This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.



By Patti Schofler

passion for horses is usually the motivating force that brings trainers into the horse business. Owners, on the other hand, are involved for as many reasons as there

are horses: to ride, to watch, to invest, to find community or to feed their equine passion for horses. This diversity can make trainer-owner relationships complicated. To understand how the different parties navigate and negotiate their evolving, multi-colored interaction, we spoke to three trainers in the various disciplines along with one owner. Dressage trainer George Williams, owner Betsy Juliano, event trainer Darren Chiacchia, and hunter/jumper trainer Daniel Geitner each agreed to share their experiences about what works and what does not work in these relationships. George Williams, 54, is noted for his success in national

and international dressage competition, his contributions to the dressage community as chair of the U.S. high performance dressage committee and vice president of the U.S. Dressage Federation. In partnership with the recently retired black Westfalen mare Rocher, George won many national championships and Horse of the Year titles. The two represented the U.S. in the 2003 World Cup in Sweden, placing fifth, and at the Hickstead Europe Championships placing in the top 10. In 2005, they competed on the U.S. bronze medal Nations Cup team in Aachen, Germany. George was resident trainer for twenty years at Tempel Farms in Illinois and later at Gypsy Woods Farm in Ohio.



n GEORGE: If either the owner or trainer has something in mind, but keeps it secret, they are headed for disaster. It’s important to be open about expectations and what you want to do. And both must be flexible because horses can change plans for better sometimes or for worse sometimes.

44 September/October 2009

We interviewed George along with horse owner Betsy

Juliano, a business entrepreneur and dressage enthusiast who has trained with George for several years. Currently George is training and competing Betsy’s horses which reside at her Havensafe Farm in Middlefield, Ohio, and Wellington, Florida. Nearby George is also developing Williams Dressage, LLC. Three-day eventer Darren Chiacchia, 44, of Springville, New

York, and Ocala, Florida, has ridden for the U.S. in international competitions including the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympic where he shared the three day team’s bronze medal. In 2003 Darren and the 1992 black Trakehner stallion Windfall II (owned by Tim Holekamp) won the Pan American Games individual gold medal. In 2008 a life-threatening accident on the Red Hill (FL) Horse Trials cross country field left Darren in a coma for 42 days. Less than a year later Darren was again competing, and today he eyes the 2012 London Olympics. Hunter/jumper trainer Daniel Geitner, 34, confesses that he

is known for riding numerous horses at a show and competing from baby green hunters to Grand Prix jumpers. “I do well if I stay busy,” says Daniel who with his wife, trainer Cathy Geitner, own and manage the large sales, training and show facility DFG Stables in Aiken, South Carolina. They stable mostly Warmbloods, including horses that have taken Daniel to over 19 Grand Prix wins. At press time, Daniel and Trading Places, an Argentine bred gelding (owned by Kyle Register), have won four Grand Prix classes since March.

n DARREN: You must start the relationship with open, honest and clear communication and continue with that. If I don’t hear from an owner, I worry. I’m very busy, but I answer my phone. Those relationships have helped me enjoy my career and what I do. If a rider views talking to the owner as a pain, that rider doesn’t need to have owners.

n DANIEL: It’s important that the owner trust that I’ll do the right thing and that the shots I call are for the good of the horse. For example, I try not to do an extra class if it’s Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
Produced with Yudu -