Kelly Casey has been a lifelong dressage rider in the northern California area. Her career has followed a typical pattern of talented young dressage riders - having cut her international eyeteeth as part of the Region 7 Juniors and Young Riders teams in the early 2000s. Post Young Riders she successfully launched her own training and sales business over the past 10 years while still actively competing on a variety of horses. Kelly is no stranger to the top USEF competitions having built a solid resume as a competitor and trainer in California. In 2008 riding Luzifer, owned by Carla Hayes, she successfully competed at the Festival of Champions in San Juan Capistrano and was the Reserve Champion Brentina Cup, finishing just behind Adrienne Lyle. In 2012 Kelly was USDF HOY #1 at Third level in 2012 riding Aristo, whom she co-owns with Carla Hayes. Aristo is now competing out of Steffen Peters barn and competed at the 2014 USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone on the small tour having been trained to PSG by Kelly prior to his relocation to southern California.
The time from 2008 until 2014 has been spent building her training business and coaching her clients to great success at the California Adult Amateur Championships, California Dressage Society Championships, California Juniors Championships and the USDF Region 7 Championships. Her business has been located out of Greenville Equestrian Center in Livermore, CA for the past 6 years and now she has approximately 15 horses in training. Her clients are a mixture of ambitious adult amateurs competing through the levels to FEI as well as junior riders. Kelly's training barn is very busy with show season this year and she currently has 3 clients and horses ranked #1 in the 2014 USDF HOY preliminary standings as well as 7 horse/rider combinations qualified for USDF Regional Championships/California Dressage Championships.
Pony Power at KC Dressage
Kelly also has several imported German Riding Ponies in her training group - which is quite unusual for the USA. Kelly competes Highlight's Cappuchino for his owner, Lori Rocereto at Intermediare II. Kelly has trained "Cappi" from an unbroke 3-year-old to Grand Prix ready. Melissa Mulchahey's GRP gelding, the 7-year-old named Outrageous, is ready for Prix St Georges with his amateur owner having had great success at Regionals and CDS Championships the past 3 years under Kelly's tutelage. The pony collection at KC Dressage also includes a former european FEI competition pony now a schoolmaster for his amateur owner and a recently imported sales pony.
In addition to competing on the GRP Highlight's Cappuchino at the FEI level, Kelly also rides and competes on Golden State NRW owned by her client Melissa Mulchahey. Golden State is a palomino stallion and is the 2012 Bundeschampion (German National Champion) and was imported by Melissa, in the fall of 2013. Golden State is the only dressage Bundeschampion in the United States (either horse or pony) and owns the historical high record score of 9.56 from the German National Championships. He is a very unique pony for the USA and Kelly has been routinely scoring between 75 and 82% on "Goldi" and they current sit in first place in the preliminary USDF HOY awards at First Level.
Kelly and Emilion SA
Even with her busy training stable and show schedule Kelly makes time to train and compete on her own horse Emilion SA. Kelly purchased Emilion SA (Painted Black/ Landwind II) bred by M Sanders Peeters, barn name "Eeyore" as an unbacked 3-year-old in Holland through her mentor and good friend Bob Tenwolde. He was originally purchased to be a sales prospect and Eeyore came to California in July of 2013. Kelly lightly showed Eeyore in 2014 and decided to point him towards the young horse championships after receiving this recommendation from several friends and colleagues. Success quickly followed as her qualifying scores ranked her in the top 5 for the 5-year-olds and she received an invitation to compete at Lamplight. While this was her first time competing in the Young Horse championships, her long career in Young Riders, Brentina Cup and USDF/CDS championships prepared her well.
She was accompanied on her Chicago trip by her long time friend Rachel Gill-Wade. Rachel and Kelly have been friends since high school, sharing a passion for dressage and horses for over 15 years. Rachel is now in the Sacramento area with her own training business but she and Kelly are still the best of friends and Rachel was invaluable at Lamplight as the "eyes on the ground" for Kelly.
It was a wonderful experience for Kelly and Emilion at Lamplight this year with very positive comments from the judging panels both days and highlighted with scores of 9.0 for trot and canter. Emilion SA and Kelly improved on their scores from the first day to the second day ending with a final score of 8.68 and the title of National Champion FEI 5-year-old. The future is uncertain for Kelly and Emilion as he is still primarily considered to be a sales horse and perhaps now due to his success at Lamplight an offer that can't be refused may appear. If he is not sold Kelly plans to train and compete again in the FEI 6yos next year in Kentucky and point him towards and FEI career.
However, the show season for Kelly and KC Dressage has not ended at Lamplight and Kelly's national championship win. In just 4 short weeks her training group of 7 horses and riders will make their way to Los Angeles competing at the USDF Region 7 and CDS championships. Kelly has 8 championship rides herself and another 23 to coach. Kelly and Golden State NRW will compete in 3 USDF divisions and if all goes well, will make the trip to Kentucky in November to compete at the USDF National Dressage Championships.