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Laura Burket

When and where did you begin your Riding Career?
I was a toddler when I was first put on a horse. I started officially taking lessons when I was seven years old with my mom in Virginia. We started out in hunter/jumpers and eventing. In high school, I switched to focusing on dressage.

What was your first professional training/teaching job in the horse industry?
In high school I would catch ride for money. Through college, I rode for a breeder and then took a working student position with Chrissa Hoffmann in Kentucky.

Do you have a career highlight?
Going to the US Finals at Grand Prix would definitely be a major highlight. I did freestyle in 2015 and then did the regular grand prix in 2016.

Do you have a favorite horse?
My horse Flame is just a special horse. I am still competing with Flame and have showed through third level last year, and will be working to fourth level next year.

Who do you look up to the most in the horse industry?
JJ Tate is an amazing teacher and rider from South Carolina. I have been working with her for two or three years now.

What are your professional goals for the future?
To get Flame showing FEI levels and then another horse, Daniel, after that. Daniel should be up to FEI at seven or eight years old. I also have goals with my students with getting their medals in dressage and doing the Young Riders.
Any advice for those just starting out as professional
Ride any horse that you can. Be willing to work hard and there are opportunities there for you. You don’t need a lot of money to be successful. I didn’t have a horse growing up, but as a result I got to ride lots of different horses.

Stefanie Erlwein

Stefanie is a lifelong equestrian, spending her early years competing her off the track thoroughbred mare in the jumper ring. After purchasing a dressage bred KWPN foal, Finest Hour, she turned her focus to dressage and has never looked back. In 2011, Stefanie was accepted into a working student position with USDF Gold medalist Gina Duran of Topline Training. Each summer, for 10 years, she managed the care of Gina’s training horses. This opportunity reinforced and strengthened Stefanie’s knowledge of training, riding, young horse handling, and the high quality care and nutritional needs of our equine athletes. Stefanie sits on the Board of Directors for the United States Sporthorse Breeders Association (USSHBA) and is committed to supporting and promoting quality sporthorses bred in the US. Our breeding program focuses on producing high quality dressage prospects. Jeff and Stefanie have a small band of broodmares in Cynthiana, KY who have been carefully selected, based not only on bloodlines, but also trainability, temperament, movement, and aptitude to produce foals that share these same qualities. In addition to their breeding program, they offer Long and Short-Term Broodmare Care, Young Horse Raising, Retirement Board, and Sales Prep.
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Josh Faulkner

When and where did you begin your Riding Career? I began riding at the age of 4 in Snow Camp, NC…where I’m originally from. However I didn’t start riding show horses until I was 14…I trail rode, ran speed events and team roped a little bit before falling in love with the western pleasure and all around. What was your first professional training job in the horse industry? My first professional training job was at 19 years old working for Dana and Wendy Jones of Raleigh, NC coaching and training for their two daughters. Do you have a career highlight? There are many things I’m happy to have been able to accomplish thus far, but in 2016 while working for Tracey Hehr of Hollywood, SC between the Pinto Horse Association World Championship Show and the American Paint Horse Youth Association World Championship Show we (Tracey, her kids Sheldon and Isabella, another customer Greyson Marshall and myself) won 21 World and Reserve World Championship titles in a matter of 3.5 weeks with 5 horses! Do you have a favorite horse? I’ve had the privilege of riding a quite few really good horses but I would have to say that World and Res World Champion “Doctor Can Dee” (or known by many as Doc or Doodle) owned by Tracy Hehr would be my favorite! He’s one in a million! Who do you look up to the most in the horse industry? There are too many people/professionals that have taught me/helped me/inspired me to name just one person. I’ve been extremely blessed to have learned from/gotten advice from the following…Shane & Cindy Young, Shirley Roth, Paul Thurston, Doug Pratt, Alex Blackwood, Andy Cochran, Alan Fisher, Shane Pope, Erik Martin, Ronald Bartlett What are your professional goals for the future? Winning a AQHA World Championship (Golden Globe) in the Quarter Horse industry is a dream or a goal I think anyone that shows Quarter Horses has, but seeing my customers succeed (at any level) and have fun doing what they love is most important to me and extremely gratifying to me! Any advice for those just starting out as professional trainers? Don’t ever think that you know everything about what you are doing, if you do you’re not hurting anyone but yourself! Take every opportunity to learn anything even if it’s something minor from anyone of your peers, everyone can learn something from someone no matter how much you’ve won or how much you think you know!

Todd Holder

Todd Holder farms and ranches in Sparta, Kentucky. Todd is an accomplished Futurity Barrel Horse trainer. Breeding, raising, owning and training his own and client horses, Todd has proven several bloodlines and created successful careers for many horses. Todd feeds Excel Equine Animate and Race First.

Jessica Hopkins

Jessica Hopkins is the owner and trainer of Bar H Cattle & Performance Horses. She resides in Gosport, IN with her husband, daughter, and family. Jessica has made a name in the rodeo/barrel racing industry with having finished 5th in the world after qualifying for the IFR (International Finals Rodeo). She also won the Central Region & Southern Region the same year and has multiple MSRF qualifications. “In our operation, we understand how important nutrition is for our equine athletes in order for them to be at the top of their game and that’s why we chose Excel Equine. I truly believe you are what you eat, and the same goes for our horses. Quality Feed just seems to play such a large roll in how well a horse performs and behaves. Currently, my favorite feed is Trifiber Compete and favorite supplement is Toplyte, however you can’t go wrong with any of the blends that Excel has to offer; high quality feed at an affordable price.”  

Ashley Ketron

Ashley & David live on their farm with their children in Columbus, IN. Ashley competes as a barrel racer and most currently rides her 12 year old bay gelding, Miss Me I’m Famous (Cruz). January of 2023 marks her Second trip to the IFR. She earned Rookie of the Year in 2021. She competed at 39 rodeos in ’22 and picked up her biggest checks at Monticello, IL and Union City, IN. Ashley is proud to represent Excel Equine and she currently feeds Excel Equine Alfa-Oat cubes & Gut-health supplement: Equilistic.
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Chelsea Kolman

When and where did you begin your riding career? I got my first horse when I was 7 at a farm in Nicholasville Ky. And that’s pretty much when it all started haha
What was your first professional job in the horse industry? What is your current job in the industry? I got my first job breaking colts when I was a teenager. People would send them to me for training at a farm we leased in Lexington before my parents bought their farm in Versailles. Now I train horses and people, ride professionally, and own a boarding training and sales company called Dauntless Performance Horses! Do you have a career highlight? I would say my biggest career highlights was my Run at Fair Hill international where I moved up 36 places over night due to a double clear cross country round to finish 10th nationally and 11th internationally. That was a pretty big accomplishment for me and my horses Dauntless Courage. That’s he showed the world that he actually was a top class horse despite the nonbelievers. Do you have a favorite horse? Dauntless Courage is the horse that really put me on the map and Dauntless Serendipity was my first horse so I would say equally those two hold a special place in my heart. I tell them both on a weekly basis that the three of us are going to retire and move to Mexico to drink margaritas on the beach haha Who do you look up to most in the industry? I would love to run around a 5 star event along with competing in all of the Colt starting competitions in North America such as road to the horse and the mustang makeover. I really love Eventing but I equally love starting young horses. What are your professional goals for the future? I would love to run around a 5 star event along with competing in all of the Colt starting competitions in North America such as road to the horse and the mustang makeover. I really love Eventing but I equally love starting young horses. Which Excel Equine® feed do you feed your horses and why do you love it? I feed a few different feeds from Excel! I feel Senior HF®– for my older horses along with my guys who need to gain some extra weight. Animate® – to my performance horses. Carbolyte® – to my mare that has Cushings Trifiber Compete® – to a thoroughbred that is very picky and has a hard time gaining weight Enrichment® – to my ponies that just need the extra vitamins and minerals but are too fat to eat the other feeds. I love Excel because no matter what the issue, they have a solution! They have so many different feeds in so many different forms such as pellets and sweet feed that there is really something for everyone. Their feed is always fresh! I never have to worry about getting stale feed which is I problem I faced with other companies in the past. All of their staff is amazing! From Gail in the office, to Liz my rep, to Kent the owner. Everyone is so nice and without hesitation they come out whenever I need any questions answered. Any additional information about themselves/business they would like to share? My business is based on horse and owner/rider relationships. Our motto at Dauntless Performance Horses being “achieving the impossible” sums up what we do here. No matter the discipline, or issue you might have with you and your horse, we can fix it. We take great pride I our work and love helping people and horses!

Carli McGinley

When and where did you begin your Riding Career? I was four years old and I started riding at Stoneplace Stables with Angela Ariatti. I had a 13.2 pony that ran Angela over, reared up over water jumps, and was basically very naughty. I still have this pony, Rocket, and competed with her up through training level. What was your first professional training/teaching job in the horse industry? I was a working student for Steven Bradley in 2013 in Virginia. Before that I galloped racehorses at Skylight Training Center for Ian Wilkes in 2012. Do you have a career highlight? I won the National Junior Rider Championship CC1* in 2012 on a horse I had gotten as a yearling and trained up to that level. Do you have a favorite horse? Two…one is Kaiser, the one that I won the Junior Rider Championship with. He is just a sweet horse. I raised him so I am just emotionally attached. The best quality horse I have worked with would be Crunchy at Stephen Bradley’s. He was imported from Germany and pretty tough to ride but a very talented eventer. Who do you look up to the most in the horse industry? Andrea Kroll is my mentor and trainer. She has reached out to me the most over the years and has offered me the most guidance and help. She cares about me beyond the riding lesson. What are your professional goals for the future? I would love to compete at Rolex one day. Also, simply to be able to continue having my passion be my career and how I am able to support myself. I hope to have my own barn one day and teach and train in eventing and dressage. Any advice for those just starting out as professional trainers/instructors? Hard work and time management eventually pay off!

Nick Pilcher

Nick Pilcher of Pilcher Performance Horses in Lexington, IN is a cutting horse trainer. Nick and Olivia fill their barn with horses in all levels of training and compete at regional and national cutting competitions. PPH fuels their barn of horses on Excel Equine Animate.