Jessica Jo Tate
Jessica Jo (“JJ”) Tate grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, taking her first riding lessons at seven. At nine, she took her first dressage lesson and never looked back. JJ comes from a family of non-riders. This was no deterrent as JJ knew horses were in her spirit. Obsessed from a very young age JJ ate, slept, and dreamed nothing but horses.
JJ did venture outside the arena enough in her teenage years to be a captain of the varsity basketball team and the prom queen. At eighteen, she had to make a life choice to either go onto college and play basketball or go to Europe and train a professional rider. Obviously the horses won!
So at eighteen, she moved half way across the world with her two horses to train for two and a half years in Europe. She lived in Budapest, Hungary where learned speak both Hungarian and German. Most of her training in Hungary was with Gyula Dallos although she did spend some time in Germany.
At twenty-one, she moved back to the U.S. where she became the top young rider in the country at the Grand Prix level. In the fall of 1998, she started to train professionally after leading the Region 2 Young Rider Team at the North American Young Riders' Championships.
JJ continued to run a very successful training facility up until Robert Dover's Search for America's Next Dressage Star changed her life.
She contributes her successes to her supportive family. Her dad, Joe Tate, played a significant role in her sportsmanship, focus, and hard working nature as he coached her on the basketball court up until her junior year of high school. She also learned a valuable lesson in visualization from her dad which she continues to use in her riding career.
JJ credits her sister, Casey Mahoney, for playing a major role in her competitive mind set as Ms. Mahoney is a motivational instructor via her own CD offering.
Her middle sister Samara Noll, though allergic to horses, is very supportive of JJ and finds herself at horse shows with her family despite the allergies. She has always been a shoulder to cry on for JJ as well!
JJ's mother, Candy, has been the most supportive as well as the best horse show mom ever. She not only drove JJ to all her shows, but was her business partner in the Wisconsin-based farm. Her mom has not only been a huge emotional and financial support, Candy instilled the quest for knowledge, self evaluation in all aspects of life and the importance of responsibility in JJ.
Another important person in JJ's support network is her boyfriend of ten years Micah Fromader. They were high school sweethearts and have made it through a long distance relationship as well as other stresses that occur in horse obsessive lifestyles. Micah continues to be her best friend and confidant.
The experience of being involved in Robert Dover's Search for America's Next Dressage Star was inspiring to JJ because of its intensity along with its exposure to brilliant people. She learned the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded people and how powerful synergy can be. Robert Dover pushes students to a place where you can achieve more than you think you can and that dreams can come true when you take steps forward towards achieving them.