Elisa Wallace is a 4 star three-day event rider. She was listed as an alternate for the 2016 US Olympic team, and continues to work toward achieving her life-long dream of representing the USA in international competition. Elisa also works with American mustangs, with the goal of demonstrating the potential of this misunderstood breed by developing one up to the Advanced level in the sport of three-day eventing.
Elisa Wallace has been involved with horses her entire life. Both her parents are involved in horses: her father is an avid event rider and trainer, and her mother bred and raised young horses. Riding since before she could walk, it has always been a dream for Elisa to compete at the top international level and on the world stage at the Olympics. She did trot sets at the age of two and began eventing at the age of four. Everyone knew Elisa had talent to go to the top. Sometimes called part horse, she was often found sleeping or playing with the young foals that her mother and father raised.
With the guidance of her father, Rick Wallace, Elisa was very successful at a young age. At the age of nine, she was the youngest eventer to win a gold medal at the Georgia State Games in Combined Training. She then shifted to the Hunter/Jumper and equitation to broaden and hone her riding skills. Elisa competed successfully in the USEF Medal and Maclay equitation and qualified for the 1995 USEF Maclay Finals, in Newark, NJ, at the age of 12. In her latter teen years, Elisa returned to her roots in eventing with her mind set on competing in the Olympics. She trained and worked with many top riders such as Nick Larkin, Stephen Bradley, Peter Gray and Ralph Hill and studied what it takes to be an upper level rider: determination, patience, and true grit.
Following the retirement of both horses due to injury in 2008, and the untimely death of Good for Me (another promising star) in 2009, Elisa continued to seek out and train young and talented horses, rebuilding Wallace Eventing from the ground up using a gifted eye for identifying ‘diamonds in the rough.’In a bold move in 2000, Elisa saved all of her high school graduation money and purchased a $700 Thoroughbred yearling in Iola, Kansas that she had found off of the internet. Completely on gut feelings and intuition, Elisa and her mom, Laura, made the trek to Kansas to purchase a yearling named Jack. Jackson became a successful Advanced horse and was one of Elisa’s top competition horses. Along with her mare Leap of Faith, in 2006 and 2007, Elisa was a force to be reckoned with, taking the Eventing scene by storm and marching her way to the top, with top finishes in almost every competition. Her success allowed her to qualify for the Olympics and the Pan Am games.
As an elite-level international competitor, Elisa is fortunate to work with two very talented event horses: Simply Priceless and Corteo. Corteo aka Tate (owned by Rosemarie Spillane) is a 15.3 hh, 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by the Olympic Show Jumping Silver medalist, Verdi. Tate is currently competing at the two star level, consistently places in the top ten, and is universally recognized as a ride to watch in the next few years.In 2014, Elisa was invited to compete in the Mustang Magic and used the opportunity to specifically demonstrate the ability of the American Mustang to thrive in the sport of three-day eventing. Elisa and Hwin took fourth place at the competition, but not before they competed successfully in the Open Novice division at the 2015 Ocala Horse Properties Winter I Horse Trials. Like Fledge and Rune, Hwin has captured the imagination of a wide audience of fans, and serves as a living example of the fact that the American Mustang is not just for cowboys.With the help of a friend, Rebecca Bowman, Elisa entered her first Mustang Makeover in 2012. Little did she know how much that decision would change her life. She was assigned a three year old, 13.2 hd horse from the Medicine-Maverick mustang herd in Nevada, whom she named Fledge (named after the winged horse in the book, “The Magicians Nephew”). To Elisa’s surprise, she fell in love with her little mustang and became enamored by the “magic” of these horses. Elisa and Fledge ended up winning the competition and luckily she put in the highest bid and so was able to take home the best prize of all: Fledge, himself! In 2013, Elisa decided to enter the Mustang Million, a similar competition with 1 Million dollars in prize money. She adopted a very talented 14.3 hd 3 year old mustang from the East Douglas/Piceance herd in Colorado, whom she named Rune (which means ‘secret’), who did very well in the competition and ended up placing 30th out of 190. Elisa continues to perform with Rune and Fledge, drawing large audiences at such major international equestrian events as the American Eventing Championships, The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and the Wellington Global Dressage Festival.
Simply Priceless aka Johnny (owned by the Simply Priceless Syndicate), is a 16.2 hh 2001 Australian Thoroughbred gelding. With Johnny, Elisa competed successfully at the four star 2015 Rolex Kentucky International Three Day Event, where she earned a top twenty finish, and the distinction of being highest placing ‘Rolex Rookie.’ Also in 2015 Elisa was named to the USEF High Performance Training List, and was awarded a Land Rover USEF grant to compete at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in England. Thanks to her coach Karen O’Connor, Elisa returned to Rolex in 2016 where she earned a top ten finish. Her spectacular performance in Kentucky has landed Elisa on the short list of riders being considered for the US Olympic Team, and she hopes to represent her country at the games in Rio this August.