Hannah Mendiola – My Life Story

Hi! My name is Hannah Mendiola and I am currently a senior here at The University of Mary Washington. I am from Centreville, Virginia and I live with my brother, mom, and stepdad. My parents divorced when I was 1 year-old and while, it is hard having divorced parents, they have always done the best thing and put me first over their disagreements. Neither my mom nor dad went to college, so I am the first one! However, they both hold high-position jobs in the companies that they are in; dad is the Used-Car Sales Manager and Director at Honda of Chantilly, and mom is the Vice-President of Marketing for a Development company.

I am majoring in biology with a concentration in parasitology and a minor in business administration. While being at Mary Washington, I have discovered my love for parasitology and virology which is something that I would have never thought that I would enjoy studying. So, my end goal career wise is to get my PhD in parasitology and work in a research lab (I am not sure where yet). I am currently in the interview process for a Postbac opportunity at the NIH, which is my first step into getting into Grad school. All the work that I have put into working on parasites along-side of the parasitology professors at UMW has gotten me a scholarship from the school.

I have been riding horses for about 8 years now and they are my life! When I started it was a bit intimidating because horses are very big animals with minds of their own. However, I have fell in love with the sport. Originally, I rode dressage and then I switched to hunters/equitation 5 years ago. I recently started training with a 5-star International Event rider and he has transformed my riding as well as, my horses ride ability. I also ride with my hunter trainer Stevie Williams; she took me in when I moved from riding at UMW, and she built up my confidence which was once gone. Not only do I ride horses, but I also work with them. I have worked in all different kinds of barns – Olympic training, show hunter, and your small family friend lesson barn. I recently got my first horse all on my own, which has been a financial struggle, but I would not trade her for the world. My dream for this year, is to take her to a few winter/indoor shows this winter and then in the summer we should be ready for HITS Culpepper and hopefully Upperville.

This is Me!
This is my horse Wynnie and I – we compete in the hunters and equitation. She is a Thoroughbred/Warmblood Cross, 16.1 hands, and is 12 years old. She has previously been trained by Olympic rider, Boyd Martin and competed pre-lim with him.

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