Student spotlight: Jonas enjoys working with, rescuing horses

by Cori Hilsgen

Ashley Jonas enjoys riding her two horses and hopes to become an equine veterinarian like her mentor Dr. Nicole Eller-Medina.

Jonas and Eller-Medina sometimes show their horses at the same place, the “Rocking R Farm” by Foley. Eller-Medina is Jonas’s horses’ veterinarian and is involved with the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation.

Jonas is interested in trying a Trainer’s Challenge. This program allows a person to retrain one of the rescued horses and compete for a prize at the end of the summer. She would also like to acquire one or two foster horses.

Jonas is a resident of St. Joseph and is a senior at Holdingford High School. She is the 18-year-old daughter of Janet Jonas. She has two sisters, Holly, 30, and  Sarah, 21; and one brother Troy, 23. Another sister, Jessica, is deceased.

Jonas has been riding since she was five. She received riding lessons for her birthday. Her mother says they are the present that never ended.

Jonas got her first horse, a paint horse, “Oreo,” in 2008 from her mother for her 13th birthday. Janet bought the horse from the owner of “Fieldstone Farms” in St. Joseph. Oreo was 9 years old when she purchased her and  is now 14 years old.

Jonas got her second horse, an off-the-track-Thoroughbred bay, “Gem,” last year. Gem’s previous owner moved to Texas and needed to sell her. Gem is 15 years old. She was originally from the racing tracks by Hollywood, Calf. Her full name is “Jean’s Lucky One.” Gem raced in 52 races and was retired at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee with a shoulder injury when she was 6 years old.

Gem’s first owner trained her in stadium jumping.  She can clear 4-foot-high jumps. Jonas is now training her to do dressage or English riding.

Jonas especially enjoys three-day dressage event riding, stadium jumping and cross-country. Currently she boards her horses, but she and her mother hope to buy 10 acres of property in the near future. Jonas’s horses are currently boarded, but she helps create their grain bags for “Up Front Horses” to feed them. Both horses have special dietary needs. Oreo needs something to control her weight and Gem needs something to keep her weight on.

Jonas works part-time at Mills Fleet Farm in the farm department.

Fun Facts about Jonas :

Favorite subject: Science

“Because it’s interesting,” Jonas said.

Favorite leisure activity:

Spending time with her horses and hanging out with her friends.

Favorite movie: “John Tucker Must Die”

“It’s hilarious,” Jonas said.

Favorite music: Eminem

Because he was an underdog and became successful even through all the ups and downs.

Favorite restaurant: Texas Roadhouse

Favorite food: Taco pizza with my friend Gen while watching “Vampire Diaries”

Favorite thing she likes to help other people do:

Jonas says she enjoys helping her horse friends get ready at horse shows. She said she also likes volunteering at horse shows.

Favorite quote:

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” from a Kelly Clarkson song.

The thing she likes best about St. Joseph:

“It’s a small town and everyone knows you,” she said.

contributed photo
Ashley Jonas enjoys jumping with her horse “Oreo.” Jonas received the horse as a gift for her 13th birthday.

contributed photo
Ashley Jonas enjoys a dressage, or English riding, event on her horse, “Gem.” The horse was a former racing horse from Hollywood, Calf.

Cori Hilsgen

Cori Hilsgen

Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.
Cori Hilsgen
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