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Young Equestrian Supports Her Horse Dreams Through Her Business Aubrey’s Handcrafted Located in Congress Hall

Fourteen-year-old Aubrey Gernand of Mooresville, Indiana, isn’t just a typical horse-crazy girl — the one who dreams about having a horse or asks for a pony for Christmas. Instead, this eighth grader made it happen herself. With the help of her parents, Aubrey’s Handcrafted came to fruition as a way for this aspiring equestrian to buy a horse. Last year, she had a booth in Congress Hall and sold over 780 candles in her quest for horse ownership.

Her parents, Andy and Gigi Gernand, told their daughter that if she wanted a horse, she’d have to buy him herself. “We told her she needed to come up with a business. We weren’t going to give it to her. She was going to have to work for it.” 

Well, this young lady did just that and stepped up to the challenge. Her dream came true this past August. Aubrey made enough money to buy a horse and pay for one month in board.

This year Aubrey is back at Congress in Congress Hall. She will be selling more candles to support her horse habit. This year, she has over 1,000 candles to sell. Some popular scents include Bourbon Neat, Birthday Cake, Leather, Cowboy, and Caramel Tobacco. The small candles are $8, large ones are $15, three small ones for $20, and three large ones for $40.

Aubrey is becoming quite the entrepreneur with the help of her parents and her Uncle Hank Clason, a well-known Ohio horse trainer. Her mother, Gigi is also a Congress Winner in Amateur Horsemanship.

While searching for a new horse, Aubrey kept sending her uncle pictures of horses to see if he thought it would be a good fit. Finally, after an extensive search, Uncle Hank found the perfect match for Aubrey…an 11-year-old thoroughbred named Yes Im Lucky. “James” is an off-the-track, bay 16.2H gelding who won multiple races during his prime. 

Despite his success on the racetrack, Aubrey says that it is clear that he prefers a much slower pace and loves his new home. James is a barn favorite and loves sweet potatoes as a treat. “He’s calm, laid back, but very willing at the same time,” Aubrey says. “My uncle trained him for a few weeks; then he was sent to Black Dog Stables, where I’m now riding him.” This new team just won two classes at their first hunter-jumper show. They are under the guidance of Maggie Boyle and Christina Williams.

With her candle proceeds from this year, Aubrey plans to help pay for her showing, boarding her horse, and other equestrian-related activities like applying to Culver Academies, a boarding school that Aubrey wants to attend due to their equestrian program. She is also involved with IEA, where she recently won a reserve championship. 

“I love horses because of the bond you can create. It is very freeing to ride and forget about everything but the connection between you and your horse,” Aubrey shares.

Aubrey’s mother Gigi adds, “Being involved with horses has been a great experience for her. The horse community has been very supportive, and we appreciate the overwhelming response from fellow equestrians.”

The quote by Thomas Jefferson comes to mind when describing Aubrey and James, “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Yes, these two are “lucky” to have found each other. 

Aubrey is at booth #611 in Congress Hall, selling her candles. Please stop by and buy some candles to help support this inspirational young lady.

Can’t make it to Congress Hall? Visit Aubrey’s website at