Trudy Richardson – Equestrian
Trudy Innes Richardson is a partner in Florida based law firm Guilday, Tucker, Schwartz & Simpson, P.A. She specialises in litigation, healthcare, construction, business, professional liability, appellate, family law and criminal defense. Since its origin in 1974, Guilday, Tucker, Schwartz & Simpson, P.A. has provided clients with the highest quality legal services across many legal specialties. Lifestyles4Lawyers caught up with Trudy to find out what our American cousins do outside of law to achieve that allusive work-life balance.
Trudy’s practice is challenging and eventful enough, but her exploits outside of work are even more so as Trudy competes in an equine sport known as Eventing. Eventing is composed of three phases: dressage shows how well the horse and rider harmonize through a series of graceful movements; stadium jumping shows off the team’s skills as they jump over fences at varying heights; and cross country, in which a series of fixed, immovable obstacles are encountered along a 2.5- to 5-mile course. These can be fences, ditches, bodies of water or stone walls.
The first Eventing competition was recorded in France in 1902 and became an Olympic sport in 1912. Eventing in the UK started in 1949 when the Badminton Horse Trials were held for the first time. The U.S. Team was fourth at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920, and Major Sloan Doak was the individual bronze medalist in Paris in 1924. The U.S. won the team gold medal at Los Angeles in 1932.
Eventing combines fluidity with athleticism, precision with adrenaline, horsemanship with showmanship. No wonder it’s considered a wildly competitive sport. In stadium jumping, if the horse strikes a fence, penalties are deducted from the final score if any portion of the fence falls to the ground. Over the cross country course, striking an obstacle is more dangerous and can mean a fall for the horse and rider as well as elimination from the competition. The risk of serious injury is high and with competitions lasting anywhere from two to four days, Trudy somehow manages to fit in her Eventing with a busy attorney’s diary.
As a litigator and Super Lawyer, Trudy is accustomed to being in front of judges. Eventing judges are looking not for the motions but at the motions. Especially in dressage, similar to ballet on horseback, the judge looks for balance and rhythm. The rider must also demonstrate that she and her horse are supremely fit – all in a relaxed manner.
“Being a litigator and an eventer, I’m very competitive. I find when I integrate and feed this competitive nature in different ways, it keeps me sharp and grounded.”
Trudy and Friar Tuck, a 13-year-old, sturdy draft cross, have won several titles together. Trudy is now entering the ring with “DJ” a 5-year-old off-the-track thoroughbred whose registered name is Nip and Repent. The horse and rider must trust each other, remember the course together, and feel an internalized competitive spirit. For as much as the competition is against others, “you also want to see how well you and your partner can do together.”
To see a video of Trudy in action, visit http://store.westlaw.com/lifestyle/profile/trudy-innes-richardson/default.aspx