Update with Christopher Hickey

Posted by By at 28 June, at 15 : 08 PM Print


June 28, 2015

By Sharon Packer


One of my very favorite people with whom to work in the world of high performance dressage is Chris Hickey.  He is successful, incredibly knowledgable, handsome, has a great sense of humor and is the consummate professional.

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How wonderful to catch up with Chris at the NCDCTA June Show at F.E.N.C.E in Tryon, N.C! Chris was so kind as to share his current ventures.

(Photo of Chris Hickey aboard Contento Sogno.  Photo Credit: Sharon Packer)


buy zoloft online, zoloft side effects lawyers, zoloft lawyers australia. About his recent move to work 1/2 year in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, Chris stated: “I’ve taught clinics here at Oak Meadows Farm (Northern S.C.)  for Cece Stewart for the past 10 years. Being familiar with the area and the local dressage people helped me relocate here.  I have students from all those years of clinics, and I was able to walk in with a good amount of business to start!”

Chris has a longstanding and close relationship with Cece Stewart, owner of Oak Meadows Farm.  Chris and Cece have been working together from the time she bought Chris’ horse Levin (by Ferro).   Chris has been teaching clinics at Oak Meadows Farm since then.

“Levin was a horse I bought as a 3 year old and sold to her when he was 10. That’s how we meet. Then I started to come to S.C. to help her. Since then I’ve trained, shown, and sold, many horses that she’s owned.”  More recently, Cece bought Rolando (Romanov/Don Shufro) when he was 4 for me to develop.  He qualified for the Developing Championships at the Grand Prix level this August 2015 in Chicago. I just love being able to be proud of the FEI horses I’ve developed from the young horse age!”


This past winter she also purchased another horse for Chris to bring along, a 5 year old mare Zackonik (Zack/Romanov/ Don Shufro). “Cece has 2 horses that she rides and shows that I help her with as well.  She has a few young ones she’s bred. She currently has a Negro yearling, an Ampere 3 year old and another Negro that is 4. Cece owns the farm from which I trained in Florida for the last 7 years.”

Fortunately for other serious Adult Amateur and Pro riders, Chris is able to accept a few additional students and horses into training.  In his program, horses receive turn out, are hacked, do trot Cavalettis, an occasional lunge or long lining as well as in-hand work.

Chris worked for himself for many years.  In addition, he worked in Ohio for Betsy Juliano and for the past 7 years worked for Hilltop Farm.  He excelled in his work for others, but missed teaching too much.  Chris stated, “So now I’m back working for myself again and am very happy.”

When asked about his goals for his work in the Carolinas and in Wellington, Florida, Chris stated, “My goals are that I want to train/show high quality horses and develop long term relationships both with the horses and their people. I’ve trained many Grand Prix horses and have enjoyed the process very much. Each one is different and all the horses have their own strong points. It’s very important to me that my long-term training horses I’ve developed are sound, rideable by others and are happy, confident and comfortable in their work. Whether a horse I’ve developed is showing in the Brentina Division or with an AA or another Pro, I’m happy to see the horses continue to succeed after they leave my program.

A primary goal is to be on another USA TEAM,  hopefully at Grand Prix level! My 2007 Pan Am Games experience was an experience of a lifetime, but would love to be on another big team!”


Chris is known for his honesty.  He emphasizes the necessity for fair expectations for each horse in his training.  He states, “I also feel that not every horse is destined to be a FEI High Performance Horse. We need to realize our horse’s limitations in a realistic manner.  I believe discussing fair goals for each horse with owners is also a crucial part of the trainer’s job.”

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How does Chris continue his own learning and challenge himself?  He recently engaged the services of Morten Thomsen from Denmark as well as Debbie McDonald.  Chris has trained extensively with Thomsen in Denmark with Rolando.  “I’ve taken Ronaldo with me to train at Morten Thomsen’s in Denmark twice- once when he was 6 and again when he was 8. Both times we were there for 3 months.”

What type of student does Chris enjoy training?

“I love to teach both Pros as well as Adult Amateurs. I’m happy to teach an AA who wants to improve, but he or she needs to “be teachable”. Some people don’t want to hear the truth.  I’m not mean, but I tell the truth and I don’t want to just take people’s money and tell them they’re riding wonderfully when they are not! I’m happy to teach riders on 3 year olds up to FEI. The horses don’t have to be super quality and not every rider is going ride at FEI,  a National championship or CDI level, and that’s fine.  I enjoy working with any student who is very serious.”


Chris and team are planning to be back in Wellington around Thanksgiving and working before Dec 1st.  Thankfully for us locals, Chris and his family really “like the Carolinas so far!”


We wish Chris the very best of success in the Carolinas as well as a hugely successful show season in Wellington.

Chris showing Rolando at 4th Level (Photo Credit: Sharon Packer)

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Many thanks to NCDCTA for providing an extremely well organized and exciting dressage competition.  Many thanks as well to WNC Photography for welcoming media.



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