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Top Junior EQ Trainer in or near New York

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  • Top Junior EQ Trainer in or near New York

    Hello everyone. This is my first time posting here.

    I would like to the know who are the big-name trainers here in NY or surrounding states that turn out the top winning junior equitation riders at the national level?

    Our family just relocated to NYC from the southeast, where our daughter was training with a big-name trainer there. However, we left on not-so-great terms. Therefore, I am hoping that you all will be able to direct us.

    I've heard that the Maddens are THE top junior eq trainers. However, are Frank and Stacia divorced now? Do they both still train the same students, or did their students have to decide who to continue training with? If that's the case, who did they decide to continue with? Stacia or Frank?

    Thank you everyone in advance for replying.

  • #2
    Either of the Madden's or Andre Dignelli (sp?).
    Can you stress-fracture your brain?


    • #3
      John Madden is on LI now, and Stacia is, I believe, still in NJ.


      • #4
        Originally posted by KayBee View Post
        John Madden is on LI now, and Stacia is, I believe, still in NJ.
        Don't you mean Frank Madden is on LI, not John Madden.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Heineken View Post
          Either of the Madden's or Andre Dignelli (sp?).
          "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong


          • #6
            Frank Madden's farm Hunter's moon is about 1 hour out of NYC. It looks lovely, I've driven by many times.
            Andre Dignelli is in Katonah
            Stacia madden is still in Colt's neck NJ
            I also would recommend Liza Rex and her business partner Holliday. They are in Old Westbury NY, so same town as Frank Madden.
            "If we we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane, if we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane." ~Jimmy Buffet
            "Pursuing the life of my high-riding heroes I burned up my childhood days..."-Willie Nelson


            • #7
              Anyone know anything about the Old Westbury Equestrian Center? I think that's the name of it?


              • #8
                Thank you everyone for replying.
                It does appear that Frank, Stacia, and Andre are the, perhaps, "top three."
                I mapped each of their cities, and all three are within an hours drive.

                Choosing who to train with would involve touring each of their facilities, and giving my daughter the opportunity to meet their riders, etc.

                However, who has the, perhaps "most," top ranked riders?


                • #9
                  I have no idea why your daughter isn't weighing in on this--it's for her and she'll have her own short list. Obviously, your best bet (having missed watching all in action at the Hampton Classic during the past week) is to go the the Maclay Regionals at Old Salem. If you've already relocated and have left on bad terms with your past trainer, where is your horse (if not already stabled close by)? Why did you wait to until you "relocated" to do this homework? And, remember, if you left on bad terms with a BNT (as you indicated), you'd better come with a fat wallet because you might need to overcome some badmouthing--it's a very tight group and they definitely discuss client histories.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by adhock View Post
                    I have no idea why your daughter isn't weighing in on this--it's for her and she'll have her own short list. Obviously, your best bet (having missed watching all in action at the Hampton Classic during the past week) is to go the the Maclay Regionals at Old Salem. If you've already relocated and have left on bad terms with your past trainer, where is your horse (if not already stabled close by)? Why did you wait to until you "relocated" to do this homework? And, remember, if you left on bad terms with a BNT (as you indicated), you'd better come with a fat wallet because you might need to overcome some badmouthing--it's a very tight group and they definitely discuss client histories.
                    This is my daughter's dream/career, and she is involved. I have no idea why you would make that comment. We were leasing my daughter's horse, and the lease ended this past week. We did not wait until after our move. My daughter is the one who narrowed down the list to the Maddens, but she was unsure to go with Stacia or Frank.

                    We left on bad terms with the trainer due to the fact that we caught the trainer in several lies, charging unnecessary fees, etc among others. It was because of the trainers actions that we left on bad terms. Additionally, since my husband and I are both attorneys, I am sure there will be no "badmouthing."

                    This post was geared toward info regarding the top trainer. Additionally, I specifically asked in regard to Stacia and Frank. Therefore, I hope other posters will reply with the appropriate information.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NYCatty View Post
                      Additionally, since my husband and I are both attorneys, I am sure there will be no "badmouthing."
                      Unfortunately in the world of big time horse showing that is no guarantee. If I had the choice of those three I would go with Stacia or Andre as I, personally, prefer their teaching styles/program over Frank's.


                      • #12
                        Thanks, adhock. You asked all the questions I had.


                        • #13
                          Well, it would help if we knew something about your daughters ability levels, what you are thinking about doing horse wise (lease or purchase) and where you live/how far you'd drive.

                          Budget concerns as well. Some may have a more fluid lease situation or access to sale horses for lessons and saddle time then others who would require a full time lease or purchase only.

                          Not enough information for specific recommendations. All named are quite good.

                          Two points, some are mixing John and Frank up. And I would not be too open about why you left your previous trainer, it is, after all, none of our business anyway.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • #14
                            Also, since the three NY-area trainers are on the road most of the year anyway (all three in Wellington for the winter, in the Northeast for the summer, and then Cap Challenge thru Syracuse in the fall), you may as well include Missy Clark on your list. If your daughter wants to do the big eq seriously, Missy should be in your consideration set.


                            • #15
                              Have you seen the DVD/TV series Road to the Maclay?

                              It includes lots of coverage of several of the names mentioned here. Obviously you would not make a dcision based solely on that, but you can get a little idea of some of the personalities. Plus it's very entertaining!

                              Another consideration is whether your daughter would be happier in a barn with many, many other kids, or in a less crowded situation. That might narrow things down a bit.

                              I agree that Maclay Regionals would give you an excellent opportunity to observe the best in action, not just in the show ring, but in the early morning lessons and in the schooling area.

                              Good luck and welcome to the BB!


                              • #16
                                I think that rather than thinking about who has the most "top ranked" juniors, you should consider who's teaching style compliments her learning style and will allow her to flourish under their tuition the most.

                                Trainers that are successful at that level have some better years and some more normal years so dont look at who has the most top riders because this is always subject to change. I chose my trainer because, even though Beacon Hill was in the area and even though I was financially in a situation to go there, I wanted the smaller, more personalized training situation.
                                Good Luck.
                                As an aside, I highly recommend Stacia. Love the girls that ride with her and everybody has fun AND is extremely successful. Great atmosphere to be around.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by NYCatty View Post
                                  Additionally, since my husband and I are both attorneys, I am sure there will be no "badmouthing."

                                  Oh, that's great!!!

                                  Back on topic, you might also wish to consider what are the expectations regarding how many horses you bring to the barn - certain of the top barns are not so friendly to kids who do not bring several horses and the training fees that will be charged accordingly.


                                  • #18
                                    Again, thank you everyone for replying and the few of you who PMed me. I greatly appreciate.

                                    We've leased horses for the past several years, as my daughter never quite felt much confidence in the horses that her trainers showed us, so we wound up leasing in order to continue with lessons and showing.

                                    We have the financial means to buy more than one horse. The reason we haven't is because we're told that we are only allowed to purchase horses that the trainer finds, *rolls eyes,* and my daughter simply didn't like the horses enough to want to actually purchase.

                                    My daughter has ridden ever since she could walk, and has shown on the local "A" circuit since she was 5 years old. She is currently 16 years old (birthday in December...yay!). Her dream is the go to all the big eq finals, and of course that dream includes a big win. She currently shows in the junior hunter and eq medal classes. She also wants to start doing the jumpers, for more ring time and experience.

                                    Additionally, she wants a trainer that truly believes in her abilities, and will dedicate as much effort as she does, not play favorites (if this is even possible), and actually claps when their student places 1st in a class. At the past trainers barn, she would ride 3-4 horses everyday. She wants a trainer where she can spend her entire day at the barn, learning and socializing with the other riders.

                                    As a side note, my daughter knows several of the girls that ride with Stacia. But, she has seen Andre and Frank training at shows. We were just trying to find out additional information about them before we made any phone calls.

                                    If anyone has any additional information, we'd greatly appreciate it.


                                    • #19
                                      I would call the trainers on your short-list and ask if you can set up a meeting and later perhaps a trial lesson/assesment of your daughter.
                                      Tell them what you have told us about your situation and your hopes and expectations from them as trainers. Ask them what they think is a realistic goal for your daughter, what their expactations are on her and you, what you can do to help your daughter reach her goals and what they will be able to contribute with.

                                      Open communication is IMO by far the best method when it comes to finding a good trainer. If you want something that they can't provide it is better to know that before you make a commitment. There might be some things that they won't be able to do, but you will know up front and you'll be able to make an educated decision.

                                      Good Luck!
                                      Timothy, stop lurking


                                      • #20
                                        Heritage and Beacon Hill are for sure the two "Hot" programs in that area right now, but there's lots of other successful programs so make sure to look around and find somewhere that's a good fit for your daughter (I'd personally be afraid of being lost in the crowd at a program as big as Andre's but his success speaks for itself).

                                        Some other names that come to mind for the eq. are Val Renihan (Findlay's Ridge), Molly Flaherty (Arcadia Farm) both in Westchester County, and Burr Associates just across the border in CT has Tim Kees, Leslie Howard, Chris Cawley & Molly Ashe all working together.