When Micha Knol's ambitions to become a professional rider in the Netherlands was derailed by the death of his father at a young age, he pursued a successful career in banking. Inspired by a motivational speaker as part of his work related training program, his dream to return to riding Dressage was ignited. He began his journey creating a Facebook page with a video of his story. His dream took off and brought him to Florida where this winter at the Longwood Dressage Show in Ocala, he competed in the Grand Prix. Read his story, watch his video, become inspired, and follow his journey.
My name is Micha Knol and I am a ambitious Dutch man. Ever since I was a little child my biggest passion has always been horses. In my childhood I was successful at national and international junior jumping competitions. As a young boy I always thought my hobby (horse-riding) would be my profession. However when I was 21 years old that dream came to a very sad end as my beloved father unexpectedly died of a heart attack.
At that moment I decided to finish my studies and started a career in the financial business. I never gave up on horse riding and several years ago I even rode at small tour level in dressage. But due to work commitments and a very busy work schedule the last few years I only rode ones or twice a week as an amateur. I made it as a manager at the ABN AMRO Bank and I was responsible for two offices with a team of 16 employees. I really enjoyed my work and am very proud of what I have achieved so far in my career.
Last year as part of a training at the bank a journalist named Marijn de Vries gave us a very inspirational lecture about following your dreams. She told us that at the age of 30 she decided to become a professional racing cyclist. A couple days after her story, I had had a dream and in my dream I would after a couple months intense training and dedication ride a dressage test at Grand Prix level.
So I started my Facebook account “Micha’s Dressage Dream”. Since June of 2015 I shared my whole adventure with the website of Dutch magazine The Hoefslag from the beginning to the end of my goal with video blogs. I wanted to tell a story about achieving anything you can and to prove that everything is possible if you really want it. It has to be a story about follow your passion and make the most of yourself.
Because of my Facebook account I met USDF Gold Medal Professional Eline Eckroth based at Crane Hill Farm in Summerfield FL. She invited me to come to their farm but there was only one problem. There was no Grand Prix horse at that moment. One of her clients gave us budget to find a horse in Holland. So that was very exciting news and after trying a lot of horses we found the 14 years old Dutch Grand Prix gelding named Verdict by Ferro.
Verdict was purchased by Renee B Morse, Circle M Ranch of Florida. Renee joined Elaine Eckroth and Connie Duff Wise of Florida’s Crane Hill Farm and Cindy Savage of Vermont. Verdict is not the only horse I found because they also bought the 9-year-old gelding “Choice” by Voice. So in December 2016 I arrived in Florida for the season. We did two successful shows in Wellington and Orlando with Choice, earning our USDF Silver medal in only four tests with even a score of 71%.
Then in late February I made my Grand Prix debut with Verdict at Longwood Farm in Ocala winning both classes with a 61.20% and 65%.
I am also using this sabbatical to find out what I want to do in the future and maybe my future will be in America because I really like it so far.
My final goal would be to inspire other people the way I was inspired.
Dreams do come true.