This week we had the incredible opportunity to catch up with Caleb Scroggins! From the start, Caleb knew that horses were his passion and he did anything and everything he could to spend time in the saddle. After purchasing a farm here in 2015, Caleb and his husband have worked together to build it into the beautiful facility it is today and host Caleb’s fabulous string of horses and clients that are ready to rock the season! Continue reading to learn more about Caleb, his goals, and his business here in Wellington!
Tell me about how your Dressage journey began.
I grew up in Texas and Arizona and was always in the saddle ranging from western to polo cross to show jumping and hunters. I even used to breeze horses at the Houston race track. I did whatever I could to ride. When I was in my early twenties, I started taking dressage lessons to help me with my jumper horse at the time, and that, as they say, is where it all started! Dressage became my focus from then on, bringing me to Wellington in 2012 for my first season. I guess fate was conspiring at that time because that was the season I met my (now) husband and when I met my continuing coach and mentor, Shannon Dueck. He’s originally from Toronto, and we did a few years balancing the long-distance back-and-forth until we could finally scrape enough together to buy our first farm here!
What are your goals for 2023?
2023 I think, is going to be super exciting. I am lucky to have an amazing string of horses right now. My personal goals will involve getting qualified for the Festival of Champions in the young horse and Developing Prix St. George divisions and working toward the Open division Grand Prix with my own mare, Villanelle.
While I will mostly focus on our sales program, I’m very excited for the year ahead for my clients — I have two superstar junior riders, Campbell Jones and Zach Drury. Both Campbell and Zach came onto the team when they purchased horses from me, and both were my personal horses! Campbell met Norman (N’Oubliez Jamais), which I had purchased with my business partner Lisa Wallace, and the stars aligned that she ended up moving down here to stay in the program. She hadn’t ridden Dressage at all and is now working solidly at Prix St. George and touching on the Grand Prix at just 17! Zach matched with Bilodeau de l’Etincelle Z, who is basically a family member because my husband bred and delivered him, and we trained together. He was the first Grand Prix horse I’d ever produced. Zach is a product of the fantastic Lendon Gray Dressage 4 Kids program and is now consistently working toward Young Riders at only 16! My other super competitive client, Dominique Cassavettis, is working toward the Prix St. George with another one of our sales graduates, Ingenieur A.
Tell me about your horses!
At this point, I’m very fortunate with my competition string and have a super lineup in our sales program! In the young horse divisions, I have 4-year-old O Mr. President (Secret X Etoine), owned by Al Guden and Andrea Nason of Hyperion Farm Inc., and our own homebred 6-year-old Sherlock de l’Etincelle (Supremat OLD X Briar). In the Developing Prix St. George and Future Challenge classes, I have Lars Larsen’s wonderful gelding Friendship, who’s an absolute superstar in the making. I also have an exceptional horse that we own with Lisa Wallace, Kito Khan. Rounding out the string this year is my wonderful, if, let’s say, touchy, mare Villanelle (aka Bambi), a 12-year-old that I first had the pleasure of showing in the Developing classes that I was matched with by Caroline Roffman. Unfortunately, she suffered an injury before we could attend the Festival of Champions and took some time off to recover. Fortunately, I was able to purchase her early in 2022, and we have been working toward the Grand Prix within the last year. I hope to debut her in the national rings this season and ideally work up to the CDI ring. She’s a wild crowd-pleasing type of mare, but that requires some tactfulness to handle!
Where do you train and who do you train with?
I train out of our own Small Spark Farm here in Wellington, which my husband and I bought in 2015 as a “from scratch” kind of project, and we have painstakingly developed it into a wonderful and beautiful facility and home base. Last year, we were fortunate enough to expand the property and acquire the adjacent land so we can continue building toward the future.
Living here, I am so fortunate to have access to the best trainers this country has to offer. I work a lot with Caroline Roffman, Allison Brock, and, of course, my long-standing mentor and 11-year-long coach, Shannon Dueck, who has shaped my riding so much. Recently I have also gained some valuable training time with Petra Hoffman, who we are lucky to have here during the season!
What are you most excited about for the 2023 season?
For 2023 I’m very excited for my students to succeed on their wonderful horses that I’m so proud to have been able to have as my own as well. My own string is the most incredible group of horses; I don’t think I can really believe I have them. I’m also really excited to continue the development of our farm, with a new barn in the works. We’ve never had sponsors or that kind of support, so having built this all on our own is something I’m wildly proud of and excited to continue with this year.
Thank you, Caleb, for being this week’s rider spotlight! We wish you the best of luck for the rest of the year!