Meet Clair Kellner
Remember being absolutely horse-mad? When every birthday wish, every gift list, every waking moment revolved about having a pony of your very own? A sleek, fancy pony, one with dapples and an elegant profile, great soft eyes and a shiny mane and tail just begging for ribbons and braids? Remember? And then we grow up.
Clair Kellner made those wishes and wrote lists, too. She drew ponies all over her notebooks. She dreamt of blue ribbons and horse shows and even taught her dog to jump fences. And just like the rest of us, she grew up. But that’s where the similarities end. While we may ride on weekends or see that our children take their lessons and save up for shows, Clair has made riding, training and showing horses and ponies her life’s work. It’s hard, hard work. There are very few who have the talent, commitment and dedication to do it, much less do it as well as she does. But then her remarkable record speaks for itself:
Clair was riding and horse showing by the time she was five:
By 1996-97, she was a working student with Don Stewart. Her accomplishments during this period include:
- AHSA Medal finalist, placing 5th in 1996.
- Capital Challenge Large Junior Champion.
- Numerous other Champion and Reserve wins in both Small and Large Juniors events.
- Washington International Horse Show 2nd Place Hunter Phase, 1997.
- Capital Challenge Reserve Champion, Small Junior Hunter.
- 1997 Reserve World Champion Hunter Rider.
- Sixth Place, Maclay Regionals.
- First Place, Maclay at Devon, Pennsylvania.
- Second Place, AHSA at Devon, Pennsylvania.
- First Place, Cincinnati Equitation Classic.
Clair began her career as a professional trainer working with Georgeanne Powers of Foxwood Farm, during which time she was:
- 2001 Florida Regular Working Hunter Champion.
- Reserve Champion, First Year Green Hunter.
- Biltmore Classic, Reserve Champion, First Year Green Conformation.
The new Kingsmeade Farm, Inc. was established in June, 2002. Clair has been based there full time since then, serving as both owner and principal trainer. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Biltmore Classic, Champion Second-Year Green Hunter, 2002.
- Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Champion 3&4-your-old Hunter, 2003.
- Biltmore Classic, Champion Second-Year Green Hunter.
- HITS Ocala, Champion 3′ Pre-green Hunter, 2004.
- HITS Ocala, Champion 3’3″ Pre-green Hunter, 2004.
- WEF, Champion 3&4-year-old Hunter (took first place in all over-fences classes)
- $25,000 Hunter Classic, Atlanta, Georgia, 2004, Fifth Place.
- HITS Ocala, First Place, First-Year Green Conformation Hunter, 2005.
- Second Place, Mini Prix.
- Atlanta, Georgia, Trainers Equitation Classic, Third Place, 2005.
- Zone 4 Finals: Champion First Year Green Hunter, Champion and Reserve Pregreen Hunter, 2005.
- HITS Ocala, Circuit Champion, Second Year Green Hunter, 2006.
- WEF, Reserve Champion Second Year Green Hunter, 2006.
- Atlanta Summer Classic, Second Place $25,000 Hunter Classic, 2006.
- HITS Ocala, Reserve Circuit Champion, 3’3″ Pre-green Hunter, 2007.
- Atlanta Summer Classic, Champion Green Conformation Hunter (twice in two weeks), 2007.
- Atlanta Summer Classic, First Place, Trainer Equitation Classic.
- Clair has recently begun the journey to becoming a “R” registered USEF/USHJA hunter/hunt seat equitation judge. She now has her “r” recorded judge license and hopes to get her “R” in April 2017.
And that’s just the beginning…