Stokely Farms Stables was started in 1989
Arial view of Stokely Farms in 1990
What is it about horses that attract certain people? Or…what is it about certain people that they are attracted to horses. Winston Churchill once said…”the outside of a horse is good for the inside of man” and it’s the combination, the desires, dreams and goals that we strive to complete, with the journey the most important venture. Welcome to Stokely Farms.
Nestled in the southwest corner of Missouri, (a hop skip and throw from the infamous Branson,) Stokely Farms was established in 1988 by Christine and David Stokely and their two (then young) sons Jonathan and Thomas. Based and built on the dreams of a horse crazy kid, Christine is the trainer and instructor with a well balanced resume and years of experience in numerous phases of the industry.
Growing up in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Christine had exposure to horses and learned to ride at age 8. Like all horse crazy girls carrying the “whinny” gene, she consumed her dreams and waking hours, trying to fill that void only the smell of straw and leather seem to satisfy. Each summer morning she found her way to a nearby stable, cleaning stalls, and grooming horses so she could lesson and ride. Undeterred by the fact her parents were financially limited and owning a horse was not an option. Christine worked her way to ride and take lessons by cleaning stalls, grooming, and the occasional “training/jockey” ride when it was needed. Blinded by her love, she would climb on any horse regardless of the problems it might have gave her valuable experience to this day. Having the chance to work with well known trainers in the Midwest (some of which were Olympic hopefuls) hunt seat is her first language and passion.
Ribbon Line up at a Stokely Farms Show
Working toward a career in veterinarian medicine, Christine worked her way through college on breeding farms, managing and assisting in the daily operations. She helped train horses for the race track as a pony girl while re-training retired race horses for the jumping arena. Perplexed by difficulties in the retaining process she sought to find answers and was introduced to the riding form dressage. Immersing herself in this other world, she sought teaching and training from some of the top trainers in Europe and grand prix riders in the US.
With these fundamentals, she brings to this area a wealth of information for the horse and rider. Abandoning the path of vet med, Christine chose to raise a family instead, moving to their present location in southwest Missouri. The business and operation management spear headed by David and the lessons program and horse training by Christine. Stokely Farms quickly became one of the top facilities in the four state area known not only for success in the ring, but in the development of quality horses and suburb horsemanship. Qualifying riders for medal and Maclay finals in hunt seat equitation, Stokely Farms has been well represented at major horse shows with wins at many qualifying regional finals.
In 2002 Stokely Farms Stables was host to part of U.S. Congressman Roy Blunts U.S Agricultural Tour.
Roy (standing), and Jonathan Stokely up-top of a well behaving Axel
Adapting her technique and teaching style to accommodate the casual rider, she has also had the fortune through the years to work with people inhibited by fear and those mentally challenged. This type of work she finds some of the most fulfilling.
Challenging horses have been her re-training specialty through the years and has adopted theory from the movie “Seabiscuit” as her motto, “there is a place for every horse, no matter what its limitations are”.
Through the years the Stokely’s have raised foals for the hunter ring with some winning at the national level.
Stokely Farms are active members of :
Southwest Missouri Hunter Jumper Association (SMHJA)
Ozark Dressage Society (ODS)
Early in her career obsessed with the challenge of producing Olympic riders as a measure of success. A friend and trainer told her that this level, the bare bones level, the foundation of the rider is the most important. This has been her quest through her professional career. Developing well rounded horseman is her goal who are solid in the principles of horsemanship. True horsemen understand there is a well developed foundation of riding skill, knowledge of the horse, and the process of creating a bond or relationship between the horses and rider.
After two tornadoes which leveled the barn, Stokely Farms has been re-established after several years with a new facility.
Specializing in her training today in mostly Hunter-Jumper and basic Dressage instruction, Christine has a loyal following of clients who have literally grown up in the saddle at her barn. Her philosophy is a basic one, patient instruction, enjoyable experiences in a safe, professional environment.
Call, 417-743-2880, or email, StokelyFarms1@yahoo.com, now for more information to start your own one of a kind fun learning experience!
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