Goode Rider Athlete: Lauren Billys

Goode Rider Athlete Lauren Billys
At this point, it seems almost silly that Goode Rider athlete Lauren Billys would be doing anything other than riding. However, her path wasn’t always so obvious. Although Lauren grew up riding horses, she was not certain that she wanted to pursue an equestrian career. She attended Fresno State University in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where she earned a double degree in Enology and Chemistry in 2013. Lauren was even named the distinguished student in the Department of Enology and Viticulture. But her love of riding persisted, as well. Having competed in three-day eventing in her youth — her first horse, Texas Ranger, taught her the ropes of lower-level competition —  she founded her own training business, Lauren Billys Eventing, while still in college.

Big Dreams

Near the end of her college career, the opportunity arose for Lauren to compete in the Olympic Games. Since her grandmother is Puerto Rican, she is eligible to ride on behalf of the island territory. She decided to put her wine career on hold, at least for the time being. “I told myself I would give myself a fair shot to achieve my Olympic dream until 2016 and then decide if I would dive back into the wine industry,” she explains.
The path to Rio was a long one. In addition to all the training and preparation that goes into an Olympic run, Lauren had to do some serious fundraising. She raised money and formed a syndicate to purchase her mount, Castle Larchfield Purdy. Eventually, Lauren made it to Rio de Janeiro in 2016, becoming the first eventer in history to represent Puerto Rico at the Olympics. “It was the most fulfilling and magical riding I have done in my life,” she says. “This event gave me a new perspective on the meaning of ‘team.’ The owners, veterinarians, grooms, coaches and people behind the scenes make a moment like this unrepeatable and so powerful.”
The experience also had a profound impact on her career. “As I finished the Rio Olympics, I came through the finish flags and almost instinctually committed to competing at the top of the sport for the rest of my life.

Looking Ahead

Now based in Carmel Valley, California, Lauren has a whole host of accomplishments under her belt. In addition to the 2016 Olympic Games, she competed in the 2015 Pan American Games, as well the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, Mexico (on the mare Ballingowan Ginger). More recently, she was the 2017 Chef d’equip for the Area VI Gold Medal eventing team. Lauren has also racked up a long list of high USEA rankings and wins at upper-level events in the U.S.
She also has a promising stable of up-and-coming horses. One of her recent acquisitions is a swanky five-year old German Sport Horse, Can Be Sweet. Known around the barn as Charlie, he has “the gallop, movement and jump to be as elegant as any at the top of the sport.” Her other new new ride, Caletina, is a six-year-old Holsteiner mare. “She is an amazing jumper with a fighting spirit,” Lauren notes. Like Purdy, both horses are owned by syndicates (all of which still have a few shares up for grabs).
Her immediate plans for these two and her longtime partner Purdy are bold. “I would like to get both my new horses out this year.  Charlie needs to compete in the five-year-old YEH, and I would like to get Purdy qualified for next year’s World Equestrian Games.”

Hard Work

“I love the relationships I get to make with each horse, particularly the ones I get to show and compete to reach the top of the sport,” says Lauren. It takes a lot of hard work to make that happen. Every day at Lauren Billys Eventing begins at 7am as she feeds and clean stalls before starting a full day of riding and teaching, usually around eight horses a day, six days a week. “Each horse and rider has different goals,” she says. “It is my job to help build positive experiences to make each horse and rider journey as successful as possible.”
Her Goode Rider breeches are up to the task through all of it. “I love that the breeches are so stylish and unbelievably durable. I ride horses all day, every day and have yet to wear out a pair of GR breeches. Plus, their styles for each season are so fun and attractive. I always get questions about my outfits.”
Although she tries to give herself one day off a week to hike and cook (and cheer on her fiancé when he competes in Spartan Racing, which involves navigating a high-intensity obstacle course), she admits that you have to clock in the hours. “Learn to work hard even when you are tired,” the Goode Rider athlete advises aspiring professionals. “Don’t be a victim of your circumstances but a champion because of them.”

Material Spotlight: NILIT Innergy Fiber

If we told you that one material could be both body-sculpting and breathable — as well as anti-bacterial, odor-controlling, UV-protecting and moisture-wicking — you might not believe us. But hear us out.

A new technology called NILIT Innergy Fiber does just that. Made with a mixture of nylon, spandex and silicon, it converts the thermic energy of the human body into far infrared rays, or FIR, reflecting it back into the deep tissue. By gently warming the deeper layer of the skin, the material invigorates and energizes the tissue. So what’s the end result? Well, the answer is multifold.

Cosmetic Benefits

NILIT Innergy Fiber has incredible cosmetic effects. For one, energizing deep tissue helps reduce the appearance of cellulite from the inside out. It also warms the tissue, which makes it more malleable and thus receptive to shaping. Combined with the supportive nature of the fabric, which compresses fat and tightens the skin, the material has a body-sculpting effect for a sexy, streamlined shape.

Technical Benefits

In addition to the cosmetic benefits, NILIT Innergy Fiber has myriad benefits for athletes. It’s proven to help reduce fatigue during physical activities — perfect for riding. The breathable material has wicking properties for sweaty situations. And it even has built-in antibacterial properties to control odor, a great bonus for busy riders. Plus, the material protects skin from harmful UV rays — a must for anyone spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun.

Lifestyle Benefits

For all its technical prowess, NILIT Innergy Fiber doesn’t sacrifice comfort, either. The microfiber feels so soft to the touch that you’ll never want to take it off. This form-fitting fabric makes riding tights feels like your favorite pair of leggings. It’s super easy to care for, as well; despite all the technical benefits of this high-performance fabric, there’s no special requirements for cleaning.

But don’t just take our word for it. Try NILIT technology for yourself! Our customer-favorite Body-Sculpting Tights are a great choice to try out NILIT Innergy fiber. We think you’ll absolutely love this material.

Stable to Street: Ideal Show Tank

Whether you’re competing, schooling or just running errands, one thing’s for sure: Hot summer days require the appropriate shirt to survive without getting cranky. Our Ideal Show Tank is just the ticket, no matter where the day takes you.

Technically Superior

Our bestselling show shirt has been redesigned with new details and a new material that make it perfect for any occasion, equestrian or otherwise. Now made with a polyester/spandex mix, the tank is moisture wicking to keep you cool when the mercury rises. Furthermore, it has antibacterial properties to keep you fungus-free — even if it gets forgotten in a tack trunk after a long day at the barn.

Stylish

Now that we’ve got you hooked on the technical aspects, let’s talk about how cute it is! Beautiful princess seaming flatters your figure, while contrast banding and stitching yields a streamlined silhouette. The mock neck front has a zip top featuring an adorable silver pull shaped like a bit. Additionally, logo embroidery on the chest gives it a fun feel. The white version even has a loop on the back of neck for a stock tie if you want to wear it in the ring. Just be sure the judge doesn’t excuse coats for your afternoon class!

Multifunctional

Throw this tank on first thing in the morning and you’re good to go for the rest of the day. It’s comfy if have a long road trip ahead of you and it simplifies things if you’re already at the show grounds. It’s great for training at home or getting some exercise on your horse’s day off, too. Unzip the neck to cool down once you’re out of the ring, or if you get warm while hiking. Try it out — we think you’ll love it!

Stay tuned for the next installment of our “Stable to Street” series featuring our favorite products that transition effortlessly throughout your life.