Selah Shepherd, BS ’15, has been riding horses her entire life. In June, she graduated with a public relations degree from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) where she started the social media club. On October 1, she competed with some of the best riders from around the world at the Longines Masters elite show jumping competition in Los Angeles with her horse Luscious.
“Most girls have to quit riding during college because they have to focus, or can’t leave to show as much as I did,” Shepherd says. “I was so fortunate to have professors who allowed me to make up time for being absent from class and wonderful parents and show friends that helped take care of my horses while I was in school.”
Shepherd met Luscious just before moving into the dorms at the UO, and they’ve been competing together ever since. “Lu is the most forgiving, athletic, long-legged horse I have ever met. His sweet little eyes and big heart of gold come in handy in the show ring,” she says. “Now, four years later, we have an incredible bond.”
Shepherd is the social media manager for Arcimoto—a company dedicated to finding a solution towards sustainable transportation. “My co-workers are very supportive of my sport and they are kind enough to let me take time to go and show,” she says.
Shepherd’s day begins at 4:45 a.m. when she gets up for weight training sessions. “I work the muscles that I use on my horse to help me maintain mobility and gain strength,” she says. The dedicated jumper then rides Luscious after work late into the evening.
Working to compete in the Masters is a goal Shepherd has devoted her riding career to. After attending her high school prom at Churchill High School in Eugene, Shepherd hopped in a truck and was on the road with her horses to attend a competition in Canada. “I was so tired, but I didn’t regret it for a second,” she says.
In order to attend the Master’s competition in Los Angeles, Shepherd set up a Go-Fund-Me page to pay for the expenses of the elite show. “I wouldn’t be able to attend the Masters if there wasn’t tons of support in my life—from my parents to my coworkers to my trainers,” she says. Shepherd is grateful to her trainer, Karianne Boyce-Lockhart, and says she made this opportunity possible. “Although I am competing in the smaller division at the Masters, it’s still a once in a lifetime experience, and I cannot wait to be surrounded by lots of world-class athletes with the same goal as me.”
Story by Corinne Boyer, MS ‘15