Goffard Sisters–Catherine & Emma–Earn World Titles at World Horse Show in Oklahoma


Elaine Chosa, Staff Writer, Journalism I

At the recent World Horse Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Goffard sisters–Catherine and Emma–established themselves as world-class equestrians. 

The World Horse Show took place over a 15-day period,  November 7-22.

Emma won a World and Reserve World Title, and Catherine won the All-Around Youth Title as well as seven World Titles and three Reserve World Titles.

Catherine, a senior at NDA, and Emma, a sophomore, started riding around the ages of two and three, and both started competing around the age of eight. 

“I have always loved being around horses, and the thought of being able to communicate with a 1500-pound animal has always interested me,” said Emma. 

The sisters were inspired by their mother, who began competing at the age of nine and was able to share her passion with her daughters. 

“You might call it a family sport,” said the sisters, “we all work as a team helping and coaching each other.”

Emma competed with her horse named Four the Glory, Four for short, a 12-year-old paint gelding, in the Novice Youth category and earned a Grand Champion World Title in Showmanship, as well as a Reserve World Title in Horsemanship– bringing her to third place in the Top 20 in the Nation in her division. 

Catherine won the All-Around Youth Title and competed (and won) in seven classes as well as in three others, all of which showcased the versatility of her horse named Gilly. 

People from all over the world come to compete, and many of the horses are bred for specific riding styles– often making it difficult to perform against the horses that were literally born for their task.

However, Catherine says that Gilly, “a true all-arounder,” is able to“perform both and be competitive.”

Catherine began working with Gilly when she got him on her birthday in December 2018 and went on to be the second in the nation in the year 2019. 

Emma and Catherine stayed at a rental house in Oklahoma for the duration of the 15-day competition, meaning they were responsible for zooming into their classes and maintaining their grades all the while competing in the sport. 

The sisters spend about ten to 15 hours a week practicing with their horses, but currently are unable to see them daily since they moved them to a stable in Texas and have not been able to travel due to the pandemic. 

Partaking in the sport takes “great skill and stamina,” said Emma, “but you also need to be able to communicate with your horse.”

“It takes a very special bond between you and your horse,” added Catherine. “You are a team, and I have been fortunate to find this special bond in Gilly.”

The 2020 World Show was Emma’s last show with Four, and her new horse named Finn is currently boarded in Texas with Catherine’s horse Gilly, and due to Covid, they have not had the opportunity to train with them yet. 

“We never realized how happy horses truly made us feel until we could not go and visit them every day,” said Emma. 

The sisters show mostly in the Midwest and in Nevada, but also have had the opportunity to compete as far as Texas and Oklahoma. 

With intricate show clothing, preparing the horses, training, and travel, horse showing can be a lot of work– but the sisters continue to practice their passion. 

Emma would like to continue her sport into college and plans on applying to schools with equestrian teams. 

“Even though competitively showing horses is a difficult sport,” said the sisters, “the lessons we have learned and memories we have made are priceless.”