Ambassador: ALI CALKINS
What does being a Kerrits Ambassador mean to you?
As a professional that rides, teaches, competes, and cares for horses, I am always looking for products that can keep up with my day to day activities. Some products wear out quickly, are uncomfortable, or unflattering. I have been wearing Kerrits clothing for at least ten years, and have never been unsatisfied with the fit, comfort, or durability of the clothing Kerrits offers. I feel that when a company provides a product or service, there is no better advertisement than word of mouth. Being a professional in the equestrian industry means that people are looking up to you for guidance and advice, even down to the clothing that you wear. To me, being a Kerrits Ambassador would be a great way for me to continue to spread the word on a great product.
What are your passions as a rider and ambassador?
I pride myself in honesty and hard work. I have many short and long term goals I am striving for as a professional and will continue to do what it takes to achieve them.
Unlike a lot of professionals, I enjoy training and competing in several disciplines; Dressage, Hunters, Jumpers, and Eventing. I have trained my own competition horses and also show horses owned by my clients. I am very passionate about the development of a horse and the training process. I enjoy the stories behind the victories along with the victories themselves. Take for example my current Dressage horse, I See Stars, also known around the barn as "Emma." I began training Emma before she belonged to me. She was unfortunately a mismatch for her rider at the time, and I helped the family make the difficult decision to sell her. I bought her in 2011 with the intention of training her to sell again, but discovered her talent and big work ethic, and decided we were a great team. Emma and I went on to compete in Eventing and Dressage shows, and then began working on my scores for my United States Dressage Federation Bronze Medal. By the end of 2014 we had completed all six scores and we are currently schooling Fourth Level Dressage, to begin working on scores for a USDF Silver Medal.
The story behind an accomplishment is what I have a true passion for. Kerrits has a great story behind it. Starting as a very small product, not even related to horses in the beginning, then branching into the Equestrian world, and growing in leaps and bounds from there. I would proudly be an Ambassador for a company that started as such a small "seed" and has blossomed to worldwide connections because I admire that kind of business.
What is your connection to Kerrits?
I am a small business owner always working to become a better rider, teacher, and horsewoman. I appreciate and admire others who are doing the same. Since I have been wearing Kerrits clothing for over ten years, I looked into the story behind them and I was intrigued.
I can relate to the story of starting small, without the big finances to back up a passion, and then with hard work and dedication, blossoming into something or someone bigger, more respected and known in a community. Every year of small successes is a stepping stone toward bigger successes, no matter how long it takes to get there. Every year I have been in business I have moved up, become more accomplished, and it is my goal to continue this. As a Kerrits Ambassador I can represent a company that has done the same and made it to the top, as all professionals should strive to accomplish.