Mettawa, IL – November 2, 2014 – Hunter, jumper, and equitation trainer Katie Kappler announced that she has established her new business at Always Faithful Stables, a top equestrian facility in Mettawa, Illinois. The newly renovated boarding and training facility is convenient to Chicago and North Shore communities like Lake Forest, Northbrook, and Highland Park, and will give Kappler the capacity to welcome new clients to a comprehensive training program tailored for each horse and rider.
Katie has been teaching since her Junior years, and her 20-year tenure with Barrington’s Kappler Farms produced winners at both local shows and the national level, taking several prominent riders from the short stirrup ring to success at the Medal and Maclay finals and their start in Grand Prixes. The start of Katie Kappler LLC gives a new group of riders the opportunity to train with Katie and take their show career to a higher level, wherever they are in their careers.
“It is a program based on the individual,” Kappler detailed. “I work with each client to have an organized approach to meeting their goals whether a rider’s goal is just to have fun or to get a ribbon in the Medal or Maclay – it’s important that they feel they are growing in a competitive but supportive environment.”
Long time client Gretchen Carlotti says of that environment, “When I moved to Kappler Farms almost 13 years ago, it was in large part because Katie impressed me with the way she treated her clients, horses and staff at the horse shows. In addition to being a 'nice trainer,' I quickly discovered that she had an incredible program in place. She is methodical in her training approach with a strong emphasis on the basics. It’s why her riders are so successful. Additionally, she has a knack for pairing riders and horses. My riding confidence comes from knowing she would never put me in a situation that we hadn’t already created the skills to handle.”
Sarah Kirson adds “I have been with Katie for over 12 years and I cannot imagine riding with anyone else. She takes meticulous care of the horses and is always positive and encouraging in her approach with clients. Katie’s calm demeanor creates a relaxed and fun environment to learn to grow as a rider. I also appreciate that Katie is a total professional and treats you as a valued customer whatever your level of riding. She also recognizes that for some clients, riding needs to fit in with work and family obligations and she is always accommodating. I am confident that Katie always has my best interest, and that of my horses, as her number one priority.”
Katie’s program has produced some impressive results. Some of the trainer’s proudest moments include grand championships at Devon, Harrisburg, and the Washington International Horse Show, top ribbons in all the equitation finals, and wins in several Maclay Regionals. Her students have also earned championships in Amateur-Owner Jumpers at Devon and the National Horse Show, won three NAL Children’s Hunter Finals, two NAL Children’s Jumper Finals, and the Hunterdon and Legacy Cups.
Katie’s business also boasts an impressive venue in its new home at Always Faithful Stables. The 22 acre facility adjacent to Lake Forest, Illinois, features 40 matted stalls with Dutch windows facing the outside of the barn, a large heated indoor arena and a large outdoor arena both with specially blended, premium all weather footing. Other training highlights include a Eurowalker, a Kraft Treadmill, and a ten-acre hunt field with a ¾ mile track along the perimeter. Ten grass paddocks and nine all-weather paddocks along with direct access to expansive trails are also great for keeping the horses relaxed.
“It is a beautiful farm and the horses are very happy here,” Kappler noted. “It is a great training facility. The barn is clean and bright and there are big, wide aisles. The new owners, the Casas family, put an abundance of planning, thoughtful care, and specific attention to detail into the recent renovation, facilitating the development of an ideal facility for equestrians and their horses pursuing the joy of riding.”
Horses have always been a family affair for Katie Kappler, who grew up in Wayne, IL, and started riding at a young age alongside her brother, Chris. After a solid start at Dunham Woods Riding Club the siblings joined pony club and started showing on the “A” circuit with Alex Jayne. After their mother, Kay, arranged a meeting with George Morris they started training intensely with Morris and also with Frank Madden and Bill Cooney.
Katie was soon competing successfully around the country earning top ribbons in equitation, junior hunters and junior jumpers at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, at Devon and Lake Placid, Young Riders, and competing in the USET Talent Search, Medal and Maclay finals, and Prix des States team. It was during these junior years that Katie discovered that in addition to riding she had a love of teaching.
“I loved learning, lessons, and teaching people.” she recalled. “One of my favorite things about teaching is helping people progress from their first riding lesson through whatever their goals may be. I love that so many of the people I started have gone on to be professionals or are still showing as amateurs. My program develops a discipline and a true appreciation for the sport that kids and adults thrive on and sticks with them for the rest of their lives.”
Katie and her mother founded Kappler Farms, Inc. in Barrington, Illinois, while her brother Chris continued to work with George Morris and Hunterdon, Inc. in Pittstown, New Jersey. Chris enjoyed international success, earning a team gold medal and individual silver with Royal Kaliber at the 2004 Athens Olympics, then starting his own business, Chris Kappler Inc. Chris and Katie have maintained a close relationship and this extends to the sport as well.
“I really appreciate all of the help, guidance, and support my brother has given me,” Kappler acknowledged. “I know that he’s always willing to assist in developing a rider or helping with training issues and I can always count on having access to the best selection of horses through his network. He’s solid, a rock for me professionally.”
An integral part of the new team at Katie Kappler LLC is Anita Mont, who helps train and exercise the horses. Mont has worked with Chris Kappler and Anne Kursinski over the last few years following a successful junior career and most recently won the prestigious North American Rider’s Group (NARG) Grant in 2013.
“I am so happy to have Anita join us to help with the riding duties,” Kappler stated. “She has a really nice touch with horses and she has a lot of experience with young horses. It is such a great asset to have someone who rides great, flats the horses beautifully, and is such a great person. We have seen such a wonderful change in the horses since Anita has been working with them. She is a real professional and a really nice, top notch, quality individual.”
Katie Kappler LLC offers great showing opportunities for every level, from local competitions to national championships. Riders can travel to Florida to compete in Wellington during the winter months. The rest of the season, students have the option to compete in beautiful locations such as Kentucky, Colorado, or Michigan, or they can stay local and compete at top shows near Chicago. Katie is looking forward to welcoming new clients for the coming season and can be reached by e-mail at Katie@KatieKappler.com or by calling (847) 274-4114. Information about Always Faithful Stables is available at www.AlwaysFaithfulStables.com.
Katie resides in Barrington, Illinois with her husband Jon Kassel, daughters Sophie & Sasha, and dog Whiskers.