Jenny Simpson practiced equestrian as a kid, guiding horses over jumps. Later when she went to college, she competed in a different sort of jumping as a steeplechase athlete.
In 2008, when the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase made its Olympic debut, she advanced to the final and finished ninth. A year later, she set the American record in the event.
At the 2011 track and field world championships in Daegu, South Korea, all that experience paid off.