Writing a bio on Eloise is very interesting because, first of all, most of the information about her is pre-internet. Second, when I ask her about what she has done as far as what many people consider benchmarks of a successful riding career, she’ll say something like:
I think I still hold the record of the youngest open jump rider at Madison Square Garden. I was 15. It was in the early 50’s. I was riding Small Change but she was called Short Sale for a time. She was owned by Samuel E. Magid.
In 53 or 54, I qualified for the McClay finals and have also shown Medal hunter seat equitation.
I do know that she started riding at the age of five using a full bridle. I have been able to find a few articles of what she has done, but it all seems unimportant to Eloise and she kept very little of that type of information. What Eloise does have though, are pictures and videos; pictures and videos of horses at every stage of their development. These pictures show horses developing properly, or they show something Eloise was working on; a building block for that specific horse. The video or picture shows what the horse is doing so that the next wonderful step can come.
Those are the records that Eloise considers important and the horses she has trained are the Keepers of the Records.
For those of you who like the fun Blue Ribbon type information, I’ve included the following:
Eloise started training ponies when she was nine years old. From that point on she has ridden and shown hundreds of show jumping and hunter ponies. Some of the work she has done includes racing, exercising and training hunt and racehorses, especially hurdle and timber horses, show jumping and fox hunting.
Eloise kept her hunters fit in the offseason by eventing them and, from there, moved into the world of dressage. Her horses have won awards such as Mid-Atlantic Dressage Champions at third and fourth levels and one of the top horses nationally at third level. Eloise has been a big R licensed dressage judge, has had numerous articles published in The Chronicle of the Horse and other magazines. She also does clinical work and exhibitions; many aside (side saddle) throughout the United States. She has been on the top ten trainer list and has won the USDF bronze award. She has competed internationally at Prix St. Georges.
During the early seventies, she started working with Nuno Oliveira, and she has never felt the need to find another mentor. Nuno has left an incredible stamp on Eloise and her work with horses as the following letter from her demonstrates.
I have done a lot of studying and read many of the old masters, (but I) devoted my riding and training entirely to Nuno Oliveira the minute the opportunity arose in 1972. Thanks to Phyllis Field (I was able to) work two or three horses under Nuno (each of) the many times he came to the St. Agata Arena at the Potomac Horse Center. Here we had unstructured groups walk and trot. Canter was individual.
(During) my three trips to Avessada (Nuno’s home in Portugal) we did groups of four or five horses in a line at a time. Our canter was also done individually. This gave me many, many hours to watch as he taught
It was invaluable watching Nuno train. He, at times, put together impossible combinations of horse and riders. I used to say, “He had a hundred ways to skin a cat.” Watching that was an education in itself. I can never explain (all) the knowledge he imparted as I learned so much.
It was in Portugal that he had me starting to ride side saddle. It really confirmed lightness. I needed that, and it helped me give up control so that I was soon looking at my work as art.
Nuno (also) started me reading the old masters; (moreover) he read what I wrote and told me I must write.
Study books, art, statues, stained glass, etc. Get an eye! Again I say Play, Play, Play…..learn to feel.
Eloise continues to train horses at her home, give clinics, and is a member of the War Horse Foundation.