Olympian Lisa Wilcox and Highlife Farms Partnering for Success

Friday, January 2, 2009

Olympian Lisa Wilcox and Orlando, Florida-based Highlife Farms have joined forces to promote the farms' fabulous breeding stock. The partnership has given Wilcox access to some of Highlife Farms' best horses and it has given Highlife Farms access to one of America's leading international riders.

"The first time I met Joan and Kenny Sims at their Highlife Farms, I was overwhelmed at the quality of young horses that they had bred and raised on their farm," Wilcox said. "This is the situation any rider would love to have. It’s like tapping into a well and finding that the well is deep and plentiful. What a great opportunity for the equestrian community to purchase top-quality competition horses in their own back yard."

Highlife Farms, owned by Kenny and Joan Sims, has established itself as one of America's leading sport horse breeders, producing horses that have shown success, not only in dressage, but also show jumping and eventing. The farm is a complete operation that even includes a stallion station for breeding, semen collection, evaluation and freezing. It also has a Quarantine Station.

"By combining dressage and jumping lines, Highlife Farms has produced offspring with exceptional movement and a strong bone structure, as well as the sensitivity I look for in my competition horses," Wilcox said. "Joan realizes that the key to her success has been her selection of top quality sport horses with exceptional pedigrees for her foundation mares. Bloodlines are from Oldenburger, Holsteiner, Hannoverian and Westphalen, many of which have earned elite status with the German Oldenburg Verband."

Joan Sims said, “We've had much success with our breeding program and we see this new partnership with Lisa as an opportunity to showcase our talented sport horses. To have Lisa, not only a world class dressage trainer and rider, but also a phenomenal person, on our team...we are just thrilled.”

Wilcox currently has several Highlife Farms' horses in training, including Der Euro Old., a 1998 Oldenburg gelding (Don Schufro/Waldroeschen/Wanderer), famous winner of the 2002 Bundeschampionate, will be competing for the first time in the U.S. with Wilcox, and his full brother, Der Dollar, a 2003 Oldenburg stallion, the 2006 USDF Southeast Breeders’ Champion will also continue to compete with Lisa.

Wilcox also has other exceptional Highlife Farms horses, including O-Day, a four-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Hit/Elegance/Day Dream) Champion in Training Level 1 and Reserve Champion in Training Level 3 at the 2008 Dressage at Stone Tavern Show, and Welt, a four-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Sandro Hit, Weltliesel/Weltmeyer) captured Champion in Training Level 3 at the 2008 Dressage at Stone Tavern show with a remarkable 78.8 percent!

Also with Lisa is Prezioso S, a 12-year-old Oldenburg grand prix jumping stallion (Pilox/Lysianda/Syndikat), who was Reserve Circuit Champion of WEF and Champion at Hits in New York, and Ferdonia 2, a nine-year-old Elite Oldenburg mare (Don Gregory/Felonie/Castro), who has numerous first place showings and many titles as High Point Champion of Show, Champion of Training Level and Reserve Champion High Point.

As the new head trainer for Highlife Farms, Wilcox will be visiting the main farm in Orlando once a month to teach clinics and to keep tabs on the younger horses. She'll use those trips to decide which young sale horses are ready to come to her for training so she can prepare them for sale.

With so many talented horses under her tutelage, Wilcox is starting off 2009 in prime position for earning a spot on a future U.S. team. She already ended 2008 with several successes, including having qualified for and competed in the 2008 Olympic Dressage Selection Trials. The past year was also one of expansion for Wilcox. She relocated her business to Stillpoint Farm, a world-class training facility owned by fellow dressage rider Arlene "Tuny" Page and her husband, David. Wilcox made the move so she would have space to expand her training business and Highlife Farms was quick to take advantage of those open stalls.

Wilcox is one of America's leading international competitors. With Relevant, she was a member of the Silver-Medal winning U.S. Dressage Team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in which she also finished fifth individually. She followed that up a year later with an Individual Silver Medal at the 2003 Open European Championships and the next year was a member of America's Bronze-Medal winning Dressage Team at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Wilcox spent 12 years training and competing in Europe before moving back to the U.S. in 2006. And since her return, she's been busy building her American clientele from her base in Florida and collecting ribbons in the show ring. She had much success over the past year with the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Passionelle, owned by Wilcox and Gigi Cunliffe, and with Naomi, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Janet Bell and Tom Benson.

Wilcox has been in high demand as a rider, trainer and instructor and after acquiring the additional space she needed at Stillpoint Farm, she's been better able to meet that demand and showcase sales horses in a beautiful yet professional environment. Along with her tremendous experience and skill as a rider and trainer, her relocation to Stillpoint Farm gives her access to all the farm has to offer. The move has also put her among a group of several of America's leading dressage riders who are all based at the farm, among them Tuny Page, the owner of Stillpoint Farm, Robert Dover, Oded Shimoni and Dorothy Morkis.

Being around other top dressage riders is not only an inspiration, Wilcox said, but it also allows the riders to share knowledge and help one another. And that's not only good for the riders, but the horses, which is certainly an added benefit for owners.

"My experience at Tuny’s farm has been an absolute breath of fresh air," Wilcox said. "What I have missed most about Germany is the horsemanship and camaraderie between professionals. Tuny has managed to create this atmosphere at her Stillpoint Farm. Tuny and the entire gang have been extremely gracious and supportive giving Joan, Kenny and myself a very heartfelt welcome with lots of good luck kudos. Thanks everybody!"

During the course of her dressage career, Wilcox has trained with some of the best dressage trainers in the world, including Herbert Rehbein and Ernst Hoyos. In Europe, she showed she had the talent and skill to compete with the best in the heart of the dressage world, earning success with numerous horses, including her two well-known partners Rohdiamant and her Olympic mount Relevant.

With her move to Stillpoint Farm and now her partnership with Highlife Farms, Wilcox said a new team has been created that will benefit many. "Highlife Farms + Stillpoint Farm = Purchased in the USA!! Not only do the Sims have exceptional quality horses, but they are also exceptional people to work with. I am honored to have been asked to be head trainer of Highlife Farms and expect great things from our partnership."

To contact Lisa Wilcox and learn more about her, visit her website at www.lisa-wilcox.com. Lisa can be reached by email at lisa@lisa-wilcox.com. To learn more about Highlife Farms visit www.highlifefarms.com or email them at Highlifefarms@aol.com to learn more about their breeding program. For more information on Stillpoint Farm, email them at afull63026@aol.com.