November 16, 2001

Third Time's the Charm

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Third time’s the charm, or at least that is what equestrian captain Julie Canter hopes. The senior has been perhaps the most successful Cornell rider in the sports short varsity status finishing Reserve High Point Rider in the Region two years in a row. This season, however, she believes the results will be different.

“I don’t want to be second, I don’t want to be reserve again. I really don’t,” she assured.

“It was someone from St. Lawrence my sophomore year, and it was someone from Skidmore last year. And this year its not going to happen! This is the one.”

But Canter’s aspirations are not purely self-motivational as she acts as an ambassador to the Cornell equestrian team, heads the committee which organizes home shows at Oxley Equestrian Center, and is helping head coach Christopher Mitchell acclimating the 15 new members to life in the barn and on the hill.

Canter, who grew up in Poughkepsie, N.Y., had to convince her parents to let her ride, though. Having a long time love for horses, it was only after she and her older sister ended their tennis lessons that their mother signed them up for instruction.

“I begged my parents for years to let me ride. I begged them all the time,” she recalled. They didn’t know that this would become one of her passions.

“I started riding when I was eight or nine. then I started riding more competitively when I was 13 or 14.”

Her parents bought her three horses — two at a time as Canter began to show regularly. Her parents sold them when she left home, an event she bitterly recalls, but her family replaced them now that both her parents have taken up riding.

“I got my entire family started,” she boasted.

When it came time for her to look at colleges, she sought academically challenging schools, but having an equestrian team was a prerequisite for getting on her list.

“I wanted to go to a school that had an [equestrian team] and I knew that they had just turned varsity here,” Canter said. “I applied to all the top [equestrian] schools, but I was also coming for an education.”

The daughter of two Cornellians naturally fit in to the Cornell atmosphere. The transition in her riding career was a little more difficult.

“I was blown away,” she remembered. “You come in you know your horses, you know which buttons to push to make [the horse perform] well. Then you come [to college and your on these horses that aren’t your horses at all. They’re donated.”

Now she finds herself helping the many freshman make the same leap to the collegiate level.

Initially Canter had been an animal science major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Although, her major has changed, she intends to spend the rest of her life around her favorite animal.

“I started out pre-vet, but I decided to switch to landscape architecture. Because I decided that as much as I love horses, I don’t want to make them my job,” she explained. While treating horses is not the direction she has taken in life, Canter’s landscape architecture degree has an equine slant as she asserted: “I want to do horse farm design.”

As of now, Canter is concentrated on the season at hand. While she looks to make a run at High Point rider, she also hopes to captain the team to its first automatic bid to Zonal championships. Mostly, she is concerned with ensuring that the younger riders enjoy their time as much as she has.

“You want so much for these girls to have as good as an experience if not better experience than you did,” she said. “I’ve had a blast being on the team for the past four years — that’s just something you want to pass on to the people coming up.”

Archived article by Amanda Angel