Karen Lipp Developing Young Riders and Young Horses Gets Her Time to Shine

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Posted by Mary Phelps


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Karen Lipp and her husband Tony Bordwell had a dressage show date weekend at The World Equestrian Center in April 15-17, when she brought her own horse Infinity, to begin the process of qualifying him for the Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix. 

Photo: ©Mary Phelps - Karen and Infinity finish their debut at the Grand Prix Level at the World Equestrian Center 

Karen Lipp and Infinity
Karen Lipp and Infinity

Lipp and Infinity did their Grand Prix Developing test for the first time in competition in the WEC indoor arena nailing a 70.75, and qualifying on Sunday in the Final class. Thus began another year looking towards the USEF Dressage National Championships in August as a goal for 2022.

With her working students managing her winter location in Wellington, bringing one horse to show was more like a mini vacation, after a long and busy winter. Karen and Tony treated themselves to a stay at the luxurious Equestrian Hotel, overlooking the Grand Arena which held the CDI classes.

Developing Two Horses in 2022 for the Markel Developing Program

Lipp has competed 6 horses since the Young Horse program began in 2005. She competed her own horse Whitney as a 4, 5, and 
6-year-old to become a top ranked Grand Prix horse. Now 16, Whitney was just one of multiple horses Lipp has developed successfully to Grand Prix.

Infinity aka “Marty”  is a  2013 KWPN Gelding, by Glock’s Dream Boy out of Freestyle mare, bred in Belgium by Dirk Fiechter. He  is one of three horses in her barn with the exact same lineage. 

Lipp is also excited about another horse she is bringing along for client Michelle Klasing in the Developing Prix St George division, Inigo Montoya,  9-year-old gelding by UB40 out of Frenya by Martini, bred by Megan Fischer-Graham.

Brothers, Logan and Infinity
Brothers, Logan and Infinity

In addition to Infinity, Lipp also has Logan, a 6-year old, and Marshmallow a 5-year-old mare.  “Now I understand when parents say how their children can be so different,” Karen chuckled, noting the totally different personalities of her three horses.

 “They have the  exact same bloodlines, all just a year apart, and they are so different. With “Marty” (Infinity) you can take him anywhere. He’s a ‘Steady Eddie’, and knows his job already. Logan is an exact look alike, but is more insecure.  Marshmallow, the young  mare, owned by Katherine McQueen is quiet and sensitive. “I can feel the talent in her with every ride.”

Creating Opportunity for Young Dressage Trainers

Noting that in addition to having a solid program for young horses and emerging talent under the tutelage of Christine Traurig, the program creates opportunity for US Dressage trainers. “It gives young professionals a goal they ride towards, and a special spot to aim for  at the Dressage National Championships.” 

An FEI-level dressage competitor and trainer, Lipp has over 28 years of experience identifying, importing, developing, and showing talented dressage horses. She credits the program sponsor Markel Equine Insurance since 2005 with their support, and in turn she supports them with her business.

“I have been with Markel for many years,” Karen notes, working closely with Markel Equine Insurance specialist Pagan Gilman with LSI Insurance. “Markel knows horses, and understands our needs. They are horse people insuring horse people, and that is very important in our business.”

“Karen Lipp is the most dedicated and focused trainer I have ever known," said her long time insurance specialist and dressage rider herself Gilman. "Her commitment to her students and their horses is unparalleled."

Kindred Spirits With Trainer, Mentor and Friend

Dressage Olympian Charlotte Bredahl
Dressage Olympian Charlotte Bredahl

Lipp who is now 55 years young, notes she is the oldest rider currently in the Developing Dressage program with USEF. Her trainer of the past three years, Charlotte Bredahl reminds her though she is the fittest, and most focussed. Lipp has benefitted from great training throughout her career, and now finds her connection with Bredahl. 

Like Bredahl who survived and thrived after a critical cancer diagnosis, Lipp has been challenged with beating the odds after neck and back surgery left her incapacitated. With therapy and determination, she now feels “the best ever” and credits Bredahl with understanding her on many levels. “ Charlotte is supportive with a great eye.” Karen notes. “She pushes without being mean.” 

“I absolutely love working with Karen and Infinity,” said Charlotte Bredahl.  “Karen is a very experienced grand prix rider and has been bringing Infinity along from the start. I am pretty sure he is the best horse she has ever brought along and it has been a privilege to help Karen get him to Grand Prix level. Karen trusts me and is 100% committed to our partnership. We have a deep mutual respect and discuss everything before we make show plans.
Coaching Karen has been and is one of my most rewarding coaching experiences of my life. I have very high hopes for Karen and Infinity as a team.

Back In Georgia Continuing Her Quest

Karen and Tony at the World Equestrian Center
Karen and Tony at the World Equestrian Center

Karen has owned and operated her own business mentoring your riders, training and competing horses to the Grand Prix levels for her entire adult life. She has taken Juniors and Young Riders to the U.S. Championships almost every year since 1997. Additionally, Karen loves working with ambitious adult amateurs, who she believes are the life-blood of the sport.

Stal810 Dressage, based in Ball Ground, Georgia is owned by Karen Lipp and her husband Tony Bordwell a successful contractor Well Bee Custom Homes who built their property. She now shares him with the equine world, always in need of reliable, talented and knowledgeable contractors. 

Karen is focussed on her farm, developing young horses talent and finding the right fit for those seeking dressage prospects and talent. 

So this summer in August, Karen and Tony will make it another working holiday, traveling to the Lamplight Equestrian Center in St Charles, Illinois, to ride in the Markel Arena making their mark among the best horse and riders in the country.