Karen Ball aboard Luciano - FEI Freestyle 2008, Del Mar

Karen Ball aboard Luciano - FEI Freestyle 2008, Del Mar

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Karen Ball

Career Highlights:

2011 – NAJYRC Coach at Championships in Lexington, KY with Kelli Newton/Luciano
            CDS-SJC Chapter Trainer of the Year
2009 -  Rolex FEI World Cup Dressage Finals Grand Prix Freestyle Demo Ride with Luciano
2008 – USDF Region 7 Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle Champion with Luciano
            CDS Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle Reserve Champion with Luciano
            Keen Memorial High Score Trophy for Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle
            NAJYRC Coach at Championships with Mackinzie Pooley/Jonkara

  • USEF National Festival of Champions JR -Reserve Champion
  • NAJYRC/CDI**Parker, CO Junior Rider Team-BRONZE MEDAL
  • NAJYRC/CDI**Parker, CO Junior Rider Freestyle-BRONZE MEDAL

2007 – NAJYRC Coach at Championships in Lexington, VA with Mackinzie 
            Pooley/Jonkara and Emily Tears/Luciano

  • Young Rider Team – GOLD MEDAL
  • Junior Rider Individual- BRONZE MEDAL
  • Junior Rider Freestyle-BRONZE MEDAL

2005 – Represented USA at Prix St. George International Invitational Sydney, AUS
2000 - CDS First Level Open Champion with Luciano
            USDF Region 7 Second Level Reserve Champion with Luciano
1999 -  USDF Region 7 Training Level Open Champion with Luciano
CDS Young Horse Futurity Reserve Champion with Luciano
1988 -  USCTA/CTETA Woodside Training Level Champion with Balius Ryddspence
1987 – USCTA Area VI Young Rider Candidate with Hideaway’s Hustler
            Represented Area VI at Fritz Cup in Washington State with Hideaway’s Hustler
1984 – USCTA Area VI Young Rider Candidate with Top Priority


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Karen Ball (also known as Kari) has owned and operated European Equestrian Concepts for almost 20 years.  Karen began her riding career at only three years old when her parents took her on a weekend visit to the old Santa Ana Pony Rides.  From then on she was hooked.  She continued with a short introduction to Western riding, gymkhana, and 4H clubs.

No stranger to the area that she is now located, Karen came to know Coto de Caza in 1969 when her parents became members of the Hunt Club.  Most of her childhood was spent on family trips, summer camp, and trail rides taken in the hills from the rental barn, which used to be located at the north end of Coto’s current golf course.   In 1978 she began her riding career in Hunter/Jumpers under the tutelage of Caroline Bohnam. Her parents purchased her first horse, Mariah, for $500 off a corner in a nearby neighborhood.

A few years into her education, a family friend recommended Three Day Eventing for Karen.  This marked the beginning of her Dressage education.  
For the next 8 years she trained with David Collins and had many successes competing at Three Day Events throughout the West Coast.  During this time she had the opportunity to clinic with Major Ander Lindgren whose teaching exercises she still uses today.  You will currently see her riders maneuvering their horses around a series of orange cones, which for example gives visual aid in the distinction between corners and circles.  Karen was very competitive as a Young Rider Candidate with an ambition to make a Team to compete for Area VI until her horse became lame and her path turned in a different direction.

After graduation from High School, Karen started her first European Tour adventure in 1984 in Dalby, Sweden. Working for Karin Oscarren-Munck, Karen received a more intense education in dressage, and was responsible for the grooming and riding of horses that ranged in levels from beginning through Grand Prix. After a year abroad, she returned to attend the University Davis.  Missing the intensity of the sport and competition, she again landed in Coto de Caza where she became a full time working student/intern for David Collins at the Equestrian Academy, riding and competing personal and private horses, and teaching adults and juniors for Three Day Eventing.  After four more competitive years back in the states and a recommendation from that time clinician Eicke Von Vetltheim, she headed out overseas again. 

From 1989 to 1992 Karen was employed at the Holsteiner Verband in Elmshorn, Germany. There she rode and groomed for International Olympic Event Rider and Barcelona Bronze Medalist Herbert Bloecker. She was given total responsibility of the management and condition of FEI horses in their rider’s absence. During that time, she also worked breaking and training the young stallions and mares for the approvals. 

For the next three years, Kari worked at Holstenhoeve in Meerhout, Belgium. There she was given total responsibility for the management of the breeding and riding stable. She rode the young horses and stallions in competition and sales auctions, as well as prepared them for state approvals. During this time she received riding instruction from top international riders Ulrich Kirkoff, Dirk Dimersman, and Jerry Smit. Karen also gained extensive education with the breeding stallions, artificial insemination, and the mares and foals (including many deliveries).

In the summer of 1995, Karen returned to the Holsteiner Verband. Her job now included the preparation of young stallions for the Fall Approval in Neumunster, educating, training, and riding of young horses to prepare them for sale, handling stallions for breeding and collection at the stallion station, showing young horses at local competition, as well as breaking, training, and showing mares for approval. Additionally she was responsible for the training and conditioning of a stallion for international rider Franke Sloothak. 

In 1997, Kari returned to the states and her home in Coto de Caza, California. It was there she developed her business European Equestrian Concepts and made the decision to concentrate more in depth the discipline of Dressage. 

Her riders and horses are consistently competing successfully at both the National and International level. Karen currently lives in Coto de Caza with her dogs Mercedes and Phatzo, and macaw Paco. She continues to make frequent trips back to Germany and Denmark, which are still referred to as “home a way from home.”