve reached this point,” Chris said. “It shows the work ethic that the riders have. I’m really glad that they got rewarded for it.”
Reynolds hopes to qualify for the National Horse Show again. But next time, she wants to bring more teammates with her. “There is no reason we can’t be there and be one of the top teams that competes,” she said. “We are certainly capable and have the talent to succeed.”