Get to Know Camilla
Camilla has operated her dressage training and lesson business Galavant Equestrian since 2009. Camilla is a USDF Certified Instructor Through 4th Level and a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist. Read more about Camilla's background in Sweden and California.
The story of her own horse, Galavant, a Canadian Warmblood, perfectly embodies her attention to detail and tenacity. Galavant was USDF All breed Champion at 2nd level 2011 and at Prix St. Georges 2014. He is currently schooling Grand Prix and Camilla has her sights set on her USDF Gold Medal.
"I have been fortunate to have taken regular lessons with Allyn Schiavonie,
Jan Ebeling, Conrad Schumaker, and Mikala Gundersen.
Allyn has immensely improved my riding and teaching. I would not be the rider and trainer I am, without her guidance.
I have also ridden in clinics with; Anne Gribbons, Hank van Bergen, Debbie McDonald, Janet Foy, Axel Steiner, Albrecht Heidemann, George Morris and Joe Fargis"
USDF National Symposiums Attended:
USDF National Symposium Los Angeles, 2005
Demo rider with multiple horses for Debbie McDonald Pomona Equine Affaire 2005
USDF FEI-Level Trainer's Conference featuring Jan Brink, 2008
USDF FEI-Level Trainer's Conference featuring Hank van Bergen, 2009
Wellington Classic Dressage Masters Symposium with Kyra Kyrklund, 2010
USDF FEI-Level Trainer's Conference featuring Christoph Hess, 2012
2011 Adequan/USDF National Symposium The USEF National Coaches Present the American Program 2011
USDF FEI-Level Trainer's Conference featuring Steffen Peters and Scott Hassler 2013
USDF FEI-Level Trainer's Conference featuring Steffen Peters and Scott
USDF Trainers’ Conference featuring Stephen Clark 2015
USDF FEI-Level Trainer's Conference featuring Johann Hinnemann 2016
USDF FEI-Level Trainer's Conference featuring Lilo Fore and Hans-Christian Matthiesen 2017
Background & Training
Many stalls, bridles, and saddles were cleaned before Camilla even got to ride the first horse. The wait was well worth the resulting work ethic and camaraderie.
Camilla learned how to manage a barn and how to calculate the correct feed for each horse.
Camilla was also involved in the breeding, the management of the broodmares, the foals and the youngsters. She learned to patiently start young horses with a classical dressage foundation. Went on long adventurous trail rides and learned how to condition horses for horse shows. Show grooming and showing became a way of life.
Riding with a trainer took a little begging, but by age 7 Camilla was finally allowed to take weekly riding lessons at the local riding school in Gothenburg, Sweden. From the start, Camilla learned correct basics as those lessons were mostly dressage. At age 12, Camilla began earning her own riding lessons as a working student in a private jumping barn.
Every year, at the Gothenburg horse show, Camilla worked in the background at the world cup qualifiers and world cup finals. She was greatly inspired by the exposure to the international riders, grooms and the show "circus."
One of the best perks of being a working student was that, based on your abilities, you earn a horse to could call your own. While still only 12, Camilla was handed a difficult and spooky 18 hand gelding that was started late. If she could mount him, go for a trail ride, and return safely, Camilla could call "Garden Boy" her own.
She accepted the challenge and eventually, the horse became the owner's main show horse. Garden Boy showed a lot, especially in Puissance classes since he would jump anything! Camilla loved the horse so much that when she turned 19, she bought him and cared for him until his death at age 18.
After Garden Boy's passing in 1992, Camilla decided to go to Los Angeles, California to visit friends from college and to enjoy the sunshine. But Camilla realized she HAD to see a horse after only a couple weeks of vacation.
She found her way to the Paddock Riding Club and on the first walk down the barn aisle of Arbor Land Farm, Camilla was hired on the spot by Jonathan Soresi, one of George Morris’s former assistants. After 3 months, Camilla was promoted to assistant trainer and the owner decided to sponsor Camilla's green card.
At Arbor Lane, Camilla worked with the sale horses to fill in the gaps in their education. She taught a lot of lessons and showed both jumpers and dressage for their expansive roster of celebrity clients. " I worked for Jonathan for 5 years, a long time a go, we are still very good friends"
Camilla then moved on to Elvenstar, a Hunter/ Jumper training facility outside Los Angeles with a huge lesson program in addition to a large show barn. There, Camilla worked as one of the assistant trainers and managed the show barn.
Camilla taught both private and group lessons. The students ranged from showing at the local levels to the national levels. Often taking 30 horses to a show, Camilla managed clients, grooms, and set up for A shows. At B shows, she coached.
She trained several horses that went on to win at the national level in jumping and equitation. Camilla is proud to say that many of her students went on to become trainers with their own businesses.
Finding that her passion for dressage needed some focus, Camilla took a job working as an assistant trainer in Malibu, California for an Eventing trainer named Beth Cadwallader. While she continued to teach, train, and show, Camilla was able to begin attending clinics and direct her attention on dressage.
After some time, Camilla developed a few clients who wanted to practice dressage only and so they moved to a neighboring barn where Camilla started Galavant Equestrian.
Fortunately, one client bought a few horses that kept Camilla quite busy showing. After a few years, they outgrew the barn in Malibu and found another location further inland. There Camilla's business grew to a robust 14 horses in full training.
With the California economy reeling from a recession and many of Camilla's original clients aging and horses retiring, Camilla began to consider moving her business to Wellington, Florida. Having spent a few weeks in Wellington every season from the FEI Trainers conference, Camilla felt so inspired by it all.
Being brave, she packed up her horse and belongings and drove across the country.
Camilla quickly got a job with Mikala Gundersen who was heading to Europe and needed an assistant trainer. When Mikala returned to the states, Camilla took the opportunity to move to a job at Ludlum Farm where she was managing the property and running Galavant Equestrian.