AQHA Phenom Ellexxah Maxwell on Martial Arts, Guilty Pleasures, and Valegro
With accomplishments like 18 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) national titles, 30 All American Quarter Horse Congress championships, 10 Top Ten placings at the AQHA Youth World Show, and multiple wins at Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Finals, it is no surprise that 16-year-old Ellexxah Maxwell has been riding her whole life. Aboard her mare, Zips Bossy Chip, this red-headed rider is taking the world by storm.
Name: Ellexxah Maxwell
Hometown: West Mansfield, Ohio
THE FUN STUFF
Do you have any nicknames?
When I was on [the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup] Team USA my teammates gave me the nickname “Twiggy.”
What’s your favorite barn hack?
Baby wipes! If your horse’s nose gets burnt in the sun with face grease, baby wipes are a great way to clean your horse’s nose off. Plus, they double as rags to wipe off your boots before you go in the pen!
Who do you look up to?
My parents. They have been showing and training horses for 35 years. The determination and dedication they have to the horses they train and the customers who own them is truly astounding. The love they have for the sport is one of the many reasons I got into showing myself. Doing something you love for work is anyone’s dream come true.
What famous horse would you love to ride?
Zenyatta. In a way she reminds me of my own horse, just much faster, of course. Zenyatta likes to put on a show and doesn’t hesitate to make you sit on the edge of your seat during a race, much like my horse who does the same when performing patterns in the show pen.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To control the elements, kind of like the X-Men superhero, Storm.
Do you have any lucky charms?
I have one lucky charm and it’s my necklace, which is a pendant shaped as the numbers 339. It’s the back number I’ve shown with since I started showing horses, so when I get assigned a number that’s not 339 I always wear my necklace for a little extra luck.
What’s the most interesting fact about you?
When I was 11 I earned my black belt in martial arts, which I took as a form of self-defense.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sushi. Though some people don’t like it, there’s something about sitting down and eating raw fish that’s appealing to this small town girl.
Who is your equestrian idol?
Probably Charlotte Dujardin and her horse Valegro. The way those two can perform a dressage [test] is truly breathtaking.
If you weren’t in the horse industry, what would you be doing?
I would be doing something with music, apart from my love for horses I also love to sing and listen to music. Whether it be a singer or a DJ, that’s where I would be.
What song do you love to have on repeat?
I actually have two songs I listen to a lot and that’s “Rise” by Katy Perry and “Army” by Ellie Goulding. Both of these songs are just inspirational to me and they remind me that there is always someone who will help me when I fall.
What was your worst fall off a horse?
My worst fall off a horse was when I was about six. There was a divide in one of the fence railings and somehow I got my spur caught in the gap—unknown to me. My horse stopped and I had no idea why, so I kept kicking and kicking until finally he bucked and my spur came loose. I didn’t fall hard, but if it wasn’t for my horse I surely would have broken my leg that day.