I began riding as a toddler growing up on my parents farm in Kansas.
(I’m the one pictured on the right.)  I participated in Western riding events until beginning my education at Colorado State University.  While earning my B.S. in Equine Science in preparation for veterinary medicine, I also began private dressage training and teacher training courses at the university.  After finishing my education, I moved to Louisiana  in 1993 and began working as an independent trainer and instructor full time.  For a few years I had my own business working with a menagerie of horses.  I trained almost anything that came my way, from arabians and thoroughbreds to race horses and saddlebreds!  I got an occasional warmblood in training and that was a real treat. 


My own horse at that time,  Gershwin, a very big Westfalen gelding generously put up with my many experiments, failures and and periodic successes.   I participated
in various clinics and symposiums whenever possible but like so many riders didn’t have access to regular help.  I learned my way to FEI with Gershwin  mostly independently, learning from trial and error.  We managed our way to Intermediare II and then had to stop because of a ringbone problem.
I have competed in recognized dressage since 1994 on too many horses to mention, winning many Regional and National titles at all levels.  One career
changing horse for me was the Danish Warmblood stallion Rambo DVE 373.  I began training him when he was 12 years old and retired him at 18.  He was trained to Grand Prix by Danish trainer Leif Sørensen.  He was my first serious Grand Prix horse and I learned an indescribable amount from working with him.  He was owned by Oak Hill Ranch in Louisiana who employed me as head trainer for 7 years.  Rambo and I showed at CDI level Grand Prix from the competitive circuit in south Florida to the prestigious Dressage at Devon where we were placed as high as 3rd.   The scores I earned riding Rambo earned me a place on the USEF Long List which made it possible for me to be invited to the USEF team training sessions.  That was a significant turning point for me.


The second horse that has made a huge impact in my career was Arabella, a daughter of Rambo.  I trained her from her first day under saddle all the way to the Grand Prix, getting
as far as reserve for the World Equestrian Games 2006.   That opportunity gave Arabella and me direction and recognition that led to even more success.  We had done well in competitions up to that point with wins in regional championships at age 4 and 5.  At 6 years old, she was the winner of the FEI 6 year old young horse championships nearly qualifying for the World Championships in Verden, Germany.  At 8 years old she and I qualified for and competed in the USEF Intermediare National championships in San Juan Capistrano, CA and finished in 5th place.   We started the Grand Prix together when she was 8 years old and by 10 had qualified for the USEF Grand Prix National Championships at Gladstone.  There we competed and came in fifth overall.   Resulting from that placing, we earned the traveling reserve spot for the U.S. World Equestrian Games team in Aachen.  I had along with me my very young horse Paragon and an exciting new comer to FEI, Otto.


The third and most significant
horse for me was Otto.  He is also by Rambo and I trained and competed him from age 8 when he was doing lower level work, to 13. We developed into an extremely competitive duo and gained ground the International Grand Prix ring.  We competed throughout Europe and Scandinavia for over 2 years  including 3rd place in the Grand Prix special at the Mondorf CDIO, Luxembourg, amidst Germany’s top riders and top 10 finishes in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at Stuttgart CDI5*.  You can see video archives of Otto and me by clicking here.


My current Grand Prix horse is Paragon.  He is a danish warmblood by Don Schufro out of Pari Lord by Loran, bred by Oak Hill Ranch who was born under my supervision.  I’ve owned him since he was a foal and I have been training him with my own system and judgement ever since.  He is an extraordinary horse with his own amazing style.  We began our competition career together when he was 7 and I had just returned from my 4 years living in Denmark.  His first competitions on the competitive Florida circuit were all impressive scores from 71 to 76% percent  qualifying him for the prestigious CDI 3* at Devon where he won both the PSG and the I1 over 70%.   We then qualified for the US Pan American team.  After his performance at the PanAmerican games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October of 2011 winning individual silver and team gold medals, I then decided to make
the move to the big tour and we then started in the Grand Prix in January at the 2012 World Dressage Masters.  I had entered the CDI 3* which ran concurrently with the Masters and because of our high placing, we were invited to compete in the Masters the next day.  Started off our Grand prix career with a bang!  We placed over 70% in both the Grand Prix and the Special which said to me Paragon is a true contender.  Later that year we qualified to be the reserve position for the US Olympic team in London. 

Paragon is now on track towards the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France and then on to the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janero.


I have been a guest judge and test rider at the Pavo Cup in Holland (their National Championship for 4 and 5 year old horses) and for the Danish National Championships for 5 year olds.  I keep a busy schedule of lessons, clinics and symposiums that I give in Denmark, England and throughout the U.S. My training system is based on two main things, the rider’s biomechanics and body awareness at ALL levels, and my training system which I have developed from years of practice and trial and error.

 
The person who has been the biggest influence in my riding is my biomechanics coach, Mary Wanless.  I met Mary in 1993 and have continued to learn from her to the present.  Her
research into the effect of riders’ bodies on horses is extensive and unique and not found in more “traditional” training.  Her theories continue miles beyond teaching the beginner to improve their seat.   The more advanced I become in my riding,  I find her even more helpful.  Like a mechanic tuning my engine as I need more and more technique, power and refinement.  As you progress up the levels, it gets harder and harder to find words to describe what we’re trying to achieve  but Mary’s style, using analogies and sensory feedback allows for amazing communication and understanding in a world of feel and timing.  I have always had a special niche in my own teaching because of my education from Mary and will forever be grateful for the day I was introduced to her. 
 

My Career Highlights


2013


CDIO Wellington

1st place GP, Paragon

1st place GP special, Paragon


World Dressage Masters CDI5* West Palm Beach, FL

Paragon, 4th place GP 74%

Paragon, 4th place GP freestyle 74.9%


International Horse Sport Dressage Premier, FL

Paragon 1st place GP 75%


1st place FEI 5 year old test 8.48, Ripline


2012


Reserve for US Olympic team, London Olympics

Paragon


World Dressage Masters CDI4*, West Palm Beach, FL

Paragon, Grand Prix 71%

Paragon, Grand Prix freestyle 72%


CDI Wellington, FL

Paragon, 3rd place Grand Prix 70.125%

Paragon, 1st place Grand Prix freestyle 75.4%



2011


2011 PanAmerican Games, Guadalajara, Mexico

Paragon,Team Gold medal

Paragon, Individual silver medal


Gold Coast Opener CDI-W, January

Paragon, 1st place PSG, 75.7%

Paragon, 1st place I1, 73.5%


Wellington Spring Challenge CDI-W, February

Paragon, 1st place, 70.6%


Palm Beach Derby CDI-W, March

Paragon, 1st place PSG, 76.0%

Paragon, 1st place I1, 76.7%


Dressage in the Tropics

Paragon, 1st place Grand Prix, 74%


USEF Festival of Champions and Pan American Games Selection Trials

Paragon, Reserve Champion


2010


Dressage at Devon CDI-W, October

Paragon, 1st place PSG, 72.4%

Paragon, 1st place I1, 70.4%


Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge, February

Paragon, 1st place PSG, 71%


Wellington Spring Challenge. January

Paragon, 1st place PSG, 76%


2008

Braunschweig CDI, Germany

Otto 5th Grand Prix


Mondorf CDIO, Luxembourg

Otto 5th place  GP

Otto 3rd place Grand Prix Special


2007

Balve CDI, Germany 

Otto 4th place GPS


2006

USEF Festival of Champions

Arabella 5th GP

Arabella 4th GPS

Arabella 5th Grand Prix Freestyle


Aarhus CDI, Denmark

Otto 4th Intermediare 1


2005

Texas Dressage Classic

Otto 1st PSG 71%

Arabella 1st I2 

Arabella 1st GP 75%


Dressage at Devon

Arabella 3rd GP


2004 

Gold Coast Opener CDI

Royal Midnight 2nd Int1B

Arabella 2nd Int 1


Florida Dressage Classic

Royal Midnight 1st Int 1


USEF Festival of Champions, Olympic Selection Trials

Arabella 5th overall


2002

Wellington Eq. Fed Classic CDI

Arabella 1st 6yr old class


2001 

ABIC/USDF Region 3 Championships

Arabella 1st 3rd level championship

Arabella 1st 3rd level freestyle championship

Rambo 1st GP

Rambo 1st GPF


2000

Miami-Dade CDI

Rambo 1st Prix St George

Rambo 1st Int. 1


October 1989

Feb 2006

July 2008