Kathleen O’Connor Knappitsch:
(B.H.S.A.I. and “L” graduate)
Kathleen is the current owner and grew up here in the Dallas area.
After earning a B.S. degree from UT (Austin) Kathy went to England to study and work
on her instructor’s license, the first of which she received in 1972 from the British Horse Society.
After, she moved to Austria where she had several equestrian jobs training both horses and people for dressage.
Over several years she studied under two top Berreiters from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
(Hr. Tschautscher and Arthur Kottas) and competed at the F.E.I. Levels of Dressage. She earned
a scholarship to Saumur, in France (the second most famous Classical School of Dressage in Europe)
and passed her 3-Day Event Trainer’s course there. While living in Rome for 7 years, Kathy showed in 3-Day,
Show Jumping and Dressage.
After riding an F.E.I. level test in the Rome Dressage Championships,
Kathy was written up by Cosmopolitan magazine as one of the best dressage riders in Rome
Traveling and working at International Shows for about 20 years, Kathy strived to learn
as much about dressage as possible with hopes one day to return to Texas and offer
interested students all that she had learned abroad.
While in Kuwait Kathy created the first Dressage team for Kuwait
and showed in Dubai with that team. She also went to Bahrain a few times
to judge shows. In 1989 she attended the International Candidate Judges’ Program in Louvranges, Belgium.
Kathy’s mentors include many top European judges,
Uwe Mechlem and Heinz Schutte, Mariette Withages, Gyulla Dallos,
Wofgang Niggli, Jaap Pot, and Monsieur Maurel.
Over the years she attended clinics from many of them
and scribed for them at International shows. She knew and watched
Alois Podhajsky train horses in the 70’s at private stables outside Vienna, Austria.
He wrote to her in one of his books titled, Horse and Rider.
Kathy is grateful to all the persons who helped train her
and eagerly passes that training and knowledge on to all who share her interest.