(CBS Local)– When Jennifer Gates was a kid, her parents wanted her to try all different kinds of sports.
While the daughter of Bill and Melinda Gates tested the waters of basketball and tap dancing, she ultimately fell in love with horse back riding. The hobby as a child turned into a career as Gates will compete in the Longines Masters Of New York among the top equestrians in the world.
“It is always somewhat of a hobby because I enjoy it so much,” said Gates in an interview with CBS Local. “When I was 14 or 15, I really realized what the sport could be globally, particularly in show-jumping. Show-jumping is one of the three Olympic disciplines. You essentially try and complete a course without knocking any rails down as fast as possible.”
It took time for Gates to build confidence when it came to jumping a 1,200 pound animal over fences. Like fellow equestrian Jessica Springsteen, Gates had to learn how to balance college and her career as an athlete.
“We both thrive on being really busy,” said Gates. “Getting to have your schoolwork and really focus on that and then you have something to look forward to on the weekends when you get to ride. It’s a fun hobby and we have great support teams and trainers that make it possible for us to go back and forth.
Gates by the way recently graduated from Stanford University. The action begins today on Long Island and can be seen all weekend long on CBS Sports Network.
“It’s an incredible show. I was able to attend the Longines Masters Of Paris for a few years,” said Gates. “I’ve never been to the New York event and it’s an honor to compete.”