First pony




 Over the years...


   I began riding as a toddler when I was growing up on my parents farm in Kansas and participated in Western riding events until I went to Colorado State University.  While earning my B.S. in Equine Science as preparation for veterinary school, I also began private dressage training and teacher training courses at the university.  Upon completing my college education in 1993, I moved to Louisiana  and began working as an independent trainer and instructor full time.  For a few years I had my own business working with a variety of horses.  I trained almost anything that came my way, from Arabians and Thoroughbreds to Saddlebreds. When I got the occasional Warmblood in training it was a real treat. 

  My own horse at that time, a big Westfalen gelding named Gershwin, 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, I didn’t have access to regular help.  I taught my way to FEI level with Gershwin mostly learning from trial and error.  We made it to Intermediaire II before he had to stop due to ringbone.  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 the age of 18.  He was trained to Grand Prix by Danish trainer Leif Sørensen.  He was my first serious Grand Prix horse and I learned an immeasurable amount from working with him.  He was owned by Oak Hill Ranch in Louisiana where for seven years I worked as Head Trainer.  Rambo and I showed at CDI level Grand Prix from the competitive circuit in Wellington, Florida to the prestigious Dressage at Devon in Pennsylvania, where we achieved a third place.  Those scores with Rambo earned us a place on the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Long List, enabling us to attend the USEF team training sessions.  That was a significant turning point for me in my career. 

  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, and eventually to being selected as a reserve for the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany.   That opportunity gave Arabella and me the direction and recognition that led to even more success.  We had done well in competitions up to that point when she won four and five year old classes at Regional Championships.  At six years old, she was the winner of the FEI six year old young horse championships and almost qualified for the World Championships in Verden, Germany.  When she was eight years old we qualified for and competed in the USEF Intermediaire National Championships in San Juan Capistrano, CA finishing in fifth place.   We started the Grand Prix together when she was eight years old and by the time she was ten years old we had qualified for the USEF Grand Prix National Championships at Gladstone, NJ where we finished fifth overall.  As a result of that, we earned the traveling reserve spot for the 2006 World Equestrian Games.  During that time I also had my very young horse Paragon in training and Otto who was an exciting newcomer to FEI competition. 

  Otto was the third and most significant horse for me.  Rambo was also his sire and I trained and competed him from the age of eight when he was doing lower level work until he was 13. We developed into an extremely competitive partnership and gained important progress in the international Grand Prix arena.  We competed throughout Europe and Scandinavia for over two years, winning third place in the Grand Prix Special at the Mondorf CDIO, Luxembourg, amidst Germany’s top riders and top 10 finishers in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at Stuttgart CDI5*. 

  My current Grand Prix horse is the Danish Warmblood gelding Paragon by Don Schufro out of Pari Lord by Loran, who was bred by Oak Hill Ranch and foaled under my supervision.  I have owned him since he was a foal and he has proved to be an extraordinarily talented horse.  We began our competition career together when he was seven when I had just returned from living in Denmark for four years.  His first competitions on the Florida circuit were marked with impressive scores from 71 to 76% percent, qualifying him for the prestigious CDI 3* at Dressage at Devon where he won both the Prix St George and Intermediaire I with over 70%.  These scores qualified us for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico where he won both the individual silver and team gold medals.  With these results, I decided to make the move to the big tour and we launched our Grand Prix career 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 proved that Paragon was a serious contender.  Later that year we qualified and were selected as the Traveling Reserve for the 2012 London Olympic Games.  Paragon is now aimed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

  In addition to my competition schedule, I have been a guest judge and test rider at the Pavo Cup (four and five year old National Championships) in The Netherlands and for the Danish National Championships for five year olds.  I continue to maintain a full schedule of clinics, symposiums and private lessons that I give in the U.S., Denmark and England.  My training system is based on two principles: rider biomechanics and body awareness at all levels, and my training system, which is founded on many years of experience.
  The person who has been the biggest influence in my riding is my biomechanics coach, Mary Wanless.  I met Mary in 1993 and she still coaches me to this day. Her research into the effect of riders’ bodies on horses is extensive and unique and not found in more traditional training.  Her theories continue 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 are trying to achieve,  but Mary’s style, using analogies and sensory feedback, allows for amazing communication and understanding where timing and sensitivity are essential for success.  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."

Career Highlights


Markel/USEF National Reserve Champion Developing Prix St. Georges (Ripline)

USDF/ABIG Region 8 PSG Champion with Ripline


National Six-Year Old Champion (Ripline)

Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championship

Region 8 Third Level Champion (Ripline)
NEDA Fall Festival

National Third Level Champion (Ripline)

US Dressage Finals 


CDIO Wellington
1st GP (Paragon)
1st GP Special (Paragon)

World Dressage Masters CDI5* West Palm Beach, FL
4th GP 74% (Paragon)
4th GP freestyle 74.9% (Paragon)

1st International Horse Sport Dressage Premier, FL GP 75%  (Paragon)

1st FEI 5 year old test 8.48, (Ripline)


Reserve for US Olympic team, London Olympics (Paragon)

World Dressage Masters CDI4*, West Palm Beach, FL 
Grand Prix 71% (Paragon)
Grand Prix Freestyle 72% (Paragon)

CDI Wellington, FL
3rd place Grand Prix 70.125% (Paragon)
1st place Grand Prix freestyle 75.4% (Paragon)


PanAmerican Games, Guadalajara, Mexico
Team Gold medal (Paragon)
Individual Silver Medal 

Gold Coast Opener CDI-W, January
1st PSG, 75.7% 
1st I-1, 73.5% 

Wellington Spring Challenge CDI-W, February
1st, 70.6% (Paragon)

Palm Beach Derby CDI-W, March
1st PSG, 76.0% 
1st I-1, 76.7% 

Dressage in the Tropics
1st Grand Prix, 74% 

USEF Festival of Champions and Pan American Games Selection Trials
Reserve Champion 


Dressage at Devon CDI-W, October
1st PSG, 72.4% 
1st I-1, 70.4% 

Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge, February
1st PSG, 71% 

Wellington Spring Challenge. January
1st PSG, 76% 

Braunschweig CDI, Germany
5th Grand Prix 

Mondorf CDIO, Luxembourg
5th GP 
3rd Grand Prix Special 

Balve CDI, Germany 
4th GPS 

USEF Festival of Champions
5th GP 
4th GPS 
5th Grand Prix Freestyle 

Aarhus CDI, Denmark
4th Intermediare 1 (Otto)

Texas Dressage Classic
1st PSG 71% 
1st I-2 
1st GP 75% 

Dressage at Devon
3rd GP 

Gold Coast Opener CDI
Royal Midnight 2nd Int1B
2nd Int 1 

Florida Dressage Classic
Royal Midnight 1st Int 1

USEF Festival of Champions, Olympic Selection Trials
5th overall 

Wellington Eq. Fed Classic CDI
1st 6yr old class 

ABIC/USDF Region 3 Championships
1st 3rd Level championship 
1st 3rd Level freestyle championship 
1st GP 
1st GPF 

Miami-Dade CDI
1st Prix St George 
1st Int. 1