About Bill Schaub
Bill Schaub is closely associated with some of the top ponies, hunters, juniors and amateurs in recent history. He's been a professional for almost 30 years and has proven that the most important qualities of a rider are dedication, a positive attitude and a true love of horses.
Schaub was involved with horses early in life, taking lessons as a child and learning the basics of horsemanship. He used to ride his bike down the road to borrow a pony from a neighbor, which he rode bareback to another field. There, he taught lessons to other children for $5 and earned enough money to pay his own way at shows.
Schaub and his ex-wife, Lee Avera, opened a business together after marrying young. After working at different barns and teaching, the couple made enough money to purchase their own establishment, Over The Hill Farm, in 1985.
"Neither of our families had a lot of money when we were young. We never had our own horses, but we made it work. We were a great team," said Schaub. The couple has a daughter, Nicole, and a lasting friendship despite their separation. "We're great friends still, and Lee rides with me as an amateur now. It's a wonderful situation."
Lee stayed at the farm in those early years and ran the riding school program. Schaub believes this was the key to his early success as a trainer.
"Lee gave our riders a solid foundation. She taught them the basics, and when they were ready, they would show with me. While she stayed home, I was able to travel with other clients around the country and was able to devote my time to them," he said.
One of Schaub's most consistent and successful horses was Lyrik. The 16.2-hand chestnut mare was his first big winner. Lyrik was owned by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy, and shown first by Ashley. The mare was a former field hunter, and her confidence complemented Ashley's quiet riding style. Schaub knew the horse would be a star, and he "wanted to take the big shot and win."
Lyrik provided the big wins, as championships rolled in every year. Lyrik and Ashley were Large Junior Hunter champions at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in 1985, the Pennsylvania National and National Horse Show (NY) in 1986, and the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National, Washington International, and National Horse Show in 1987.
Ashley's younger sister Courtney took the reins in 1988, and she and Lyrik were champions at the National Horse Show in 1989 and champion at the National and Pennsylvania National horse shows in 1990. Schaub is said to be the youngest trainer ever to have a Grand Junior Hunter champion at the National Horse Show.
Schaub had continued success when in 1992, he co-trained the USET Medal Finals Winner, Jessica Karp. This win helped Schaub establish himself as a proven equitation trainer after his recent hunter success stories.
Schaub now has two additional trainers, Melissa Vander Vennet and Molly Sewell, to help him ride and train his ever-growing list of horses and clients.
Sewell topped off her amateur career by capturing the Ariat National Adult Medal Championship in 2001. After this win, she went to work for Schaub and has had continued professional success riding many horses to numerous championships. In October of 2008, Sewell won the Reserve Championship at the Emerging Professional Challenge at the Capital Challenge Horse Show (MD).
Vander Vennet has been giving the young riders the basics and style, and they are rewarding her and the farm with their own championships as well.
Though Schaub does so much more than ponies, his riders and their ponies have been given some of the highest honors in the sport. Miss Australia was the 2003 Grand Champion Green Pony Hunter at the US Pony Finals, and High Fashion was the 2005 Medium Pony and Grand Hunter Pony Champion at Pony Finals.
Another top honor came in 2007 when What D'Ya Know, a mount of Lee Cesery's, was awarded the USEF Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter award. This honor came after many tri-color ribbons and beautiful rides by Cesery, and Schaub is proud to be her trainer and work with the fabulous horse.
Schaub also has an interest in hunter breeding and is the proud owner of several young stars, both horses and ponies.