From her earliest days as a 5-year-old taking her first riding lessons, Halie’s life revolved around horses. Early on in her pathway to success, she knew that her heart was set on a career as a horse trainer. In her young mind, she saw that her love of horses and her natural riding ability could combine into an exciting future. Halie’s notable work ethic combined with her passion for the sport lead her an exciting beginning at a well-known show barn. Once there, Halie added a second criteria to her dream career: She promised herself that when she had her own barn, it would incorporate the emphasis on horse care and well being, the focus on horsemanship and the insistence on sportsmanship that she experienced every day at Elvenstar Farm, the renowned stable owned by Jim Hagman in Moorpark, California.
Halie quickly progressed at Elvenstar as the barn’s working student for several years. During that time, she won numerous championships and accolades in both the Hunter and Equitation rings, at the state, regional, and national levels. She became an in-demand junior catch rider who was well known for her quick and accurate assessment of her rides, and her ability to show the horse to its best advantage. Halie competed several of her mounts in open company at top shows and was often the youngest rider, as well as the only junior, in the ribbons.
While Halie’s junior career came to a close, she began working professionally at Elvenstar’s satellite facility in Huntington Beach, while also earning her Bachelor’s degree at Chapman University. To cultivate a better understanding of buying and selling horses internationally, Halie jumped on the opportunity to work with long-time Elvenstar horse scouter John Bijlard while continuing her studies at the University of Amsterdam. While living in Europe, she quickly established her network of top professionals overseas; most notably, nations cup riders and high-performance dealers Chris and Whitney Sorensen of Sorensen Stables, whom she got familiar with during their first inaugural European Hunter Auction; The Hunt. It was during her time abroad that she flew home to capture the win in the USEF Talent Search—West Final in 2017.
Immediately upon graduation and thanks to her newfound connections, Halie worked for top hunter trainer Dave Belford of New Hope Farm while continuing to establish herself as one of the top up and coming young hunter riders in the United States. Despite having been offered several excellent career opportunities on the East Coast, her heart was set on coming home to California. In the fall of 2019 Halie’s childhood dream became a reality when she had the privilege to assume the ownership and operation of what was previously known as Gracelynd Hill, located in Halie’s hometown of Santa Barbara.
Thus was the birth of Huntridge.