About Kelsey Dunlap
- USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist
- USDF Certified Instructor through 4th level
- 2019 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions
- 5 Year Old Championships - 10th
- 2019 Region 1 First Level Open Champion with 5yo Heirendale
- Competed through Grand Prix dressage
- Competed through Preliminary level eventing
- B Pony Club Graduate
- Multiple High Score Awards
- Competitor at Regional Championships through PSG
- 2018 National Champion in Cyprus - L and M Level
- Grand Prix demo rider at the "Dressage Through the Levels" Symposium in May 2015
- Trained multiple horses through FEI
- 2021 Region 1 3rd Level Open Champion
As a young horse-obsessed kid, Kelsey was lucky enough to start her horse dream at an early age under the tutelage of eventing trainer Dr. Stacy Anderson DVM, MVSc, PhD in Ames, Iowa. Dr. Anderson instilled correct basics into Kelsey and facilitated great opportunities such as winter training in Wellington, FL, interning at Kendall Road Equine Hospital in Illinois, and working student positions with Margie Hutchison and Olympic reserve rider, Marcia Kulak, in upstate New York. Being homeschooled allowed her the freedom and flexibility to take advantage of all of these incredible opportunities and she enjoyed great success competing in eventing during those years, from winning Stuart Horse Trials in NY to participating at the US Pony Club Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park.
In her early teens, Kelsey and her family moved to a small farm in Charlotte, NC. She was again lucky enough to connect with a top trainer in the area - Grand Prix rider, Diane Ritz - who got her hooked on dressage and became her mentor. She worked for Diane for the next 8 years, competing some young horses and sales horses, while building up her own training and sales business out of her parents' farm and attending UNC Charlotte where she graduated with a B.S. in Exercise Science.
In 2018, Kelsey sold her self-made PSG horse and took an adventurous year abroad in Europe so her British husband could finish a work contract in Cyprus. She got involved in the dressage scene there, taught lessons across the island, and was able to compete throughout the year and win the National Championship at L and M level (US 1st and 2nd) on a 7 year old Oldenburg mare by Sandro Hit. Kelsey also went to Germany - the "Mecca of dressage." She spent the summer training in Düsseldorf, Germany with International Grand Prix and Young Horse trainers Jennifer and Jürgen Hoffman. There, she gained invaluable experience working with stallions and was able to put polish on the Grand Prix exercises under daily instruction.
Kelsey moved back to North Carolina with her husband in March, 2019 to continue training horses and teaching students of all ages and levels in and around Charlotte. She brought home her young Hanovarian gelding by Hotline and went back to work. They competed in the FEI 5yo classes over the summer and qualified for the 2019 US Young Horse Championships in Chicago, IL where they finished 10th. They were the 2019 Region 1 First level champions and finished 7th at the US Finals. In 2021, Heirendale SBF was Region 1 3rd level Open Champion, finished 7th in the 4th Level championships and went on to finish the year at the 2021 US Finals with excellent results. She is excited to continue developing this talented young horse.
In order to achieve the best results for her clients and horses, Kelsey prioritizes continuing her own education and has trained with international judges and trainers such as Bo Jena, Lars Peterson, Christine Traurig, Janet Foy, and Katherine Bateson-Chandler, among others. She was the recipient of a $1,500 grant from The Dressage Foundation to use for the USDF Instructor Certifications and has completed and passed the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level Certifications. She attends symposiums and clinics as often as she can and regularly trains with Stacey Hastings and Chris Hickey.
Kelsey keeps her horses and works out of Peace N Peas Farm, located just east of Charlotte, North Carolina. It has a six stall barn with a lighted arena and mirrors, and grassy pastures with the obligatory farm animals. A peaceful setting, and never dull.