The year 2001 was an exciting one for Stacy, kicking off in January with an invitation to participate in a program at The International Academy for Equestrian Studies in Warendorf, Germany. Stacy accepted and lived in Germany for six months. She trained for six weeks in Warendorf and then served a 10-week internship at Petra Wilm’s facility in Tasdorf. Twelve students participated in the program, but only three passed the Trainer A Exam – Stacy was one of them. “It was not easy,” she avers. “At Warendorf, they had us breaking and riding three-year-olds. We had a trained horse to ride as well.” During her internship, Stacy rode dressage and jumped four-foot courses.
While at Petra’s, Stacy’s vision for her own career gelled. “Petra was running this huge operation, with a breeding facility for Trakehner stallions, boarders, school horses – you name it, she had it. I realized that I wanted to do what she was doing – not necessarily the breeding, but run a facility like that, have riders under me and good quality horses in training. I didn’t want to go to work for somebody when I was done there. They really gave me the confidence to realize that I could do this on my own.” Though she was offered a job at Petra’s, Stacy decided to return to Florida to be with Olof and her family as well as launch a business.
Back in the U.S., Stacy enrolled at an Ocala community college and graduated with an Associate in Arts and Sciences (AA) degree. She planned to attend the University of Florida with the goal of becoming a Sports Psychologist. “I worked with a Sports Psychologist at Hilltop and it was fascinating for me. She helped me with show nerves and dealing with pressure from parents and clients,” Stacy recounts. “I don’t get nervous for the show ring. I thought working with riders would be a great thing to do.” But Stacy’s ambition to run a facility prevailed. In the fall of 2001, with help from her father, Stacy purchased a 20-acre farm with an eight-stall barn in Reddick. “When we bought my farm, I filled my barn full of training horses and it left no time to finish college,” she says. “I would pursue Sports Psychology if my business ever slowed down.” But after nearly nine years, Hidden Acres Dressage shows no signs of slowing down. Stacy notes, “We’re starting to realize that I’m growing out of it and we’re going to need a bigger barn.”
[#24559 override="National Show Ring Success" title="National Show Ring Success"]