Equestrian Carly Dvorkin hits her stride

While some top-level athletes focus on crushing the competition, acclaimed equestrian Carly Dvorkin can attest to the power of shifting her focus inward. The 18-year-old Parkland native, who admits that she sometimes “psychs [herself] out” during equestrian events, has had to learn to let her passion and confidence be her guide.


“Once you overthink too much, it doesn’t benefit you; it only hurts you,” says Dvorkin, a freshman at Tulane University. “After I realized that I compete because I love it, my team noticed. They said to me, ‘You started riding way better when you stopped focusing so much on where you want to be in the future.’”


It’s the tactic she used this summer in Budapest when Dvorkin competed at the 15th European Maccabi Games for Jewish athletes from around the world. She earned a gold medal in the individual show jumping event; Dvorkin also was part of a bronze medal-winning effort by the United States show jumping team in the respective competition.


“I was in two separate ceremonies because I was in the team ceremony and individuals,” Dvorkin says. “I would never trade that memory for the world. That’s something you just don’t forget.”


The U.S. show jumping team at the Maccabi Games

Her success is no surprise given her background. Dvorkin’s parents, Howard and Gwen, own Pine Hollow Farm, an equestrian center in Parkland. With their support, she started riding ponies and eventually competing when she was only 5. Since then, she’s placed in a variety of tournaments, such as the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington and the Tryon International Horse Show in North Carolina.


The results speak for themselves—in 2018, the United States Equestrian Federation ranked her third nationally among medium junior jumpers. In 2016, she was ranked first among junior jumpers in the organization’s Southeast zone (Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia). Her horse, Catch Me Z, finished as U.S. Hunter Jumper Association’s first horse of the year. Her other horse, Carlotta, which she rode at the Maccabi Games, finished as the association’s first horse of the year for medium junior jumpers in 2017 and 2018.


“Nothing is better than coming out of the ring smiling after you know how well you’ve done,” says Dvorkin, who credits her success to her trainer, David Blake, and her family’s support. “It’s not even about your results. Luckily, through the years, the results have followed with my passion. But I think that it’s more about the love of the sport, and that I’m so dedicated to it.”

Carly Dvorkin with trainer, David Blake



Though now a college student in New Orleans, Dvorkin has no plans to stop riding. While the finance major explores her interest in marketing (she built the Pine Hollow website), she will fly to and from the Tryon International Equestrian Center to show through October (Carlotta currently lives at the Pine Hollow location in Tryon). She’ll also compete in the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Great Charity Challenge in 2020.


“College is a new chapter of my life, which is a bit scary, but I’m really looking forward to the future,” she says. “And I never would give up riding for the world because it’s just a part of me. It’s what makes me who I am.”

You May Also Like

W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach to Host Post Tortuga Party

The Tortuga Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale Beach will bring thousands of concertgoers to the area for a weekend of live musical entertainment. The popular event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with headliners Eric Church (Friday), Shania Twain (Saturday) and Kenny Chesney (Sunday), each performing for more than 25,000 fans. However, the party

Paws Enchanted Masquerade Ball to Benefit the Humane Society of Broward County

The annual PAWS Gala benefiting the Humane Society of Broward County occurs at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale. This year’s theme is the “Enchanted Masquerade Ball,” presented by Spirit Airlines. Chairwomen Alyse Lemstrom and Sheryl Maher and their committee have organized the event with proceeds

Dan Marino Foundation Celebrates Autism Acceptance and Awareness Month

The Dan Marino Foundation in Fort Lauderdale will celebrate the autism community with various initiatives and events during Autism Acceptance & Awareness Month throughout April. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to improving the lives of children, teens, and adults with autism. When Dan and Claire Marino created the nonprofit in 1992, the prevalence of autism

Visit Lauderdale Celebrates Broward’s Cultural Diversity

Did you know Broward County is home to a rich, vibrant tapestry of cultures, with people from more than 170 countries speaking 147 languages living here? This dynamic array of diversity is not only prevalent in every corridor of the county — it’s proudly celebrated in the attractions, festivals, and food the destination offers. And

Other Posts

Jack & Jill Center to Host Team Pouncey Bowl for Change Fundraiser

Jack & Jill Center’s Young Professionals Network will host its annual charity bowling tournament from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, at Manor Lanes in Fort Lauderdale. The Team Pouncey Bowl for Change community event will feature a day of bowling, a live DJ, arcade games, a raffle, a full bar and

Gutenburg Burger Opens at Time Out Market Miami

Gutenburg Burger, a German-American burger concept, recently debuted at Time Out Market Miami, home to chef-inspired events, arts and culture, and live entertainment. Chef Jorge Kauam launched the eatery to honor Germany’s history of high-quality beef and highlight the hamburger’s proclaimed roots in his new menu.  “Our buns are a mix of a brioche and potato

Gulfstream Park Village’s Free Cone Day Returns Next Month

Gulfstream Park Village’s popular Free Cone Day will return on Wednesday, May 17 at Häagen-Dazs. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., guests are invited to enjoy one free mini cone or cup with the ice cream flavor of their choice. Additionally, Gulfstream Park Village Center will transform into a family-friendly village carnival with free entertainment

NAMI Broward to Hold Annual Artful Minds Event in Dania Beach

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Broward County will host the Second Annual “Artful Minds” event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 at MAD Arts in Dania Beach, 481 South Federal Highway. The art exhibit showcases the relationship between art and mental health through artwork in various mediums created by artists