My name is Nick Pongracz I currently work for Ivan Rakowsky alongside Jacob Pope at Team Rakowsky Equestrian LLC. Together we manage around 30 horses competing in hunters, jumpers, and equitation. We show up and down the east coast and mid west including Wellington Florida, Traverse City Michigan, and Lexington Kentucky. This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Europe as a groom/rider for 10 time American Grand prix Association Rider of the Year Margie Goldstein Engle and her wonderful string of horses. We competed all throughout Europe predominantly on the Global Champions Tour with venues ranging from Hamburg Germany, to Cannes France, as well as Paris, France. I have been very fortunate to have some great opportunities in my short career so far but that hasn’t come without hundreds of hours of hard work and dedication. I knew that I would need to start very early as a working student to understand and learn all the basic horsemanship I would need by the time I wanted to turn professional. By becoming a working student I was able to go to all the right shows and introduce myself to the right people. On my 15th birthday I began working for Luke and Amanda Tokaruk in Ontario where I learned the importance of having the correct work ethic and drive to try my hardest. I spent a summer with them showing and working alongside their team at home to get my first glimpse of “the pro life”. From their I moved to Sam and Michael Pegg along Shannon Langford at Ten Sixty Stables also in Ontario, where I learned how to begin managing a large sales business. At that time I knew I could put it all together and come to America where I could polish my skills and become and all around rider. Ivan Rakowsky and Jacob Pope believed in me and took me in under their tutelage and showed me how to properly polish everything I have learned and make it work best for me and any horse I sit on. Through all of my time working I know that with out all the skills I have acquired I would certainly not be in the position I am today because as I’ve learned more and polished my skills I get one step better and closer to my biggest goals. I believe everyone should follow this idea in some way because we know from watching the best riders that they are the hardest working people in the business. Working for all the people I have worked with so far has taught me that everyone might do it a different way but as long as we all get to the same result (a happy successful horse) you can do it any way that works for you.