Kalena Richards comes to us from the Northern Illinois area. Kalena has been working with and riding horses since middle school. She was a working student for several well-known area hunter/jumper trainers through her junior years in addition to teaching some beginner riding lessons and starting young horses. Starting on the local circuit, she eventually worked her way up to the A circuit showing both ponies and horses with success in the hunters, jumpers, and equitation. Kalena took her own pony from barely broke all the way to winning consistently in the pony divisions.
Midway College brought Kalena to Kentucky where she graduated with a BA in Business Administration concentrating in equine business. While in school, Kalena was captain of both the soccer team and the hunt seat team her junior and senior year. Kalena rode her way from novice to open division by junior year winning or placing high consistently, accomplishing Reserve High Point Rider on several occasions as well as stepping in to ride for the western team in the open reining and horsemanship classes. In 2011, under the coaching of Carrie Dahmer, Kalena was part of the winning Novice Championship team at the ANRC National Championship at Savannah College of Art and Design with an individual top 10 finish.
Kalena moved back up north to take a job in Wisconsin upon graduation. There, Kalena built up a lesson program from a handful to over 30 students while also helping prepare, ride, and assist in selling a large number of sales horses. While Kalena enjoyed the students and her time in Wisconsin, Kalena felt the calling to come back to Kentucky and accepted a job with Carrie Dahmer and Otis Brown at Brass Lantern Farm in Georgetown, KY. While attending horse shows nationwide, Kalena helped with the day to day management of the farm along with running a small lesson program.
Kalena’s career path then took another turn and brought her to land a job with Patty Stovel Training, a grand prix rider best known for her appearance at the 1994 World Equestrian Games for Team USA. Kalena spent her time traveling all over the Midwest as well as spending the winter in Florida helping with both client horses, sales horses and Patty’s own upper level jumpers. After being with Patty for over a year, Kalena decided to get back to her passion of teaching and found her way to Liftoff Equestrian.