MEET KAREN VAN DER BURGH
Head Trainer, Owner
Karen is an accomplished rider and trainer in the Portola Valley Area. She started riding at the age of 8, in Cape Town, South Africa. Karen’s passion for riding and natural talent in the sport was evident early on. This can be seen by her extensive competition success.
The most notable achievements include the following:
Karen made the Provincial Team for Showing, Equitation, Jumping and Eventing as a Child rider (14 and under).
She placed 4th and 7th on her 2 ponies in the South African Eventing Championships, and won the 1.20m Western Province Pony Show Jumping Championships as well as the Equitation Championships.
She then moved into the Junior levels (14 -18yrs), obtaining her Provincial Colors for Equitation and Show Jumping. Karen was placed 5th in the South African Junior Show Jumping Championships (1.40m) at age 14, on an inexperienced off the track thoroughbred. The next year she won 4 out of the 5 classes at the South African Junior Show Jumping Championships, including the South African Outdoor Grand Prix and the South African Show Jumping Championships.
She made the South African Junior Show Jumping Team for two years in a row. Countries competing against included Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland and Zimbabwe. Karen was ranked the number 1 Junior Showjumper in South Africa from the time she was 15, until she went into the adult classes at 17.
Karen won the South African Adult Show Jumping Championships (1.50m/1.60m), was placed 2nd and 3rd in the SA Derby (modelled after the Spruce Meadows Derby), and won and was placed in many CSI-W World Cup Qualifiers.
Karen won the South African World Cup Series in 2001 and qualified to ride in the FEI World Cup Finals in Liepzig, Germany.
Karen brings her passion for the sport into her lessons. She excels at giving her students confidence, and believes in a system of positive reinforcement to bring out the best in both horses and riders. She has always developed her own horses from a young age, so has ample knowledge with working with horses at any level.
Karen has had many wonderful trainers to learn from including Denton Sanders, Ronnie Lawrence (multiple World Cup Winner), Gonda Betrix (Olympian), Anneli Drummond-Hay (Ladies World High Jump Record Holder, British Nations Cup Team, Olympian, British Hall of Fame Winner), Anne Kursinski (Olympian) and Harley Brown (World Cup Finalist).
In the US, Karen worked as an Assistant Trainer for one of the top West Coast Barns, Harley Brown Equestrian, where she learnt about the US riding system and the operations of a high performance, training barn. She has now decided to start her own facility, Stone Pine Stables.