Vicki Kelley with 16 year
old imported Bavarian Warmblood Rondo Veneziano. The pair are currently
competing Intermediate. Vicki has over twenty 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 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
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 showed western pleasure and western
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
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.
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
Pinehurst North Carolina Dressage Training &
Sales Facility Founded
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
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.