Every year before the American Invitational Grand Prix, a promising young show jumping rider is honored by the United States Equestrian Federation with the Maxine Beard award. This year, the Invitational was held in Miami, FL on April 5th, and before the class began, Jessica Springsteen was recognized as the recipient. She earned this year’s recognition after a spectacular winter circuit of strong results among tough international competition. Springsteen may have a very famous father (Bruce) and she may train with one of the most decorated teams in the business (Laura and Nick), but her achievements are all her own.

“I am very excited to be the recipient of the Maxine Beard award; it is a great honor,” Springsteen commented via Phelps Sports. “I am thrilled to have been chosen by the USET Foundation and to be added to a list of such talented riders. Watching the top riders in the world compete is an invaluable learning experience and is incredibly inspirational.”

Jessica attends Duke University and commuted from North Carolina to Florida all season so as not to miss out on her college classes throughout winter circuit. Even as a long-weekend rider, it was impossible not to notice her at the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, between her second place finish in the $280,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 4*, third place finish in the Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round XII, and $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI5*. In the most recent Longines FEI World Ranking list, Jessica jumped 52 spots on the world list, from 205th to 151st. Her sponsorship by fashion house Gucci, while not directly tied to her talent in the saddle, has certainly raised her visibility in and out of the ring. The following are some favorite shots (apparently we only take action shots of her when she’s jumping to the right!) taken these past few months at WEF of Jessica and her spectacular horse Vindicat. Congratulations, Jess!