SISTERLY LOVE | The Ladies Behind it All
High Standards Farm was born out of a desire to do just what the name says – provide a higher standard of care and training for aspiring young equestrians. From a young age, Rileigh Amorginos was taken by horses and horseback riding. Her parents embraced her love for the sport and allowed her to compete and train at local riding facility, Eden Farm, in their home base of Ocala, FL. When younger sister, Lawson Whitaker, got a bit older, Rileigh shared her love of the sport with her. Lawson was equally as taken. The girls shared time at the barn as best friends and siblings, and Rileigh shared the knowledge she had gained with Lawson as they grew up. Lawson followed the typical track of a young rider, taking weekly lessons and learning to compete in small schooling show events, and her desire to do something more came after riding a spirited pony named Broadway Puzzle Pieces.
As most young riders do, Lawson grew up in the hunter rings, where she learned the small details and specifics of riding on the flat and over fences. She enjoyed her ponies and enjoyed competing, but her enjoyment of the sport was typical of most other children in the saddle. Then, Lawson got Broadway Puzzle Pieces, a lively pony. He was sassy and spicy and introduced her to the exciting world of jumpers. Lawson was hooked. Her passion flared up and she became adamant that she wanted to pursue this sport to the top of her ability. The Whitaker family found themselves investing in jumper mounts for young Lawson and pursuing the tutelage of jumper professional Gaston Escamez at GE Sporthorses.
Jump forward six years, and Lawson currently competes in the Junior Jumper divisions, the highest level a junior can go, and has begun her journey into Grand Prix events. As Lawson’s riding career has grown, so has the need to have a solid string of top competition mounts and a facility to advance their training. Through this desire, the dream behind High Standards Farm was born. The Whitaker family dreamed of a place where Lawson could train daily and her horses would have top-quality care; where Rileigh could begin her own lesson program for young riders and could continue to work with retraining projects and horses sent to her for behavioral adjustments; and where Gaston could comfortably expand his clientele of GE Sporthorses to include other passionate young athletes.
Officially opening its doors in 2022 to outside boarders, High Standards Farm is a boutique farm specializing in competitive show jumping. The stables offers both seasonal and year-round boarding packages for athletes in the hunter-jumper discipline and prides itself on a family-friendly atmosphere. Lawson and the whole Whitaker family live on the property to be available for full-time horse care.
High Standards Farm Fun Facts: Meet Lawson
I am a twin. I have a brother named Harrison who also used to ride. He stopped a while back, but we still get him on a horse every once in a while for fun.
Outside of horses, I really enjoy doing set makeup! I picked it up as a hobby and I think it’s fun to see the process from start to finish. Some of my tutorials can still be found on (Instagram and YouTube).
I do all of my schooling online at Florida Virtual School. Pretty much everything I do is focused on horses, so completing classes online makes it easier to be at the shows and travel throughout the year.
My sister enjoys staying at the home farm and working with the project horses there, while I tend to enjoy being on the road and in the show ring a bit more.
High Standards Farm Fun Facts: Meet Rileigh
I LOVE to fish! I mainly do offshore fishing along with some bass fishing. My dad was a charter captain so I was raised on a boat.
I also enjoy "mudding" on my ATV. I go to Hog Waller Mud Bog in Palatka, FL with my friends and family when the weather starts getting cooler.
I am really good at making animal noises and doing impressions. Believe it or not, dolphins are my favorite animal and I love to communicate with them.
If I could travel back in time, I would love to be a Native American Indian. I always say I would train all my horses for my tribe.
Stay tuned for updates about Rileigh's new projects in our next blog. And, if your standards match our standards reach out to inquire about boarding at High Standards Farm Ocala.