Q&A with Equestrian Juliette Douros Hawk

At only 13 years of age, Juliette Douros Hawk is making a name for herself as an award-winning junior equestrian and a young entrepreneur

Juliette Douros Hawk and Alaska. Photo by Ronni Zarlinga
Juliette Douros Hawk and Alaska. Photo by Ronni Zarlinga

At only 13 years of age, Juliette Douros Hawk is making a name for herself as an award-winning junior equestrian and a young entrepreneur. The eighth-grade Naples Classical Academy student was introduced to riding at a summer camp. “I instantly fell in love with the sport and asked my parents if I could start taking weekly lessons,” she explains. Although her first horse was leased, she is now the proud owner of Abbey Road, a Canadian Warmblood, who is stabled at Shore Acres Farm, a full-service equestrian facility located in eastern Collier County where Douros Hawk trains with a team of internationally acclaimed instructors.

To date, Douros Hawk has competed at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, and Fox Lea Farm in Venice. She is a member of the United States Equestrian Federation and the United States Hunter Jumper Association and has been awarded various ribbons, as well as the titles of reserve champion and grand champion in the hunter and equitation divisions. And that’s not all. Douros Hawk recently founded Eq Pro, an apparel company that creates accessories—using only sustainable materials—designed to improve a rider’s performance. The collection features fashionable and functional riding socks, washable nylon hairnets, leather riding gloves, and a saddle pad. 

Naples Illustrated spoke with Douros Hawk about the sport she loves and her newly founded business enterprise. 

Juliette Douros Hawk. Photo by Ronni Zarlinga
Juliette Douros Hawk. Photo by Ronni Zarlinga

NI: What is a typical day like for you?

Douros Hawk: I ride three to four times a week after school. Each training session is about an hour long. After my lesson I take care of Abbey by grooming and bathing her. I like to let her graze while I work on cleaning my tack. It usually takes me about three to four hours from start to finish. On the days that I’m not riding, I make sure to get all my schoolwork done. I enjoy riding on Saturday mornings, too. 

What is your travel schedule like?

Our barn competes in shows approximately every four to six weeks. We are scheduled to compete in various events throughout the country this year; in April, we were invited to Tryon, North Carolina.

Juliette Douros Hawk at Comp
Juliette Douros Hawk competing.

Where did you get your interest in business, and why did you create Eq Pro? 

My mom has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so I think I get that from her. From riding competitively, I saw a need for comfortable socks and, more importantly, a really good hairnet. When competing in the hunter division, it is required that all your hair is kept securely under your helmet. The hairnets on the market were not working for me or for the other riders. They didn’t seem to hold anyone’s hair securely in place, and it was stressful watching everybody try to get their hair up in the helmet and to the ring on time to compete. I thought there must be a better way, so I developed a nylon cap that is breathable, washable, and reusable yet tightly secures the hair—making it more comfortable under the helmet. 

You have made it your mission to support a new generation of riders by teaming up with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA)—an organization that has worked with student equestrians for more than 25 years. Why do this?

I wanted to find a way to give back to the equestrian community. I really like the mission of the IEA and what they are doing for young riders. We now have an Eq Pro scholarship fund with the IEA; we donate samples of our socks and caps for their shows of which Eq Pro is an official sponsor.

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