Chatham Hall senior Annabele Whitehead of Richmond, Va. signed her National Letter of Intent (NLI) to ride at Southern Methodist University (SMU) on its National Collegiate Equestrian Association team.
Chatham Hall’s IEA Coach Frankie Beyer noted, “working with Annabele over the last four years has been an absolute pleasure. She comes to every ride with a willingness to work hard and dedicate herself to improving her skills. Not only is Annabele a fierce competitor but she is also a dedicated teammate, cheering on those around her with her positive attitude.”
Whitehead began riding at the age of six and attended multiple Chatham Hall summer riding camps prior to enrolling at the School. She is a four-year member of the International Equestrian Association (IEA) team and won Regionals on the Flat all four years. As a sophomore, Whitehead qualified for IEA Nationals over fences, and as a junior qualified for IEA Zone Finals, however, was unable to compete due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During summers, Whitehead has been trained by Sulu Rose-Reed of Richmond, Va. and rides her own horse, Imperio. In 2020, she won the Virginia Horse Show Association (VHSA) year-end Equitation Championships at the Lexington National Horse Show, the VHSA Junior Equitation Championship on the Flat, and the VHSA Junior Hunt Seat Medal. In 2021, she won the Bryan Equitation Trophy as well as the USHJA Zone 3 Equitation Championship. She also qualified for and competed at the USEF National Finals in Pennsylvania in 2021, and at the Maclay Finals in 2020 and 2021.
Competition photo by Andrew Ryback, courtesy of the Whitehead family