St. Joseph CES student uses contest earnings to bring equestrian Olympian to school

girl standing with horse

Students at St. Joseph CES in Bowmanville will have the opportunity to hear from one of Canada’s most successful equestrians thanks to a fellow student who earmarked the earnings from a recent writing contest to bring the athlete to the school as a speaker.

Two-time Olympian and four-time Pan Am medallist Jessica Phoenix is the subject of a new book, authored by her sister, and will be speaking to students at St. Joseph CES on Dec. 10 about her experience as one of Canada’s most respected and well-known eventing riders.

That’s thanks, in large part, to Grade 7 student Avery Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick has been riding horses since the age of eight and recently placed second in a provincial writing contest – the Youth Literary Derby – that saw entries from more than 40 communities and 1,400 students in grades 5-8 writing about their equestrian experiences.

girl touching horse's nose

Grade 7 student Avery Kirkpatrick

Kirkpatrick used the winnings of that award to invite Phoenix to the school to present to students in grades 4 to 8. She will talk to the students about perseverance, determination and following your dreams among other themes.