20 Dec December Katherine Girl of the Month: Meet Dominique
Introducing Our December Katherine Girl of the Month: Meet Dominique Gonzalez
We’re can’t wait to introduce you to this month’s Katherine Girl of the Month Dominique Gonzalez! Some of you might already know this talented competitive equestrian from the show circuit where she’s been winning lots of tri-color ribbons this year. But for us here at Katherine Cosmetics, it’s Dominique’s inspiring never-say-quit attitude and her irrepressible joy for life that make her a true star. Congratulations Dominique!
Keep reading below to find out more about how this multi-tasking college freshman and aspiring photo journalist is chasing her dreams and bringing lots positive vibes (and yummy baked goods) to everyone she meets.
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Katherine Girl of the Month: Dominque Gonzalez
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
School: Savannah College of Art and Design
Dominique was born into the horse business. Her parents are both competitive equestrians from Puerto Rico. Her mother rode for the Puerto Rican Dressage Team and her father (and her trainer), Grand Prix rider Terry Gonzalez, competed for the Puerto Rican Show Jumping Team.
Even with this pedigree, Dominique wasn’t so sure riding was for her. When her family moved from Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida when she was six years old, Dominique decided to try out some other sports. But when her mother brought up selling her beloved pony if she didn’t want to ride anymore, she had a change of heart.
“I was not head over heels in love with riding,” she said. “I wanted to do everything else. I tried soccer, gymnastics, swimming. But then my mom threatened to sell my pony … I did not want to see my pony go! So I keep riding.”
Dominque spent the next several years showing ponies and having a lot of fun. “My parents never really pushed me,’ she said. “They told me that if this is what I want, then go ahead and go for it.” And that’s exactly what Dominique did. While showing her beloved medium pony, Candyland, she said things really clicked for her. “I loved her [the pony] to death. And that’s how I really found that this is what I want to do! I want to ride this pony. I want to keep riding.”
Dominique is Just Getting Started
These days, Dominque is dreaming big. She hopes to represent Puerto Rico in the upcoming Central American Games with an ultimate goal of making the Puerto Rican team for the 2019 Pan American Games and the 2024 Olympics Games.
Dominque said she is grateful to have always had the help of her parents, especially her dad/trainer. “It’s really fun training with my dad,” she said. “There is bickering. But I can also really talk to my dad. He knows more about me than a lot of trainers do. And he loves me so much and he just wants me to do well.”
Dominique admits, though, that even with all that support, it’s not always easy to do everything she wants to do. Dominque is currently a Freshman at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where is a majoring in photography with an eye on a career as a photojournalist. (You can check out her gorgeous photos here and here.)
She’s also a member of the college’s ISHS equestrian team, which she said has been a thrilling experience for her. “They are really into school spirit. They always cheer for one another no matter what happens in the class. It’s exhilarating. I have never been around that type of energy before. Everyone is going for the same thing. We want all to win for the team.”
It’s this sense of comradery and team spirit that Dominque also loves about being part of the #KatherineGirl family. And it should come as no surprise she bought her can-do attitude to the #KatherineGirl Give Back Week as a member of this year’s winning ASPCA team. “Being a Katherine Girl is about being part of something bigger than myself. I really enjoy coming together to work with charities and to raise money for them. I like that part … being together and helping others.”
While Dominque said she might not have figured it all out yet, one thing she said she knows for sure: she won’t give up! “I have gotten into certain situation where I thought I shouldn’t be riding. I just need to stop. But then I kept going and there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Stuff does get better. It might not seem so great right at the time but it does get better. Life has a plan.”
Insider Info on Dominique
Dominique admitted that she’s a stress baker. Whenever she’s got a lot on her plate or she’s procrastinating, she heads to the kitchen to whip up some type of chocolate dessert. Her favorite? Chocolate chip cookies.
One of Dominique’s favorite #Katherinemoments came this past September when she won the Junior Medal Final at the Southeast Medal Finals in Florida riding the seven-year-old gelding, Euro D’Hyrencourt, owned by Wadsworth Equestrian. Having placed second the two years previous, Dominique said she was determined to win this year. But first, she had to get through the final test: a 20-minute flat class without stirrups (that started off at the counter canter). “I was not holding back!” she said. “I didn’t think about the pain. I just rode my heart out!”
Favorite #KATHERINE Products:
As a competitive athlete, it’s no surprise that Dominique is a big fan of Katherine Cosmetics K-Sport beauty products! She especially appreciates that these products contain sunscreen, which she admits she sometimes forgets to apply before heading out to ride.
K-Sport WOW Stick SPF 20: “The K-Sport Wow Stick is a great moisturizing primer I can use at horse shows without my face feeling cake-y. It’s very light.”
K-Sport Lip Protection: “The K-Sport Lip Protection helps keep my lips moisturized throughout the day, especially at horse shows when they are prone to get chapped.”
Stay tuned for our next Katherine Girl of the Month feature!
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