It’s All About Family at McGrath Stables

Kenneth McGrath - Dressage Rider, Trainer, Clinician

Ken doesn’t consider himself the star of the show.  Mary has her bronze and silver medals, young Annie certainly has riding in her blood.  She started before she was even born and already has a love of dressage.  “She learned how to canter on Ken’s Grand Prix horse,” says Mary.

“She sat in front of the saddle with Ken, and he did piaffe and passage and flying changes with her.”  Annie has two ponies, a POA named Lots of Dots (Dotty) and a chestnut mixed-breed named Smarty.  She enjoys taking lessons from both of her parents. Nine-year-old daughter Annie is an integral part of the business and can rattle off this year’s show schedule at a moment’s notice.  Wife, Mary, is also involved in the business—a career the family truly enjoys together.
Photo Credit: Dave O'Melia

They moved in to their current facility eight years ago when Annie was just one.  They have 20 stalls, an indoor arena, a full-size outdoor arena, and a lot of turnout on their six acres.  “We’re a small place,” he says.  “We really try and tailor it to the individual person.  That was our goal when we started.  Almost everybody can ride in their own time.”  A few doors down from them is a jumping farm, but no one else in the area does dressage.

“We enjoy taking care of the horses,” he says.  “It is really hands-on.  We don’t have a barn manager or none of those layers that a lot of people have.”  We have a nice family atmosphere.  We have a lot of kids.

I’ve done a lot with the Young Riders.  We really try to stress the family atmosphere.”  A few of the horses belong to the McGraths; one is an upper-level horse that they give some lessons on, Mayhem, a 12-year-old Trakehner mare.  “We also do some foxhunting in the fall so my wife and I both have foxhunters.”

The Start of a Dressage Career