To keep it relatively concise: 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. 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. 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.
The difficulties with Ryan, I believe, are partly the reason I am very familiar with the need to sell a horse on into a job or discipline they like,
versus forcing them into the career the rider/owner wants for them.
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 was the quintessential "horse of a lifetime". He was my first CCI**/***/****-L horse. I bought Ribbo in 2003 in Kilkenny, Ireland thru Carol Gee of Fernhill Sport horses and he came up 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.
I worked for Jan Byyny in 2005 and in 2006 when she won the Jersey Fresh CCI*** (which was the year she represented the US at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen Germany). After working for Jan, I went to Southern Pines, NC and developed a successful riding and training business and focused on my goals with Ribbo, who I took to the CCI****-L level three times. 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 Kofford and many top clinicians over the years. I moved to Aiken, SC in the fall of 2010 and established an ever growing sales and training business. The sale of event horses are especially strong , and we also sell quite a few horses for the Dressage and HJ market.
Typically, we sell 30 horses, give or take, directly out of our barn each year, and act as seller’s agent on a handful not in our barn.
I have also focused 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 in Eventing and Dressage.