Tricia Booker is a lifelong equestrian who has been fortunate to make horses her vocation and avocation. In addition to earning hunter/jumper victories and championships from the country’s top horse shows, she’s an award-winning equestrian magazine editor/writer and photographer.
Tricia experienced her first grand mal seizure (generalized tonic-clonic seizure) at age 19 and was diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME). She was extremely fortunate that her father, Dr. Harold E. Booker, was one of the nation’s leading neurologists and epilepsy researchers at the time and influential in breakthroughs in epilepsy treatment.
Her father served as president of the Wisconsin Neurological Society, was program chairman and president of The American Epilepsy Society and board member of the Epilepsy Foundation of America. He was a member of the Epilepsy Foundation’s Professional Advisory Board from 1979-1987 and received many service awards throughout his lifetime for his dedication to the study of epilepsy.
Although her epilepsy was controlled through anti-seizure medications, the side effects took a toll, and she was forced to drop out of college while adjusting. She resumed her studies the following year, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and continued competing in equestrian competitions on a national level as an amateur.
Since her diagnosis, Tricia has had tonic-clonic seizures periodically, but they haven’t prevented her from advancing in competition or in her career in the equestrian industry. She’s earned amateur show jumping championships from Virginia to California and has had thousands of articles and photographs published in an array of books, magazines, newspapers and websites around the world. She’s a former editor of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine and current editor of the United States Hunter Jumper Association's USHJA In Stride magazine.
In addition to competing herself, Tricia is also a United States Equestrian Federation Registered (R-rated) judge in Hunters and Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation and has more than 30 years of judging experience from coast-to-coast.
Tricia is grateful to have had incredibly supportive family and friends throughout her life who understand epilepsy and the challenges those with it face. She looks forward to educating the equestrian world about epilepsy through Athletes vs Epilepsy and plans to work with long-time friend and top professional rider and trainer Liza Towell Boyd (who also has epilepsy). Tricia intends to help raise awareness, funds and to carry on her father’s lifelong mission to find a cure for epilepsy.