To keep it relatively concise, I grew up on my parent's farm in Maine where they bred Morgans for combined driving as a hobby. As a small child I rode and drove an adorable white Welsh Mountain Pony named Mayflower before moving on to horses. She and I had little formal training, but all those years of tearing around bareback and jumping logs have stood me in good steads.
I fell into Eventing quite by accident. When I was 11, I acquired my first horse, Aurora Boris. I ended up with Boris, not because we were looking for a Novice packer (which he was), but because he was a sane and safe jumper. I was on a quest to be a Show Jumper, like Greg Best, and wanted my own Gem Twist. Wisely, my father bought Boris, an unflappable TB/QH. After having had him about a
year, I was examining his event record and decided to join this "USCTA (now the USEA) thing" that Boris had done so well competing in. One membership led to an event, and one event lead to three more years of Eventing and a successful season at Training level by the time I was 15. By then, I had my heart set on Preliminary.
Another horse was acquired with the sale of Boris to a young girl who he would protect and indulge as he had done for me. That purchase, Ryan, through many trials and tribulations would result in a few events at Preliminary before I accepted the fact that Ryan did not wish to be an upper level event horse, even though his talent seemed to contradict that conclusion.
Selling Ryan as a Show Hunter resulted in the purchase of Ribbo who is a classic example of the "horse that makes a rider's career". He is the quintessential "horse of a lifetime". He is my first CCI*/**/*** horse and will, hopefully, be my first CCI**** horse. I bought Ribbo in 2003 in Kilkenny, Ireland thru Carol Gee of Fernhill Sporthorses. Since then, he has been my main horse coming up thru the levels and moved with me multiple times as I pursued my riding goals after graduating from North Carolina State University in 2005 with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Economics.
In Southern Pines, I trained with Robert Costello (2000 Olympian) and then for three years mainly with John Williams (2002 WEG, 2004 Olympian). Additional help has been garnered from Kim Severson, Eric Smiley, Gunnar Ostergard, Jim Koford and many top clinicians.
Currently, I'm establishing an ever growing sales and training business in Aiken, SC. The sales of event horses are especially strong, and we also sell quite a few horses for the Dressage and HJ markets. I have recently focused additionally on clients who train purely in Dressage and am helping them with their horses who are not for sale. A good portion of the horses in the barn are not for sale and they and their owners have been training with me long term. At the moment, the barn is thriving and I hope to have another upper level event horse in the near future, and quite possibly a serious dressage mount as well!
After a couple of moves, including a year in Middleburg, VA, working for Jan Byyny in 2006 when she won the Jersey Fresh CCI*** and represented the US at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen Germany, I came to Southern Pines, NC. Once arriving in Southern Pines, I developed a successful freelance riding and training business and focused on my goals with Ribbo. I also bought prospects and resold them after moving to Southern Pines, in addition to campaigning Ribbo and my client's horses.