Trainer Spotlight - Karen Lipp & Stal810
Updated: May 11, 2020
Stal810 Dressage, owned by Karen Lipp, is focused on the development of young horses for future sales. Karen, a FEI-level dressage competitor and trainer, has over 28 years of experience identifying, importing, developing, and showing talented dressage horses. As a result, she has many long-standing relationships with breeders in Europe, which enables her to find top quality dressage prospects for her clients or sales prospects for the future.
About Karen Lipp, Trainer & Coach
Karen is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist, as well as a Centerline Scores rated 5* rider. Karen's primary focus is training the competitive horse and rider from beginning levels up to Grand Prix. In addition to training horses, Karen is passionate about working with ambitious adult amateurs. Her students have won numerous champion and reserve championships, USDF gold, silver and bronze medals, the Brentina Cup as well as Young Rider Grand Prix championships. Karen is an accomplished FEI-level Dressage rider who has won several national and international competitions and has trained over 11 horses from training through the levels to the Grand Prix.
How It All Started
Horses have always been at the center of Karen's life. She started riding at the age of 7 after begging her mother to provide her with weekly lessons. Her grandfather purchased her first horse when Karen was 11-years old for $900. In Karen's early years of riding, she dabbled in many disciplines including western pleasure, barrel racing, eventing, jumping, and saddle seat. At 20 years-old, Karen began learning the fundamentals of Dressage with Susan Day.
It was with Susan Day that Karen discovered she had a gift for teaching. Susan went on vacation and asked Karen to take over while she was gone. The feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive, and Susan invited Karen to continue teaching. At the same time, Karen was learning about Dressage and realizing that this was what she wanted to do.
While learning to ride and teach, Karen took some time to earn her bachelor's degree in Marketing from Kennesaw State University. She also became a licensed EMT/ Paramedic and worked in the Atlanta area on an ambulance, working her way up to the trauma helicopter. She continued her riding, and after 5 years working as a paramedic in the sky, she devoted her life full-time to training Dressage horses. She began to build her training program and also manage a facility at Applewood Farm in Alpharetta.
Karen embarked on her own, and she' has never looked back. She has been a full-time trainer and coach for 28 years. She earned her USDF Gold Medal in the mid-90s on a Thoroughbred she personally trained for Grand Prix. She has now been showing in the CDI ring for 20 years. She competed in the Danish Championships as a guest rider, and she was also short-listed for the 2004 Olympic Team. In 2005, she received a grant from USDF to go to Germany for 3 months and train with Olympic Gold Medalist, Klaus Balkenhol. While in Germany, she competed in CDI competitions at Bremen and Verden, placing as high as 3rd.
Her passion for teaching is evident in the numerous championships and reserved championships her clients have won over the years. She has coached 18 students to earn their USDF Gold medals and countless others earning their Silver and Bronze.
Never satisfied, Karen has continually worked with many of the world's top Dressage trainer's including U.S. Olympian Tina Konyot. Taking advantage of the Florida winter show circuit, Karen travels to Florida with her horses and clients. She currently works closely with Olympic bronze medalist, Charlotte Bredahl.
Karen Lipp is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist, as well as a Centerline Scores rated 5* rider. She has competed in and won several national and international competitions. Her accomplishments include winning the Heidelberg Cup and numerous Region 3 Open Championships. She was also short-listed for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team.
Recently, she has been successfully competing with Whitney in the CDI Grand Prix classes since 2017. They placed 1st in 2018 at Tryon in the Grand Prix Freestyle. She recently won the 2019 4th level National Open Championship in Kentucky on her now 7-year old Dutch Warmblood, Infinity, by Dream Boy. This year in Wellington they will be competing in the 7-year old class for the World Young Horse Championships in the CDIs
Training & Teaching
Karen believes in positively training horses so they want to work for their rider. She believes that with patience and finesse, you can develop a correctly trained horse with better long-term results versus using strength to "make the horse" do the movements. Karen works her horses, on average 30 minutes a day, and no more than 5 days a week. She believes that horses stay healthier in both mind and body when they are not over-ridden.
She believes you need to be continually learning and improving your training. These past few seasons in Wellington, she has trained with Ulf Mueller. Ulf has won more Young Horse Championships in Europe than anyone in history. He is considered by many to be a modern-day master of Dressage, especially in training young horses. Karen has also recently trained with Debbie McDonald, the current U.S. Olympic Coach.
She has personally trained 12 horses from low levels up to Grand Prix, and has trained numerous other horses to Grand Prix that were already at upper levels.
In addition to training and competing horses, Karen has had much success in teaching riders too. She has taken Juniors and Young Riders to the U.S. Championships almost every year since 1997. Additionally, Karen loves working with ambitious adult amateurs, who she believes are the life-blood of the sport.
At every critical juncture in Karen's equestrian career, someone came along and provided her with an opportunity to continue to pursue her love of horses. She expresses her gratitude by teaching others how to be the best equestrians they can be.
Horse Purchases & Sales
For over 25 years now, Karen has assisted clients in going to Europe and helping them find their next competition horse. She has several European contacts and has had more than $8 million in horse sales through the years.
Karen is known as a fashionista in the Dressage world and is always on the cutting edge of horse show fashion. In 2012, she was the co-founder of 2KGrey, an equestrian clothing line. The company has since been sold and is still producing clothes today.
Stal810 is situated on 7 beautiful acres in the mountains of North Georgia, just 60 minutes from the Atlanta airport. The facility has 12 stalls, large grass paddocks, lunge arena, full size 20×60-meter Dressage arena, with future track footing and full-size mirrors. Currently under construction is a new covered arena that will be completed in April 2020.