Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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					Jacqueline Kennedy
    Passion for Riding
           Marissa Damone
        13500 75th Lane North
      West Palm Beach, FL 33412
              Grade 11
If I had the opportunity to travel back in time to meet a historical person it would be the First Lady of the
United States Jacqueline Kennedy. She was born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier on July 28, 1929 in
Southhampton, New York. Most people know her as the famous wife of our President John F. Kennedy
who was President from January 20, 1960 till his assassination on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas
but she was a woman of much grace, beauty and she had a passion for riding horses.

Her parents John Vernou Bouvier III and Janet Norton Lee purchased a summer home in 1925 in East
Hampton known as the “Lasata” which is a Native American name for “place of peace”. This home is the
place where Mrs. Kennedy began her passion for riding as a child.

The property had 8 acres dedicated for stabling, paddocks, a tack room, riding ring and jumps for a
young girl to begin her dream. Mrs. Kennedy’s mother Janet placed her on her first horse at age 1. At
age 7 she found her mothers worn out black tall boots and this was the beginning of her accomplished
riding career. She began taking lessons with Mrs. Elliott in Davie, Florida which is very close to where I
was born in Hollywood, Florida. Although my parents have provided for a small stable at our home, I
take lessons on a 33 acre farm in Jupiter known as Pinehurst Stables. My trainer is Sean Jones.

Mrs. Kennedy began showing at a local horse show at the end of August hosted by the East Hampton
Riding Club. I began my showing career near age 9 showing in small shows like the Twin River Saddle
Club and Palm Beach County Horseman’s Association. Mrs. Kennedy was considered an elegant rider
beginning in side saddle at first and later mastered her posting trot quite eloquently too.

Mrs. Kennedy’s mother Janet Lee Bouvier was an accomplished rider herself in the hunt seat. She won
many trophies in 1934 including winning the Thoroughbred Hunter Class at the Brookville Horse Show.
Alfred B. Maclay was the judge at the time.

Mrs. Kennedy began winning many titles and blue ribbons at the East Hampton Horse Show beginning in
1934. At the age of 11, the brown hair, brown eyed girl participated in 1940 at the ASPCA Alfred
Macclay Trophy for Horsemanship Finals at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden, NY on
her favorite chestnut mare known as “Danseuse”. She accomplished a double victory bringing high
honors home. I hope one day to be a qualified participant at the now known ASPCA Maclay National

At the age of 15, Mrs. Kennedy became the champion in her age group at the Long Island East End which
included horse shows in Southampton, Easthampton, Bridgehampton and Smithtown. At the age of 14,
I was able to win my first Grand Championship in the 12-14 equitation division at the Winter Equestrian

Mrs. Kennedy began school at Ms. Porter’s Boarding School in Farmington, Connecticut where she was
often late to class because she was at the barn grooming her horse “Danseuse”. This sounds like
something that I might do.

In 1947 Mrs. Kennedy became a student at Vassar College where she joined a riding team. It is my goal
to begin riding for a college in the fall of 2013 for their Equestrian Team.
Mrs. Kennedy finished her last year of college in 1951 at George Washington University where she met
her future husband John F. Kennedy who was a young Congressman from Massachusetts. This part of
my future has yet to be determined.

On September 12, 1953 Jacqueline Bouvier officially became Mrs. Kennedy when she married John F.
Kennedy at a Catholic church in Newport, Rhode Island. She became the mother of two children,
Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr.

Once Mrs. Kennedy officially became the First Lady, she received many gifts including a small pony
named “Macaroni” for her young daughter Caroline. In 1962 she received a 10 year old bay gelding
named “Sardar” from the President of Pakistan.

After her husband was killed in 1963, Mrs. Kennedy found comfort in riding and with her children’s
riding. Mrs. Kennedy often participated in fox hunting with her daughter Caroline. On a unique
occasion in May of 1965, Mrs. Kennedy, her mother Janet and her daughter Caroline rode together as a
team at the St. Bernard Horse Show.

Mrs. Kennedy who was now known as Mrs. Onassis after marrying a Greek business tycoon Aristotle
Onassis on October 20, 1968, continued riding through the 1980’s in fox hunting. She often rode in
Middleburg, VA at a friend’s home. She continued to be an elegant rider, often leading and riding with
great determination.

Unfortunately Mrs. Kennedy Onassis was diagnosed with lymphoma in January 1994. She later died
from lymphoma in her home in Manhattan, New York on May 19, 1994. She was only 64 years of age.

Mrs. Kennedy went through many tragedies in her life but her passion for riding horses was a
comfortable place for her to heal. She was known for her courage and tough-mindedness which I
believe came from riding. I hope that I can display the same courage and determination as Mrs.
Kennedy and apply those characteristics to my own personal dreams with riding.

It is my hope to complete my Junior Amateur career with many more blue ribbons, a trip or two to the
Maclay Finals and to ride for a college equestrian team. While at college I want to study “barn
management” so that I have an education that will provide me a lifetime in a riding career. Just like Mrs.
Kennedy, riding is my passion.