Erin Bland and Weatherly at the Hunter Derby Final. Photo by Shawn McMillan
Hunter/jumper trainer Liza Applebaum is a fixture on the Southern California equestrian scene. She has run her successful, boutique-size training barn, Full Circle Farms, at the Del Mar Horsepark for 20 years and her horses and students have succeeded consistently on the local and regional circuit throughout that time. That longevity has deepened the trainer's appreciation for the sport and her enjoyment of her profession.
The feeling is mutual. "I have an old client base," Liza explains. Several students have been with her since she settled in at the Horsepark in 1992 and two of her current stars began riding with her when they were in kindergarten.
Erin Bland is one of Liza's former leadliners. Her recent win of the USHJA Hunter Derby Consolation Class in Kentucky brought a national spotlight to Liza's business. (See story) Erin chose to attend college in San Diego in order to continue riding with Full Circle and it's paid off in spades. She and her Derby partner, Weatherly, were leading the Zone 10 Amateur Owner Hunter year-end point standings in the 18-35 age bracket as this issue went to press. (Liza sent Erin and Weatherly to the Derby Finals in Kentucky in the capable hands of Ned and Hope Glynn of Sonoma Valley Stables.)
Katy Kaseno is another student who started with Liza as a kindergartner and went on to make her trainer more than proud. She and Soletto are currently third in the Zone 10 standings for Adult Amateur Jumpers. "This has been a particularly great year," Liza reports. "We have a lot of other riders that are also achieving year-end
awards, and Erin's national accomplishment
is just terrific."
Erin Bland and Weatherly at the Hunter Derby Finals
The loyalty of Liza's customers is rivaled by that of her staff. Assistant trainer Katherine Anderson has been with Full Circle for nine years and barn manager Angel Perez for 10. With their help, Liza credits the stable's success to individualized training programs and an emphasis on well-rounded horsemanship education. The program covers crossrails to nationally competitive successes and, within that, there's room for highly customized approaches to accommodate every goal. Liza and Katherine's students range from those who aspire to follow Erin's footsteps to those just tackling their first crossrail courses. And it includes a group of adult women who ride strictly for recreation.
"Our barn offers full service grooming but we encourage our riders to become great horsewomen," Liza explains. "They are taught to be independent thinkers and problem solvers and our instruction includes a lot of attention to detail."
That quality of education is likely part of the reason so many Full Circle riders stick with the horses throughout adulthood. "When you teach someone in a way that makes them want to learn and teach them how to succeed, I think that contributes to their love of the sport." The barn has a friendly family atmosphere in which students enjoy their time together and cheer on each
Liza Applebaum and Katherine Anderson
Full Circle Farms' location at the Horsepark enables clients to compete at high quality shows of all levels without the expenses of away shows.
An Antares-sponsored professional, Liza is a USEF judge and appreciates the perspective that adds to her training technique. She enjoys venturing off the property for judging assignments but always loves coming home. "I really love the kids and the horses and that's what keeps
For more information on Full Circle Farms, call Liza Applebaum at 619-417-7317.