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Oakmore Equestrian, Inc.
7700 Stone Rd. Apopka, FL 32703
Office: (407) 880-0698
Natalie Johnson Russell, Head Trainer
Throughout her junior career, Natalie Johnson was a top-ranked rider in all three major disciplines--hunters, equitation, and jumpers. She trained with the most notable trainers in the world and was blessed with the best equine partners any rider could hope for. Raised in Connecticut and New York City, Natalie balanced her straight-A academic career with the demands of competitive riding, successfully competing at the highest levels on the East Coast. Natalie won many prestigious championships and blue ribbons from the top national equitation and hunter/jumper competitions, including Devon, Pennsylvania National, USET Finals, and the Washington International-- just to name a few. She graduated from New York University with an honors degree in Economics; became one of the first rider ambassadors of Just World International, a charity focused on improving the lives of children in developing nations (a children's center in Honduras is named after Natalie); and learned to maintain a healthy balance between her passion for horses and other interests. In 2006 Natalie moved into her professional career, where she has competed and placed in numerous internationally-ranked Grands Prix, as well as in the professional hunter divisions and derbies. She began her teaching career working with some of the best trainers in the nation and has guided her students to numerous championships. Natalie's goal is to help each student reach their highest potential in the show ring. With her patient demeanor and intuitive communication skills, she prefers to teach on a private basis where she can tailor her training to each student's needs. Natalie never lets her students leave the ring without learning something new. Please contact Natalie to discuss your goals, as well as any questions you may have. We have horseback riding lessons in the Orlando Area.
JUMPER RIDER HIGHLIGHTS:
EQUITATION RIDER HIGHLIGHTS:
Shawn V. Russell, Head Trainer
Shawn is a 4thgeneration horseman in the well-known Russell family. As the son of Vick Russell, Shawn has spent his entire life being raised in the horse business. As a junior, Shawn competed from the pony ring all the way up to the Open Jumpers at the 1.35m level. Throughout his young adult life, Shawn worked for his father Vick and assisted in the family sales business, as well as for his Uncle Bill Russell. In 2007, his father asked Shawn to be the Horse Show Coordinator and VP of Team Sales for the City League International Show series, building teams for Nations Cup Style team event. He also worked to gain sponsors for their events and traveled to help put on each show. In 2014, Shawn married Natalie Johnson and they began their journey at Oakmore Equestrian together. Shawn has since turned his focus to jumper training and horse sales. As a trainer, Shawn has guided several students to National Championships - including the Individual Gold Medalist at the Adult Jumper Championships at Culpepper, VA in 2016 and the Winner of the Marshall & Sterling Children’s Medal in Saugerties, NY in 2016 as well. Between his training sessions, Shawn travels the Southeast in search of quality sales horses
Kaylee Hone, Assistant Trainer
Kaylee Hone began her riding career at the age of 6 and fell in love with the sport. As she knew she wanted to pursue her passion for horses, she decided to train with Olympic 4 Star Eventer Jim Graham in 2010, who operated his Meadow Run Farm in Alabama. As she started to consider an equestrian career, she decided to become a full time working student for Jim in 2012-2013. Under his tutelage, in 2014 she came in 3rd for the Junior Eventer of the Year rankings in the state of Georgia. She also received the Individual Bronze Medal at the USPC Championships in Kentucky in 2014. In 2016, Kaylee became a working student for 4 Star Event Rider Hilda Donahue at Ashmore Equestrian Center. To continue her work and training with Hilda, in January of 2017 Kaylee became a full-time employee of Oakmore Equestrian and has since been promoted to Assistant Trainer at our facility. During this time she has taken her off the track Thoroughbred all the way to Preliminary level Eventing. Also during her time at Oakmore, Kaylee has traveled to Hunter/Jumper shows and had top placings up to 1.15m, which included Champion of the Thoroughbred Jumper division at Tryon International Equestrian Center this summer in June 2017. We are excited to have Kaylee as a member of our training team and expand her talent into the Hunter/Jumper world as well.
Lacey Westover, Assistant Trainer
Lacey grew up in Clearwater, Florida and began riding competitively at the age of 8 in the hunter, jumper and equitation divisions throughout Florida. Lacey had the opportunity to work with professional trainer Joy Lambert as Junior and bring along many young, green horses. She attended The College of Central Florida in Ocala, FL and graduated with a degree in Equine Studies. As an Amateur, Lacey began training with Natalie Johnson Russell more competitively in the Equitation divisions. She competed at Marshall and Sterling Finals in 2015 and 2016 and was National high point M&S 3' Adult Medal rider in 2015, National M&S Reserve in 2016, and National High point M&S Amateur 3'3 Equitation rider in 2016. After her Equitation success, Lacey’s interest was geared towards gaining experience in the jumper divisions and competed through the 1.15m division. She decided to become a Professional and join alongside Natalie first as an Assistant Trainer at Crown Pointe and then at Oakmore Equestrian. She recently purchased a 3-year-old off the track Thoroughbred called Lady Cavalier, with the goal of competing at the Thoroughbred makeover competition in Lexington, Kentucky.
Gustavo Facundo, Assistant Trainer
Gustavo spent his childhood in Puerto Rico until he was 18 years old, beginning his riding career at the age of ten. During this time as a junior rider, he competed up through the Grand Prix level, competing at the Olympic qualifier for his country where he qualified both of his horses for the ’97 Olympic team.
As an adult, he moved to the United States and attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a degree in business in 2004. He then worked for several of the top names in the industry, such as Mary Babick, current President of the USHJA, as Show Manager - as well as Mary Donner, as Manager of Springvale Farm. He also spent time working in Canada with Terrance Lee of Leeview Farm, where he assisted in all parts of the business - sales, riding, teaching, horse camp, harvesting hay, and building jumps. Gustavo was also blessed with opportunities to show abroad in Canada and Europe.
A man of many talents, Gus also operates his own jump building company called “Jumps by Gus”, where he builds show jumping jumps for hiring clients. Gus also spent the last ten years as a store manager for CVS pharmacy. Now turning his complete focus to the equestrian world, as a trainer, he enjoys riding and developing young horses, with a goal of being a top jumper trainer on the East Coast.