A Lifetime in Horses

Born in Hamburg, Germany to a textile manufacturer, Jennifer entered a world where horses were part of her daily life from the very beginning.athletetight-crop

With a father who was an award-winning high performance 2-in-hand and 4-in-hand driver, and a mother who rode Prix St. Georges level dressage and bred Trakehners, there was little doubt that Jennifer would grow up as comfortable on four legs as most of us are on two.

At a very early age she learned to ride Western and English (including side saddle), drive coach horses and train horses on the family’s estate, Karnaphof-Trittau.  At Karnaphof,  which hosted many high-level equestrian competitive events, Jennifer grew up with a front-row seat to Europe’s top riders and drivers.

With this as her backyard, it was inevitable really: Jennifer became an accomplished horsewoman in her own right. For the first few decades of her life, Jennifer underwent dressage training delivered by some of the country’s most exacting and sought after trainers. Her riding talent was fostered under the careful eye of Germany’s dressage notables, including Herbert Rehbein, regarded as one of the world’s finest riders and acclaimed for nurturing dressage in the United States.  She also trained extensively with the highly respected Siegfried Stemmann who is renowned in Europe as the trainer of choice among Europe’s leading riders.

As a young woman who stabled at barns that housed Germany’s elite riders and horses, she was invited to ride a number of legendary horses.

Once she entered the show circuit, she rapidly climbed the ranks competing at the Prix St. Georges, Intermediare, and Grand Prix levels inside Germany’s world-famous riding halls.

Jennifer’s first-class accomplishments established her as a leading rider on the rigorously competitive German circuit. She achieved a bronze medal in the 1994 Provincial Dressage Championships and ranked among the top riders in the 1994 German (National) Championships.  She quickly caught the attention of officials who earmarked her as a young rider worthy of  representing her country internationally.  Although Jennifer was a much sought after competitor at German competitions, her destiny was elsewhere.

Jennifer’s love of Canada began on annual family trips to their cattle ranches in northern British Columbia and southern Alberta.  As a young girl she developed a passion for mountain scenery from Western saddle: a leisure pursuit she enjoys to this day.

In 1997, Jennifer immigrated to Canada.  A strategic decision to improve her English speaking skills led her to accept a position for a short time at Spruce Meadows.  Here she had the privilege of working under fellow countrymen, Albert Kley (Riding Master) and Gerritt Mergen (Breeding Master), and other Spruce Meadows notables.  She credits her time at Spruce Meadows to greatly improving her language skills and to acquiring the vitally important equestrian terminology in English  necessary to effectively teach riding in Canada.

It didn’t take long before she was invited to train horses and coach riders privately. Those opportunities dovetailed into a thriving training, coaching and horse import business.

Today, she makes her home within sight of the majestic Rocky Mountains on her equestrian farm located just outside of Calgary in beautiful Priddis, Alberta, Canada (just minutes away from Spruce Meadows and Rocky Mountain Show Jumping).

Jennifer’s Coaches and Mentors:

  • Lorraine Chappell (Aldergrove, BC)
  • Siegfried Stemmann (Reitanlage Trittaufeld, Germany)
  • Herbert Rehbein (Gronwoldhof, Germany)
  • Reiterliche Vereinigung (FN Warendorf, Germany)