IMG_1888Copper Meadows June, copper meadows. Photograph byIMG_1887shannon brinkman






Gina Miles

Three Day Event Rider

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” Vince Lombardi

At the age of 10, Gina Miles attended the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the dream of going to the Olympics to compete in Three-Day Eventing was born. In 2008, Gina won the Olympic individual silver medal in Equestrian Three-Day Eventing with her partner of 9 years, McKinlaigh. This single milestone in Gina’s life speaks to her love of horses and the sport, her will and tenacity to envision and achieve far reaching goals, and her passion as an athlete to compete at highest levels of equestrian sport.

Accomplishments and career highlights Gina has achieved include:

* 2008 Olympic Individual Silver Medal in Eventing, Beijing Olympics
* 2008 Chronicle of the Horse Overall and Eventing Horsemen of the Year 2007  *Pan American Team Gold and Individual Bronze, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2007 & *2008 USEA Advanced Horse of the Year* 2006 USET Fall Champion
* 2006 USEA Gold Cup Champion
* 2003 Bronze Medal World Cup Final, Pau, France

Speaking Engagements:

*2003 Keynote speaker, United States Pony Club Annual Meeting, Sacramento, Ca

* 2010 Keynote speaker, United States Pony Club Annual Meeting, Houston TX
* Keynote speaker, Area V United States Eventing Association Annual Meeting
* Guest speaker: San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, Atascadero Horsemen’s Association, Templeton Rotary Club, San Luis Obispo Cattlewomans Association, CA Young Riders
* USEF Commentary for Online Programming of Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event Championships
* USEF Sponsor Liaison for Rolex and Land Rover
* Ariat
* Professional’s Choice
* Nutrena
* Platinum Performance
* Devoucoux Saddlery
* Premier Equestrian. The Arena Company
* IceHorse
* MDC Stirrups
* Bex Sunglasses
* Revitavet
About Gina Winning the Individual Silver Medal in Eventing at the 2008 Olympic Games with her longtime partner, McKinlaigh has been the highlight of Gina Miles career to date. Gina and McKinlaigh enjoyed a 10 year partnership that started when McKinlaigh was 5 and took them to numerous state and national championships, Rolex Kentucky 5 times, Badminton, Burghley, Gold and Bronze Medals at the Pan American Games, Bronze at the World Cup Final, World Equestrian Games and culminating in the Olympics. Equestrian Eventing has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1912 and is one of the few sports where woman and men compete as equals. Gina’s Individual Olympic medal is one of 12 that have been won by U.S. riders in the history of Eventing in the Olympics and the only Eventing medal won by a rider from California.

What is lesser known about Gina, is her expertise in re-training spoiled or difficult horses and her extensive dressage background. Coming from a family that had no association with horses and limited financial means, Gina’s early riding education developed through riding every sort and style of horse that she could get her hands on. Picking up cheap prospects from killer yards, off the track and other’s rejects, she never turned down an opportunity to ride. Through working with this assortment of horses she learned how to maximize each horses potential through clever and varied training methods. After years of experience with difficult horses, when finally presented the opportunity to ride the uniquely talented McKinlaigh, Gina applied the same work ethic and determination she had learned and the results were remarkable.

As part of the journey to Silver at the Olympics, Gina made it her quest to study and become the best in all three of Eventing’s disciplines. This involved traveling to Germany to study intensely with the legendary Hubertus Schmidt and training with specialists in both Dressage and Jumping. She makes it her mission that the dressage and show jumping elements of her program are on par with those that compete exclusively in those disciplines.

While Gina still has goals and aspirations of repeating her Olympic performance and has several exciting new horses in her stable, she has an intense love of sharing her passion for riding and training with others. She has been teaching since the age of 15, and finds helping others to achieve their goals as fulfilling as riding herself. She has coached several Young Riders to medals at the NAJYRC and excels at matching new horse and rider combinations. She enjoys teaching pony clubbers at the introductory levels and adult amateurs to be safe and confident as much as riders with ambitions to reach the top levels of the sport.

Gina operates a full-service equestrian business in San Luis Obispo, CA – “Gold Medal Equestrian” – which offers training for all ages in 3-Day Eventing, show jumping, and dressage. She is a member of the USEF Eventing Technical Committee, USEF Hearing Committee, past Chairman of the USEA Professional Horsemen’s Council, a Pony Club national examiner, and Level IV USEA certified instructor.

Gina graduated in 1997 Cum Laude from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Crop Science and Ag Business and was recently inducted in to the Davis Senior High School Hall of Fame. Gina and her husband, Morgan, have two children, Austin, age 15 and Taylor, age 8.

Favorite Quotes:

“Be willing to do what others will not do and you will have what others will not have.” Napoleon Hill
“If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your

elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.” Joseph Addison
“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.”

Arthur C. Clarke
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson