THIS runner profile: Gigi Manigault

Photo © Kind Media.

By Tyler Bui

Gigi Manigault had a successful junior career competing in the hunter ring – and it wasn’t until she became an adult amaetur that she set foot in an equestrian class. But once she did, she was hooked.

The Charleston, SC native is currently a student at the University of South Carolina and competes in THIS Adult Medal, Amateur-Owner Hunter Division, Adult Amateur Hunter Division, and various riding classes for adults.

Photo © Kind Media.

Manigault started riding at the age of 10, first competing on the local circuit before moving to Last Farm to train with Jack Towell and Liza Towell Boyd four years ago.

“I started competing in the Children’s Hunter division, and I was 15 at the time, so instead of competing in junior equitation, I decided to stay in the hunt ring,” says Manigault. .

She currently has two horses she competes with in the Amateur Owner Hunter division; a horse she shows in the Adult Hunter division; a young green hunter; and a riding horse leased from Don Stewart.

“I started doing the CECI medal for adults and the Ariat medal for adults when I got older. I rented a horse named Big Bang, owned by Emily Burgess, and the riding lessons were supposed to be just from the practical, but I started to do well and really enjoyed the lessons,” she says. “Now I take riding as seriously as hunters.”

Photo © Kind Media.

Manigault’s riding horse is an 8 year old named Wizard of Odds. She has been in a relationship with him since April 2021 and loves his big personality.

“He excels in riding because of his adaptability; you can stop in a second and it can spin like crazy,” says Manigualt. “He’s definitely a horse that loves games, so riding lessons keep him really interested.”

As for the THIS adult medal, Manigault appreciates the two-phase format and how it gives riders the opportunity to improve their first round and better show their riding skills to the judges.

“I like horse riding, because it’s very technical. Classes are different and challenging,” she says. “It’s different from a handy, because you don’t have to show your horse. It’s about who rides the best track and how far you can ride it.

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