The Start of a Dressage Career

Kenneth McGrath - Dressage Rider, Trainer, Clinician

Ken was born into a non-horsey family in Illinois.  Instead of a barn, they had a greenhouse.  “I don’t even remember how I got into it,” he says.  “I think it started with one of those places where you go out and rent a horse for an hour.  Then I started working, cleaning some stalls until I got my first horse.  Then I did a lot of stall cleaning at different barns and worked my way up that way.  He was 10 when he was able to talk his parents in to his first horse, a Saddlebred/Thoroughbred cross that he ways was a bit crazy.  In his early teens he did a little jumping.  “I was about the only boy that was doing it at the time.”

Ken worked for Temple Farms for 10 years where he met the person that would have the biggest impact on his dressage career to date, Willy Schultheis.  He later spent a year working for Willy in Warendorf, Germany.  Ken has been back almost every year since, usually to buy horses for a client.  Now they also work a lot with Monica Theodorescu.  “She’s been out to their barn to do some clinics,” he said.  “We’ve purchased many horses from their family.”  Today Ken holds his bronze, silver and gold medals.

Why is it dressage for Ken and not another discipline?  “I just really enjoy developing the horses and bringing them along,” he says.  “Last year I had a Grand Prix horse, and that was fun, and this year I have a six-year-old.  It’s fun, and I enjoy the people.  We always have a good time with our clients.”  Ken is most proud of the fact that they have a successful horse farm.  “That’s been our goal for as long as I can remember, just having a nice place where people can come and enjoy themselves and their horses.”

The Flying Changes Specialist