Jennifer Sommers, who grew up in Southern California, began showing Morgan Horses at the age of 9. As a junior rider, she won several AMHA medals and became Reserve Junior Exhibitor World Champion English Pleasure on My Elegant Lady, whom she trained. She learned the art of breaking and training young horses from the Carol Brennen who was herself a Saddleseat Equitation rider in the Saddlebred world. She continued learning more training skills with Mary Luedtke. In addition, Ms. Sommer’s equitation instructor was Anne Speck. She later attended and earned her Equine Science degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly) in 1991.
As a student at Cal Poly she competed on the intercollegiate horse judgin team, winning numerous national awards from the Morgan Grand National to the prestigious US Arabian National Contests. Jennifer eventually transitioned from student to faculty at Cal Poly where she taught part-time in the Equine Studies Program from 1990-2001. Her specialty course was “Equine Halter and Performance Evaluation” which overlapped with her coaching duties for Cal Poly’s horse judging teams. Under Jennifer’s coaching direction, Cal Poly went on to win numerous national titles.
Upon graduating from Cal Poly in 1991, she took over her family's small Morgan breeding farm, Royal Griffith Farms, Inc. (RGF), and started a training barn specializing in junior exhibitors and amateurs. Through the years RGF produced several World and National Champions, including Startrend Stepin Out, Iron Forge Be Blue, Fortunes Phoenix, Century Bold Spirit, Sitca Baranof, Black Beauty of Courage, He's Simply Marvelous, Black Tie Affair and most recently Honere de Balzac GCH. She still runs this farm which has evolved into a very large lesson program. Giving clinics and helping with the local AMHA youth club, "Junior Blackhawks," also keeps her busy. The rest of her time is spent traveling around the United States, Canada, and Europe judging horse shows.
She currently holds the United States Equestrian Federation judging cards: "R" Morgan, ‘r’ Saddlebred, ‘r' Saddleseat Equitation, ‘r' Roadster and a "R" in the Hackney and Pony divisions. Most recently she judged the 2012 Morgan Grand National World Championship Horse Show . In 2011 she judged the European Morgan Championships that were held at Hartpury College in Gloucester, England.
Deer Creek Morgans, Inc.
In 2000 Jennifer and her husband Craig began a small breeding farm together with the name Deer Creek Morgans, Inc. Black Tie Affair and MLF Sharper Image were the foundation stallions. In this very short period of time they have together produced two World Champions: Deer Creek Tiffany and Deer Creek Sharpdressed Man. Black Tie Affair is now retired and the mascot of the farm and sadly MLF Sharper Image passed away in November 2011. Jennifer and Craig now look forward to future careers with the Deer Creek youngsters that they kept as well as cheering on the ones who have transitioned to other training barns.
Instructor / Breeder / Trainer
Kristy Wallenbrock began riding under Jennifers' direction at Royal Griffith Farms in 1991. Kristy's passion for knowledge and drive to be a great rider led her on a road of success. She showed on the Arabian and Morgan circuits at the Regional and National levels. Her powerful mare Salem Razzle Dazzle was named Reserve Grand National Classic pleasure saddle Champion with Kristy in the irons. She has proven to be a versatile rider and handler. For the past ten years she has also been training with Peak Performance Dressage. Her successes have been in showing saddleseat, In-hand, showhack, hunter pleasure, and dressage. The natural progression of her teamwork with Jennifer led to her becoming one of the instructors / trainers at RGF. Patience and kindness are two words that best describe Kristy when working with students and horses. She enjoys teaching the children and amatuers just starting out and then watching their abilities and confidence improve over time.
Breeding Morgan horses is another passion she spends her time on. She and her family own Goldwing Farms. They have collected quite an impressive broodmare band. There are several quality horses that carry the Goldwing prefix. Currently they stand the Whamunition son, AMB Whambition to the public.
Trainer, Breeder, Judge, Instructor
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Learning to ride should be a positive experience and each step forward rewarded by a sense of accomplishment.
The horse is one of the most noble animals known to be domesticated today. Learning to appreciate, respect and love these animals begins with learning how to properly care for them. Understanding their behavior helps in the ultimate communication between horse and rider necessary to achieve the highest levels of riding. We feel no matter what your riding goals are you should have a good foundation. We believe that the proper position is key to balance and
Whether your goal is to be a safe and competent trail rider or a national competitor these methods will help you achieve your goal.
These methods along with the balance mastered from the correct riding position are points of focus that are stressed. The continual goa/ is to strive for persona/ best. This is done by hard work, perseverance and an inner drive. Mastering the art of riding (EQUITATION) can be fun and should be a positive experience.