Trainer Profile: Michelle Brady at Devon Wood

Flying Changes Magazine is pleased to present this trainer profile on Michelle Brady, who is moving into the roll of assistant trainer at Birchall Equestrian & Co at the DevonWood Equestrian Centre and is open for clients at the internationally known dressage boarding, training, and event facility located in Sherwood, Oregon. 

Photo by Julie Ward

Michelle’s experience and accomplishments in dressage are beyond stellar, including USDF Silver and Gold Medals and eight seasons on the Florida circuit. She has trained alongside notable trainers and riders Catherine Haddad Staller, Carole Novitske, Morten Thomsen and Jo Hinnemann, to name a few. Here we outline this very special addition to DevonWood Equestrian Centre and welcome home a local Oregon rider who got her start training colts in La Grande. 

At just sixteen years old, Michelle took her love and experience with horses to start a colt-training business in La Grande. She took pride in helping to develop well-rounded working horses for her clients and was noted for adapting to each horse individually to produce confident and willing partners. Using her skills with response training and natural horsemanship, she was particularly apt at building a respectful relationship with all of her horses, which in turn created a more willing partner under saddle. 

Photo by Sara Hellner

Michelle was not only gifted with horses on the ground, but also an accomplished rider. Taking her love and understanding of a strong partnership with horses, she worked from training level to Grand Prix. She spent 2006 through 2012 with Grand Prix rider Carole Novitske, where Michelle had lessons on Carole’s Grand Prix mount and worked regularly with a group of talented Lusitano and Lipizzaner horses. Carole gave Michelle the opportunity to move East to Virginia in the summer of 2012 and through Carole’s recommendation, Michelle began working for Catherine Haddad Staller in the winter of 2012 and through 2020 Catherine gave her the solid basic training of horses through the highest level. 

Calling on her belief that a great ride starts with a strong partnership, Michelle achieved her USDF Silver and Gold medals in the winter of 2017 along with winning the WFEC Championship Series in the Intermediare II aboard the talented gelding Sini Santos and the Developing Horse PSG aboard 7-year-old Trehkener gelding O’Captain in 2019. 

Michelle also gained a trusted partnership with the world famous Winyamaro who Michelle was able to compete through the Prix St George before his retirement in 2018. At this time Michelle was also an integral part of Team Haddad’s journey to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, and continued to train a string of talented horses for the American equine market in New Jersey and Florida. 

During her time with Catherine Haddad Staller, Michelle also trained in clinics with Morten Thomsen and Jo Hinnemann, developing an uncanny ability to work with horses from the ground. 

Michelle’s ability to train horses from the beginning stages of their education to the highest level make her a first choice for riders at any level. Focusing on partnership, strong basics, and a love for truly understanding horses, she has taken her own riding to the highest levels and seeks to do so with her clients. 

Michelle thanks her experiences with Catherine Haddad Staller, who she says nurtured her ambitions along with teaching her how to properly manage a top training and sales program. Because of this Michelle was able to learn what it takes to compete at a high level year-over-year. 

Michelle is grateful for so many years in the circuit, where she had the opportunity to watch the best riders in the world compete at shows like Falsterbo, Verden, Cappeln, Swarovski, Glock, Munich, Central Park and the AGDF. As a CDI show groom she flew often with horses to and from Europe as well as having the experience of stabling at shows with riders like Edward Gal, Patrik Kittel and Isabell Werth. 

Photo by Monica Stevenson 

Back in Oregon, she is campaigning her Developing Grand Prix Horse, Romanesque who she rode under Haddad Staller’s keen eye as she took him up the levels. Michelle is thrilled to be working with supportive partners like Stübben North America and Uvex Equestrian who have supported her journey as a rider and trainer and she is excited for her future with Birchall Equestrian & Co as well as thankful for the incredible owners and staff at DevonWood for accepting her into this new role. 

At DevonWood she plans on building onto the productive and professional training and sales program under accomplished American Grand Prix trainer Stephen Alder Birchall, bringing her experience and knowledge into the Pacific Northwest. 

Michelle is available for clinics, lessons and online lessons. You can reach Michelle via email at: haeferdressageinc@gmail.com or on Instagram at michelle.brady.1428

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