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Vicki's History & Experience With The Horse.



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Vicki Kelley with 16 year old imported Bavarian Warmblood Rondo Veneziano. The pair have shown through grand prix. Vicki has over thirty years experience training young dressage prospects to FEI since entering the FEI arena in 1986.

The Early Years
At only a few months of age Vicki showed her passion for the horse. Her first beloved toy was a stuffed horse. At an early age Vicki's parents knew her attraction was long lasting. At the age of 3, her father bought her first pony. His name was Joe. Before Vicki learned to ride her father taught Joe to drive. Joe pulled a small two wheel cart up and down the private road on which they lived. On those hot summers Vicki and Joe sold Lemonade. She drove Joe as he pulled a red wagon of lemonade behind the cart, her little brother handled the sales.

Vicki and pony Joe 1963
Vicki and Joe 1963

The Budding Professional
At 13 years old, Vicki had her first horse named Becky. Becky was a Quarter Horse cross that had been trained to barrel race. Vicki spent many hours with Becky teaching her how to become a trail and Western Pleasure horse. This is when Vicki began to truly develop her patience and skill for training horses.

At that time, many of Vicki's neighbors noticed her ability to train horses. Many asked her to ride and train their horses as well. This was the beginning of her professional training career.

By 16 years of age Vicki had two jobs at local horse farms. She grew up and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She worked early in the morning at a Hunter-Jumper farm and in the afternoons at an Arabian farm. This time period was the 1970's and the Arabian horse was becoming a big business. This offered many opportunities to her as a trainer.

Vicki showing western pleasure 1975
Vicki showed western pleasure and western trail- 1975

The 1970's- The decade of the Arabian
She worked as assistant trainer in the Bay Area, before being offered a position in Sonoma County California in the late 1970's. Vicki worked for several Arabian farms in Sonoma County, and had the privilege of working with some wonderful and rather famous horses. In the East Bay Area she worked with Padron, as a two year old when he was first imported into the US. Later in Sonoma County she worked with El Moltar. El Moltar worked as a stand in for the Black Stallion in the first movie.
Quarter Horse Jumper
Vicki showing hunters in 1987

California Stable Founded

In 1982 Vicki established her own stable in Santa Rosa. At Oak Creek Training Center, Vicki focused on dressage as her discipline of choice after years of combined training and hunter-jumper training and showing. She organized monthly clinics with clinicians such as Eicke Von Veltheim.

With Eike's help, she was able to train her two year old Quarter horse through the levels. By 10 years of age he was her first to reach Prix St George. "Somme," short for He's Something Else, is still teaching at 27 years of age. Somme continues to do the upper level movements he learned and continues to teach everyone who rides him what the upper level movements feel like.
Showing Prix St Georges
Vicki showing her Hannoverian gelding Der Champion Prix St Georges. Der Champion was purchased as a four year old and trained and shown through Prix St Georges before Vicki sold him in 2000.

Pinehurst North Carolina Dressage Training & Sales Facility Founded
Showing Prix St Georges
Vicki and Rondo Veneziano, an imported Bavarian Warmblood, showing Prix St Georges in Pinehurst NC in 2006

In 2005 Vicki and her husband Sean established their farm in Pinehurst, NC. Although it was difficult to leave her loyal clientele in California (she still travels back regularly for clinics), they wanted to be closer to Europe for their regular horse buying trips and be closer to the East Coast dressage shows as well. At Antares Dressage, Vicki offers dressage lessons, training, and imported horses for sale. Trailer-in lessons are welcome.

Vicki has studied with Debbie Mc Donald, Claus Bergener, Gwen Stockebran, General Burton, Baron Von Blixion De Finike, Lilo Fore, Charles De Kunffy, Perter Lert, Elizabeth Searle, Axel Steiner, Gerhad Politz, Sonja Vracko, Marianne Ludwigand, Eicke Von Veltheim, Christine Traurig, Linda Zang, and Gretchen Verbonic to name a few.

Judging, Accomplishments and Competition
Vicki has judged many schooling shows over the years. In 1993 she was a USDF 'L' judging program graduate as well. Vicki's first love is riding. Although judging education has proven a rewarding learning experience, she prefers to spend her time training, teaching, and showing. Vicki was one of the early participants in the USDF Instructor Program in 1995. A U.S.D.F. Bronze & Silver Medallist, Vicki's training and competitive record are well known and respected. She is a four time president of the Sonoma Chapter of the California Dressage Society and a five time performer in that club's presentation of "Dressage In The Wine Country." Vicki tirelessly promotes dressage, not only as a sport in it's own right, but as a very effective tool in achieving competence in 3-day eventing, endurance riding, stadium jumping, and western riding.

Evolution of the Eye & Training Style

Over the last 40 years of riding and training, Vicki has developed a keen eye in selecting a horse with top movement and potential. With this ability Vicki has been able to select young horses with exceptional potential and train them to the upper levels of dressage. Often, these horses were overlooked by others because they did not make their genius obvious to the casual observer. It is only when these horses have competed in the show ring or sold for record auction prices that that the horse's natural talent shined. The abilities that can only be developed with correct, patient, and kind training methods are only possible when the psyche of each horse is intimately considered.

Her Offering- The Ultimate Level of Success Through Horse Selection and Training
Vicki has bred numerous warmbloods with success, but the genetic availability in the US is not at the same level of some European breeding programs. Vicki and her husband regularly travel to Europe in search of world class warmbloods with FEI potential. She offers the results of her experience and hard work to you in the form of exceptional imported horses with a high propensity for the sport of dressage. View our current offering on the sale page or call or email for more information. Instruction and training for your horse is also available. She travels across the US and Canada for clinics and accepts quality dressage horses into her monthly training program at Antares Dressage in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Dressage horse classifieds
Dressage Horse Classifieds

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