We are in the year 2019. We live in a modern society where our differences can be celebrated and respected more and more. However when it comes to Equestrianism does anyone feel that our sport is a bit left behind? Don’t get me wrong, the sport is full of strong women competing against men as equals and that is something to be proud of. It’s just that I feel that it is still expected for everyone to think and dress a certain way. Until now…
I have recently discovered someone that everyone needs to know about ( I may be a bit late to the party but hey). The woman with feathers in her hair. The woman who is a professional show jumper but will be wearing yoga pants and a belly top walking the course and looking fricking cool doing it. The woman who Heels Down Magazine called ‘a rebel with a cause’. It’s Danielle Goldstein.
The articles that drew my attention to Danielle were articles focussing on her appearance. Sure, Danielle has a very unique look. Particularly for a show jumper. But her story is about so much more than that…
Danielle was born in America and grew up in a non horsey family in New York City. She only started riding when she was a child because her friend invited her to ride her horse. After that it was fair to say she dedicated herself to riding. Goldstein, decided on her first trip to Israel at age 12 for her Bat Mitzvah, that she wanted to represent Israel and went on a quest to start an Israeli Show Jumping team.
World of Showjumping reported that after moving to Israel for a short period in 2010 and having lots of friends of family there she applied for and successfully obtained Israeli citizenship. Riding for Israel is something Danielle had always wanted to do . Firstly because she felt that she had a deep connection to the country and secondly because she wanted to help a country that she felt did not get much positive attention in the global media.
Based in the Netherlands with her partner Alan Waldman, she actually trains half the year in Holland and half of the year at her yard in Florida. Her website Star Wyns Farm states that Danielle firmly believes that there is much to done in terms in impacting Israeli society through Equestrian sports. Danielle has started ‘The International Equestrian Education Series’ from her base from Florida, with a hope to starting a series in Israel too. As she feels young people can learn all sorts of transferable skills such as responsibility, attention to detail and the importance of hard work through her training to encourage a stronger equestrian culture in Israel.
Danielle’s dream is to be the first female Israeli olympic show jumper. Since gaining her Israeli citizenship it’s going well. Global Champions Tour reported that She lead the first Israeli show jumping team in the European Championships in 2013 and again in 2015 & 2017 and since then has competed in 2 world Equestrian Games in 2014 and 2018. She has had success on the Longines Global Champions Tour with her chestnut mare Lizzymary. Winning the Grand Prix class in Portugal in 2017. Danielle also served as the Chef d’equipe for the gold medal winning team in the Maccabiah Games dubbed ‘The Jewish Olympics’ in 2013.
However Danielle has had her fair share of criticism. Mainly about the way she looks. Noelle Floyd reported that people online accused her feathers of being a safety hazard and a insult to the traditions of showjumping. Danielle took to the internet herself to tackle these cyber bullies and had a strong message ” It’s good to be different – there is no reason we all have to look the same”.
I don’t know about you but I think we could do with more Danielle Goldstein’s in Equestrian sport! She is a fantastic role model and I absolutely love her feathers!
Danielle will be competing for the Scandinavian Vikings in the 2019 Global Champions Show jumping league. For more information head to Global Champions League teams
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