Karen has been a dressage coach for over 40 years, starting when she was 14 at a riding school. Often described as ‘tough’ and ‘direct’ she prefers to think of herself as honest and genuine, providing her students with the skills and abilities to continue to progress, set realistic goals and achieve their dreams.

Karen has enjoyed prolific success in the dressage arena with her two horses, her young superstar Sonik K was almost unbeaten in his Young Horse career and is now excelling at elementary, winning championships while still green to the level. Karen also competes medium tour on her more established Warmblood, working towards Grand Prix in the future.

Karen currently instructs riders from HRCAV/PC as well as EA and thoroughly enjoys the huge feeling of accomplishment and pride watching a student progress to a level they never thought possible. In her training she emphasises the importance of the basics; they have to crawl before they can walk, and that riding properly is supposed to be hard.

In 2021 she coached Emma Turnbull and Long Park Lucky in the lead up to Dressage with the Stars and two weeks prior to the event, having never ridden the pony, accepted the challenge of taking the ride when Emma injured herself and was unable to compete. Long Park Lucky was awarded Runner Up National 4 year old champion at DWTS 2021. For six years Karen has coached student Jen Best and Lion Park Lodge Recherche. Karen guided the pair to achieving Jen’s dream of training to and successfully competing Prix St George. Kelsey Josephs is a long term student of Karen’s who, riding a horse not necessarily naturally gifted for dressage, has achieved success up to and including at FEI medium tour level. More importantly Karen coaches a number of grass roots dressage riders, from Pony, HRCAV to EA focussing on perfecting the basics and commitment to consistency!

Karen is a stand out when it comes to honest, and realistic support. Her integrity is not for sale and her desire to see her students shine is easily demonstrated through her humble acknowledgement of the expertise of other coaches, along with her understanding that being a committed rider and student is difficult for most adults. The need to juggle commitments and find balance is something she focuses on, particularly in providing regular “off horse” contact and discussion time to enable learning and growth to continue so that when back in the saddle her riders have the benefit of that greater understanding. The consistent theme is that of gratitude for her guidance and a desire to want to make Karen feel proud to equal the effort that has been invested in them.

Karen leads by example. Her professionalism is unquestionable. Her desire to see her students succeed means she goes well above and beyond the “come for a lesson and leave” that you get with so many coaches. Karen also leads by example with her riding and competing, actively encouraging her students to focus on the accuracy and consistency in the arena. Riding and coaching are her life and she is dedicated to continuing to help her loyal students be the best they can be.



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