Diamante XXX1X. Photo ©McCool Photography
Classical dressage is the basis for trainer Bethany Wallace Rogillio's approach to every horse she works with in her sport horse training business. "But I'm not afraid to recognize when a horse or rider might need a slightly different approach," she says. Certified by the American Riding Instructor Association to teach dressage and hunt seat over fences, Bethany bases her business, Bethany Wallace Sport Horse Training, at River Valley Ranch in south San Diego County.
She and her students regularly compete in dressage, hunter/jumper and eventing, but her main emphasis is helping students progress with their horses, whether or not they show. "Horse shows help us all stay motivated and to move up in our training," Bethany notes. She also has several students with no interest in competing. "I just make sure that they make other training goals so that we are always working toward something and continually improving."
Bethany showing Sun Splash.
She believes that variety is important, physically and mentally, for horses and riders. "I am always willing to think outside the box to find a way to get through to every horse and rider so we can all be successful. Heading out on the trail or jumping and galloping in our cross-country field provide a nice break to all that training in the arena," she explains. "The result is well-rounded horses
Bethany's long and diverse background with horses has given her many experiences to draw on as a trainer and coach. She was born in San Diego but spent the majority of her youth immersed in the equestrian lifestyle of Northern Virginia. Her mother and grandmother were both experienced horsewomen and taught riding. She grew up competing successfully at the area's top hunter/jumper shows.
Dressage caught Bethany's passions as a young adult. She spent several years in training with FEI rider Suzan Strahan when she returned to San Diego, and now continues to work with Grand Prix rider and trainer Sandy Burns-Gardner in her own riding. She trains through the FEI levels and has shown through Intermediaire 1, earning scores
River Valley Ranch provides Bethany and her clients easy access to a varied and stimulating training environment. Located 15 minutes from downtown San Diego, the facility has a full-size dressage court, a big jumping arena and a modest cross-country course. Ocean breezes are an added attraction, along with trails to the beach and a large preserve that's open for trail riding.
The trainer welcomes sport horses of all breeds and disciplines. She's especially pleased to have the ride on the black Pura Raza Espanola stallion Diamante XXX1X, owned by Karen Donnelley-Keeley's Ohana Ranch. The gorgeous Andalusian came her way earlier this year and they have already progressed to scores in the mid 60s in their First Level dressage tests, including at the Del Mar National Show in April.
Bethany and Ruffles N Flourishes.
"Dia's" owner Karen is happy to have Bethany campaigning her stallion. Black Andalusians are rare to begin with and black Andalusians with Homozygous DNA are even more rare. The distinction means they are highly likely to produce black offspring. Even without his spectacular color, Dia has a lot to offer, both as a dressage star and as an enjoyable horse to be with.
"Dia is gifted with a big, straight movement and is naturally agile and balanced," Bethany reports. "Those qualities, coupled with his gentle temperament and strong work ethic, make him a pleasure to ride and train every day."
Sired by Oculto (Truinfadora XVII), Dia is a unique stud for the U.S. for both his talent and his bloodlines, Karen says. "Both of his grand sires were referred to as 'the blood of gold' by the Spanish government, who leased them to improve the breed." Dia was born in 2003, inscribed in Spain and revised in the U.S. in 2007 with the "unlimited breeding" distinction anointed by the Spanish government that controls the
For all his fiery good looks, Dia carries the common Andalusian trait of being a complete gentleman around the stable and under saddle. "In addition to his dressage talents and his Resnik Liberty Training work, he was hand raised in a large open pasture by myself and my children on our ranch," Karen explains. "He can be handled by children and be in the company of studs, geldings and mares." He's been a favorite of students in Karen's equine therapy program for autistic kids. "He is one of the most well-behaved and versatile stallions you will ever meet," notes Karen, who adds that she may entertain syndication offers.
For more information on Bethany Wallace Sport Horse Training, call Bethany Wallace Rogillio at 619-850-5923 or visit www.sporthorsetraining.com. For more information on Diamante breeding or syndication, call Karen Donnelley-Keeley at 760-519-0310 or visit www.OhanaRanch.com.