Elise and Jackie Snezek ride English. Hannah and Sarah Chipps ride western. Elise and Jackie look alike, but are fraternal twins. Hannah and Sarah are identical twins. Sarah and Jackie are roommates. Elise and Jacquie are from Ohio. . . no, Georgia, no. . .wait. . . . Let’s start over!
The fact is that there are two sets of twins in the UF equestrian program this year. The “four freshmen” are all individuals, but they have so much in common it’s almost eerie.
Elise and Jackie began riding eight years ago in Suwanee, Georgia. They were the first in their family to show an interest in things equine and joined the North Gwinnett High School IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) Team. . . together. Elise wants to teach riding and Jackie wants to be a trainer. Both are double-majors; Elise in business/equestrian studies and Jackie in math/equestrian studies.
“We look identical, but we’re fraternal twins,” they laughed. (The confusion never ends!)
Double-majoring in equestrian studies and occupational therapy, Hannah and Sarah Chipps, from Grove City, Ohio, started riding 11 years ago. In a similar scenario to the Snezek’s, no one in their family had ever ridden or shown an interest in horses. Unlike Elise and Jackie, the Chipps sisters didn’t have a riding team at their high school (Central Crossing.)
“We volunteered, cleaned stalls and did other work for our riding lessons,” remembered Sarah.
“Oh yeah,” chimed in Elise. “We did, too! We worked every summer at Camp Meriwether in Georgia.”
More Similar Than Different
None of the young women brought her own horse to Findlay for the school year. They agreed that it was probably for the best as each freshman equestrian student receives a “project” horse to care for and train.
Although the twins ride at different UF farms, there hasn’t been much arguing about what type of riding is best.
“Actually, we used to ride western, so we’re familiar with it,” added Jackie (the English rider. . . remember?)
Also, both sets of sisters honestly admit that there hasn’t been a lot of competition between siblings. Different choices may play a role in this. Although Jackie and Elise both ride “English,” Elise is in the hunter/jumper program, while Jackie has opted for the eventing program. Sarah and Hannah also have different interests within the western riding style.
“You don’t really get jealous of your twin when she does better than you. You just feel bad for yourself if you didn’t do your best,” said Sarah.
At different barns, the twins may not have connected as readily if Sarah and Jackie hadn’t become roommates. Ironically, the pairing was selected almost at random, since neither had indicated a preference for another twin to share a room. As roommates go, it’s been a very successful relationship. In fact, the four equestrians are pretty much inseparable. (In addition to riding, the young women are all musicians and three of them play the flute!)
“We’re actually all the same person,” laughed Elise.
“Yeah, it’s so easy to relate to each other,” laughed Sarah.
“All four of us can have a conversation at the same time,” laughed Hannah.
“Even though you may not hear each other, you just always know what’s going on!” laughed Jackie.
When you have four young women who are crazy about horses, two world-class barns and several equestrian specialties from which to choose, the fun never stops!