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10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Meg DePalma

Amateur exhibitor Meg DePalma of North Augusta, South Carolina, is a force in and out of the show arena. Outside of the arena, she is currently a Regional Vice-President for Prudential Financial. In a nutshell, she sells investment and retirement products to financial advisors.

Inside the show pen, DePalma is excited to be showing her two-year-old hunt seat horse, Prettiest Of All, as well as her all-around mare, Dont Think Twice (Marley).

At this year’s Congress, Dont Think Twice and Megan were Top 10 in the Amateur Western Riding, Amateur Performance Halter Mares, and Top 15 in the Amateur Showmanship. This new team was also Top 10 at the AQHA World Show in Amateur Horsemanship. DePalma will start showing her hunter under saddle horse, Prettiest Of All at the Venice, Florida circuit in January in the 3-Year-Old Non-Pro events.

Meg sat down with us to give us more insight into her background and share some things that people in the industry may not know about her. 

1) I grew up on a cow farm. Most people think “city” when I say I am from New York. They don’t know that I’m from the western part of the state, the quiet, country part. My father, who is now deceased, was a Holstein farmer. We had a few hundred acres and lots of cows. When I was little, my sister and I drove tractors, fixed fences, baled hay, and planted our gardens. So outside of talking a little fast, most people can’t tell I’m a New Yorker.

2) I was in pageants growing up. I competed in New York Junior Miss Program. Girls across the state competed in four categories: evening gown (poise), talent, interview, and scholastics. My talent was tap dancing, which I had done for 15 years. I danced to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and won. I also won the interview portion of the competition and ended up being crowned Junior Miss 2003. The program granted me thousands in scholarship money and started my love for public speaking.

3) I graduated college with two degrees. Going into college, I planned to become an actuary because I loved math. Three calculus courses in, and I decided maybe it wasn’t for me. I switched to corporate finance my freshman year. I always enjoyed public speaking in 4-H and grade school. My mom said I had a natural ability to “stand and deliver,” so, my sophomore year I added speech communication to my curriculum as well. I ended up loving both fields, and I firmly believe the success in my career now has a lot to do with my two-focus path in college.

4) I love anything spicy! I’m not sure it’s normal for someone to eat everything with hot sauce, but I do. I’m the girl who orders the atomic wings, my Thai food “level 4,” and cries typically at least once while eating sushi because the “wasabi” got me. One of these days, I’m sure my stomach lining will eat away, and I won’t be able to enjoy the spicy life any longer, but for now, it’s never hot enough.

5) I can speak Japanese. Our high school offered Spanish and Japanese as second language options. I thought that having Japanese on my transcript would be cool, so I signed up. It was hard, very hard. Unfortunately, I can hold only a small conversation nowadays, but it does surprise people when I do.

6) I played Rugby in college. Throughout grade school, I was very active in sports. I started playing soccer and swimming at a young age. Then, in my senior year in high school, I decided to focus on academics. Halfway through my freshman year in college, I started to miss the sports and competition. I heard there were tryouts for the University Women’s Rugby team, so I went. It was wild. Soccer and football thrown together. I loved it. During our fifth game of the season, I was stiff-armed during a tackle and got my nose broke. I went to the hospital and had to have surgery so I could breathe properly. My mom recommended that I re-think my decision to play a tackle sport without pads, or my body and face might not recover. I ended my short career soon after that. Moms know best, haha.

7) I can’t snap my fingers. It’s weird, I know. I can’t snap at all on my left hand, and my right hand sometimes cooperates, but it looks strange, and no “snapping” sound is produced.

8) I’ve worked for the same company my entire 15-year career. Nowadays, people have had so many jobs, changed companies several times and done so many different things when you ask their background. I seem to be boring in that aspect. I started with Prudential Financial directly out of college. They hired me and I moved to Connecticut in 2007. I was promoted to Regional Marketing Director in 2011 and they moved me to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In December 2012, I was promoted to Vice President, and now I live in Augusta, Georgia. I’m blessed to work for a fantastic company.

9) I’m terrified of spiders. It’s so bad that I have nightmares about them. I wake my fiancé, Preston up regularly, panicking about them crawling on me and dangling in my face. I was at a horse show in New York several years ago with my mom and sister, Lynnie. I woke up yelling about the spiders. I fell directly out of the hotel bed in my rapid attempt to “get away” from it. My family still tells that crazy Meg story.

10) Speaking of my fiancé. Preston and I are getting married in March of 2022 in Savannah, Georgia. We are getting married at the mansion on Forsythe Park, an iconic Savannah landmark. We will be honeymooning in Curacao once Preston finishes his spring semester. I’m going to be Meg Pye! #myrideorpye