... also in The United States
Chris Kappler personifies what we think an American gent looks like: he’s polite, straight backed and smartly dressed. Chris is a person who always appears to be calm and focused. The list of his achievements as rider and trainer is so long it would take several minutes to read out. But Chris, who also happens to be a very well-read art enthusiast, is far too modest to do that. He prefers to focus on the next projects and his day to day work, which involves inspiring his students to share his love of sport and horsemanship.
In addition to several Grand Prix wins, Chris Kappler has won medals at the Pan-American Games, as well as team gold and individual silver at the Olympic Games in Athens. When he retired from show jumping, Chris turned his hand to training horses and riders at his yard in Pittstown, NJ. He is supported by Sarah Segal, who trained with George Morris and John & Beezie Madden before joining Chris. Sara Segal has competed in many Nations Cups and international Grand Prixs.
Chris Kappler and Holger Hetzel first met at the World Cup Final in Dortmund in 1990. Although they live on different continents, they have been closely linked for 25 years now by a shared passion: a passion for equestrian sports. Over the years they have forged a deep friendship and a close business relationship. When they visit each other they train together, they’re in almost daily contact and they're busier than ever buying and selling horses together.
“Holger’s often helped us to find first-rate horses and his wonderful yard was our home base during our Europe tour,” said Chris Kappler, who’s never missed a single Sport Horse Sales event at his friend Holger’s place yet. ”We look forward to seeing the collection and attending the auction every year.” Chris is often accompanied by Sarah Segal and various students. Many of the horses in the auctions have found their way across the big pond to Chris's yard. The most recent new addition from Goch was Performance EP (the horse purchased in 2015by Hans-Ullrich Horrig) which Sarah Segal fell in love with and has now bought. After the auction the mare had stayed on with Holger Hetzel for training and Sarah Segal saw her during a visit in June 2016. It was love at first sight and they’ve already won their first rosettes together.
In spring 2016 Chris Kappler, Sarah Segal and their team welcomed Laura Hetzel to Wellington and looked after her during the entire Winter Equestrian Festival. “We’re looking forward to having other riders from Holger’s yard stay with us on a regular basis for training and competitions,” said the American.
It’s a partnership that has grown over the years. Inseparable despite the ocean divide. And now with an exchange programme.