Karen Stopek-

Owner~Trainer~Breeding Manager~Instructor Specializing in Hunters & Jumpers

Karen and her Trakehner stallion, Prelude By Mozart.

Karen schooling on her first horse, "Dale", circa 1980.  This pair won the 1982 Open Jumper Class at the Great Geauga County Fair Horse and Pony Show.  (Please disregard the lack of helmet and boots--we do not recommend that you try this at home!)

Karen and Dynomax earned American Paint Horse Association points in Halter, Western Pleasure, and Hunter Under Saddle.  Dynomax is now owned by Tammy K. of Truro, Iowa.  Congratulations, Tammy!

Karen (seated) with a few of her students (Julie, Cari, and Katelyn) at the "D" Series Awards Banquet. 

Karen Stopek was a clinician at the 2012 Iowa Horse Fair at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on March 30, 31, & April 1.  She taught "Sporthorse Conformation" in the Nutrena Arena at 3:00 pm on Friday and "Exercises for Hunters, Jumpers, and Dressage Horses" in the Pavilion at 10 am on Saturday. 

    Karen Stopek's love of horses began when she was a young girl and has continued ever since.  She started taking Western riding lessons at the age of 7 and switched to English at age 9.  Karen became the proud owner of "Dale" when she was in the sixth grade.  Dale was a grade gelding that loved to jump and became her partner.  The highlight of their show career was winning the Open Jumper class at the 1982 Great Geauga County Fair Horse and Pony Show. Karen soon had the desire to train a young horse from the ground up, and her parents bought her a weanling Thoroughbred filly that had been bred for the track.  This filly proved to be a challenge, but Karen enjoyed every minute of training her.  The first time she sat on the filly, it was a rush like none other.  Karen was hooked on starting young horses from that day forward. 

    Since that day, Karen has trained many other horses which have been shown successfully in hunters, jumpers, dressage, in hand, halter, English pleasure, equitation, and western pleasure. Some have also been fox hunted.  She starts young horses from scratch as well as finishing horses for the show ring.  Karen currently shows her Trakehner stallion, Prelude By Mozart, in dressage, hunters, and jumpers.  This summer, she scored several 9's on dressage tests, something every dressage rider dreams of doing!!  Karen rides in clinics with nationally recognized instructors as often as possible. 

    Karen has taught lessons professionally since 1999.  Her list of students keeps growing as they tell their friends about her and so on and so on.  Most of Karen's students are girls that love horses and Karen understands them because she used to be one of them!  She teaches them to care for horses as well as to ride them and to treat each horse with respect. 

Karen's favorite breed of horse is the Trakehner.  She is a dedicated breeder of this noble horse and also served on the board of the American Trakehner Association.  In 2014, Karen became one of five inspectors in North America for the ATA. 

Karen manages all aspects of breeding on her farm including collecting and preparing semen for shipment, artificially inseminating mares and foaling out mares. 


Heather Huntoon-

Trainer~Instructor Specializing in Dressage

Sweet William, appendix Trakehner, is owned, shown. and loved by Heather Huntoon.  He is pictured after winning first place in the Two Year Old Colts Class and Reserve Champion Young Horse at the 2004 Ohio Professional Horseman's Hunter/Jumper Show and under saddle as a 4 year old.

Heather and Trakehner stallion, Prelude By Mozart, at his first show in the US.  Photo by Rick Hildreth.

Heather and her favorite school horse, a Swedish Warmblood named Oscar.

    Heather Huntoon studied at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio where she majored in Equine Facilities Management with a minor in Business. At Lake Erie, she had the opportunity to ride a variety of Warmbloods and learn from riding instructors from across the globe.  She also gained valuable experience while working  for a Dressage show barn in northeast Ohio where she taught dressage lessons and exercised horses trained through Prix St. Georges.   Now, Heather teaches lessons and trains horses at Stopek Stables. 

    During the summer of 2004, Heather was the Director of Horses at Wildwood Hills Ranch in St. Charles, Iowa where she was responsible for the care and training of 25 horses and taught riding lessons to over 720 children.   She has been riding and taking lessons since she was 9 years old.  She has trained many horses, taking several all the way from babies to their first blue ribbon in the show ring.  She trained her Quarter Horse filly, Sierra Key, since purchasing her as a weanling and won her first Western Pleasure class with her as a 3 year old and went on to show her over fences and fox hunt with her in the Moingona Hunt.  Her own 3 year old colt, William, went to college with her and won the 2 Year Old Colts class and was Reserve Champion Young horse at the Ohio Professional Horseman’s Association Hunter Jumper Show.  Heather has taken William's dam, Klassic Mist, in Hunter classes as well as showing her in First Level Dressage at USDF recognized shows.  Heather has also successfully shown our Trakehner stallion, Prelude By Mozart in dressage.  She has competed on the Intercollegiate Dressage Team for Lake Erie College (they won the National Championship in 2005!!) and is also part of the LEC Hunter/Jumper Team.  Besides many other ribbons and trophies, Heather was awarded two Gold Medals at the 2003 Iowa Games in Dressage and is two- time winner of the Sportsmanship Award from the Flying Arrow Saddle Club.  She also won the Jumper division High Point award from FASC three years in a row.  She also won the 2005 Year End High Point Award from the Iowa Dressage and Combined Training Association in the Dressage Equitation class and has received a bronze medal from IaDCTA. 

    Heather has also gained valuable “behind the scenes” experience while being part of the team responsible for organizing, managing and hosting the Prix De Ville Jumper and Dressage shows at Lake Erie College.  She has been a scribe as well as a ring mistress at nationally recognized dressage and hunter/jumper shows, giving her first hand knowledge of the judge’s perspective. As you can see, Heather has much to offer students at Stopek Stables. 


Hailee Huntoon-

 Lead line Champion and Barn Cat Trainer

   

Hailee is a big helper around the barn and loves to entertain the crowds during lead line!


Brody Huntoon-

Brody is a lead-line champ, cowboy, and future jockey.


Working Students-

It takes many people to keep a barn running smoothly.  At Stopek Stables, we appreciate dedicated students who desire to spend more time with horses and learn while they work.  A special thanks to Abrianna, Cari, Savanna, Molly, Meagan, Aly, Jenna, Lauren, Emma, Taryn, Angel, Mackenzie, Brianna, and Kayla!  You girls are terrific and your help is appreciated!!!


"Toby" & "Brandy" & "Bosley" & "Big Bertha"

       

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Copyright 2016 by Stopek Stables

This page last updated on September 06, 2016