Sarah Oelerich, Owner and Head Trainer
Sarah is proud to be sponsored by Choice of Champions International, equine supplements.
If you would like more information about the Choice of Champions products, please contact us!
Sarah was only three-years old when she first sat on a horse and from that day forward, they have been a part of her life. Sarah’s late father, Harry W. Oelerich, acquired the family farm in 1964 and he originally operated it under the name Honey Tree Farms. Sarah’s father bred and raced thoroughbreds for years in partnership with multiple farms and trainers in Lexington, Kentucky. Eventually, Harry transitioned the farm to the breeding and sale of award winning Charolais cattle. However, Harry recognized Sarah’s gift and natural ability with riding and training horses. Harry passed the family farm and torch to Sarah officially in 2001, at which time, Honey Tree Stables was born.
Sarah’s competitive riding career began when she five-years old and at eight-years old she was the youngest ever to receive a scholarship to ride with the Camargo Fox Hunt. She later went on to qualify for and ride at such shows as Harrisburg, Washington, and Capitol Challenge with her medium pony and junior hunter. Since that time, Sarah has trained and shown on the hunter/jumper circuit under such renowned trainers as Mindy Darst, Michael Newman, and David Biesel. She has also worked extensively with Steven Duchac and Bobby Dryer, among others.
In 2012, Sarah was sought out to lead the Xavier Equestrian Team as Head Coach. Though membership was small, the team was successful in competing and winning at shows against IHSA teams that were many times larger and possessed a longer tradition of riding. Within two years, Sarah successfully built a new program, expanded participation, and led several riders to Regionals. In her final year as Head Coach, Sarah had a rider compete through Zone finals. In 2017, Sarah was approached by the Earlham College Equestrian Team to develop and lead their small club team through a transition year. As Head Coach, Sarah was able grow the team, redesign the program, and lead the team to many successful competitions in one season.
Sarah believes that exceptional horse care, above all else, is priority, and that developing a relationship between horse and rider is key to assuring long-term compatibility and continued learning. Sarah prides herself on being able to successfully match horse and rider, which creates a team that is both competitive and fun. She believes that respect is essential in creating the type of relationship necessary to be genuine “dance partners” at home and in the show ring. She believes that good horsemanship is key and that it is imperative to teach each rider how to obtain confidence when mounted, while also maintaining calm assertive energy whenever around the horse.
In the event that a horse has behavioral problems, Sarah is excited about the challenge and readily takes to solving such problems - boasting impressive results! Sarah never loses sight of furthering her career and believes she is always learning. She regularly competes with her own horses, as well as client's sale horses, and spends a great deal of time on the competitive show circuit.
In addition to Sarah's philosophy regarding the importance of the relationship between horse and rider, it was also instilled in her the important of an equestrian's relationship with professional staff, such as veterinarians and farriers. Sarah has partnered with some of the industry's leading professionals, using the farrier services of Scott Gregory and veterinary services of Bryan McNabb, DVM. In instances where horses are in the rehabilitation phase, we strive to follow the advice of these trusted professionals when it comes to turnout and exercise plans. We consider ourselves lucky to work so closely with such talented individuals and hope to pass on the importance of this relationship to our clients.
HTS would like to thank all of our contributing photographers.
Mandy Z. Photography
Holly Noelle Photography
And also a special thank you to Vicki Coaty. You rock, ladies!