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In 2020, Hope Gillaspie signed a full tuition scholarship with Saint Mary of the Woods. Gillaspie had been taking lessons at St. Mary’s since the age of five.
“I always loved going to Saint Mary’s and just walking through the barns,” Gillaspie said. “I really had my goal set for St. Marys.” In addition to riding for the college, Hope majored in Equine Science.
During her time riding in the summer, Gillaspie along with her family developed a close relationship with Sara Schultz, Assistant Professor of Equine Sciences.
Schultz gave Hope lessons at young age and saw her progress as something special.
Her hard work and dedication to Equines was something that Schultz kept in her mind for Hope’s future.
Hope’s understanding of the hard work and patience that this major takes is rare, but Schultz had no doubt that Gillaspie would be able to achieve anything she set her mind to.
Now, in March 2022, Hope’s Western Team traveled to Blackhawk College East Campus in Kewanee, Illinois to compete at the IHSA Semi-Finals.
With the incredible rides from the team, they were able to pull through as Reserve High Point Team.
This earned them a spot at Nationals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in May. Hope finished fourth in her Level 1 category.