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Catherine Haddad Staller and Frankie at Wellington CDI5*
This week, I’m thrilled to be chatting with USA international Grand Prix dressage rider Catherine Haddad Staller. Based in Germany before returning to open her own training facilities in New Jersey and Florida in 2012, Catherine has represented her country in many top European and US events including the World Equestrian Games and the FEI World Cup.  With too many successes to list and some amazingly talented horses, Catherine is someone we follow regularly. Read on to discover more about this incredibly talented lady, her life to date, her horses and her hopes for the future as well as some top tips for success.

Tell us a little about you and your horse

Catherine Haddad Staller and Maximus on the beach
Maximus was my first successful chestnut. He was a great warrior. He stole my heart forever. On the beach The Norderney CDN 2003
Frankie is a Hanoverian mare that I bred in Germany in 2009. She came to the USA with me after I got married in 2011. She was basically a school horse to all the up n coming riders who wanted to learn from me. I took over the ride when she was 10 years old and now, we do international Grand Prix together! Before Frankie, I trained six other horses to success in international Grand Prix.

 

How did your horses come into your life?

Catherine Haddad Staller and Frankie at Wellington CDI5*
Frankie is my current Grand Prix horse. I have never had a horse that wants to be my top horse as badly as she does! Wellington CDI5* 2021
I have purchased, trained, and sold horses after upgrading them my whole life.

 

How long have you been riding?

50 years.

 

When and where do you ride?

Florida in the winter, New Jersey in the summer and often, in Europe for 2-3 months per year.

 

How did you start riding?

I wanted a pony as a young girl and my mother obliged.

What you and your horses currently working on?

Grand Prix. Always Grand Prix.

 

What do you love about riding?

Catherine Haddad Staller and Hotmail at Hagen CDI4* 2014
Hotmail was the most athletic horse I ever trained. A true prodigy in piaffe/passage. Hagen CDI4* 2014
It sets my mind on fire and brings me a lot of physical joy. The kinship with my horses, the mind/body meld is really empowering.

 

What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

I just started a new company, NorCordia, with Danish partners. I plan to develop it into a successful equine investment company, and I hope that by doing so I will ride better and better horses each year.

 

Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?

Yes.

How do you deal with them?

Catherine Haddad Staller and Winyamaro
Winyamaro is retired on my farm in New Jersey. He still believes that he is too sexy for his shirt. London Olympia CDI-W 2011
I learned to let my breath take the nervousness away. Also, after many years of going down the centreline at European shows, I just didn’t have time or energy to get nervous anymore!!

 

Your Top Tip

My best tip for all riders is a quote from Willi Schultheis whom I keep close to my heart: “Es gibt immer ein Morgan. ““There’s always tomorrow.”

 

 

The Final Furlong

 

Who would be your dream horse to ride?

Semper Fidelis is still the horse I ride in my dreams

Who is your equestrian hero?

Isabell Werth

If you could have five people to dinner, who would they be?

My husband, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, Meryl Streep, and Angela Merkel

Favourite colour horse?

A good horse has no colour. But my best horses have always been chestnut.

Favourite horse event

London Olympia

 

Favourite food

Hummus

Favourite way to relax

Playing Cards

Favourite film

The Gladiator

Want More?

If you enjoyed meeting Catherine you might like to view more chatting with interviews here    You can keep up with Catherine’s progress and check out her instagram page here     
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Sharon Howe

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