Taylor Kain: A Move to Europe and a Move Up the FEI Rankings for the Top American Rider

Kain with Jirenze at Peelbergen Equestrian Center in May 2024

By PIPER KLEMM

American show jumping rider Taylor Kain has made impressive moves up the FEI rankings. Following a relocation to Europe last summer, she clocked dozens of clear and double clear rounds this year in CSI2* and CSI3* classes with Jirenze and Im Special.

Kain, who runs Horseshoe Bend Sales with husband Geoff Case, made the move from Wellington, FL, to Ommen, The Netherlands. Kain and Case have been thrilled with their lifestyle change, which has caused them to focus on a couple key jumpers and away from the diversified US business structure of hunters, jumper, equitation, customers, and sales horses.

Kain was a sought-after catch rider her entire junior career with a USEF show record over 340 pages. After her junior years, she rode and showed extensively as a young professional before establishing Horseshoe Bend Sales with Case in 2016, moving her role to include teaching, sales, and splitting her time between the hunter and jumper rings. As her goals to establish herself as a high-level jumper rider started to be more within reach, it was time to make the decision to focus exclusively on jumpers and selecting higher level classes to show in.

Jirenze has brought Kain to the next level jumping dozens of clear rounds in CSI2* and CSI3* competition since moving their home base last summer to Ommen, The Netherlands

“I think growing up catch-riding and riding as a hunter professional, it created a lot of fear of making a mistake. Riding in Europe has been a lot more training-focused. The community is very horse-centric versus revolving around money all the time and so I’m less focused on a negative such as I might have one down. That freedom in my mind and taking the pressure off myself has led to a lot of clear rounds—I’m able to just ride my plan and use the experience I have from riding thousands of horses,” Kain tells The Plaid Horse.

And clear rounds she has produced—from Sentower Park (Belgium) and Peelbergen (The Netherlands) in June 2024, to the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour (Spain) all winter and spring, to Lichtenvoorde (The Netherlands) and Peelbergen last year, Kain has averaged well under 2 faults on Jirenze over greater than 50 total FEI jumping rounds from 1.40 m to 1.55 m. Over the last year, Kain and Jirenze have been in the top 10% of their classes over 30% of the time.

“I encourage anyone who is thinking about taking the leap and spending time in Europe to do it. I was nervous about traveling and moving and basically showed up with my suitcase. Everyone has been so nice, welcoming, and helpful at the shows and you can jump about four horses in a CSI2* or 3* for about the price of one in the US and we all know how essential experience is in our sport,” says Kain.

“You really can’t get to the top without the thousands of hours in the show ring, and it is much harder to have or find the funding for that in North America because it is so much more expensive. When you get to the top, there is much more prize money in the US, but you have to financially survive the learning stages to get to that point.”

 

Taylor Kain’s Horse Power

Corlando 63

• (Coronet Obolensky x Odessa by Orlando)

• 2017 Grey Westphalian Gelding

• Currently competing 7 Year Old Young Jumpers

• Winner, CSI Oliva, 1.35 m CSIYH1* CSIYH1* — 7 Year Old

Dilana 19

• (Diatendro x Bonimella by Balou Du Rouet)

• 2015 Bay Hanoverian Mare

• Currently competing 1.45 m

Im Special

• (Berlin x Miss Merelyn by Silvio I)

• 2011 Bay Oldenburg Gelding

• Currently competing 1.50 m CSI4*

India

• (Balou Du Rouet x Wayjama by Nekton)

• 2016 Holsteiner Mare

• Currently competing 1.40 m

Jirenze

• (Baltic VDL x Zirence by Phin-phin)

• 2014 Chestnut KWPN Mare

• Currently competing 1.55 m CSI4*

Shuttergold

• (Silvio I x Famose by Forest XX)

• 2010 Bay Hannoverian Mare • Winner, 1.40 m CSI2* Opglabbeek (BEL)