It’s no secret that Boone County has a rich equestrian history. However, what those outside of the horse community may not know is that a show barn in Whitestown is producing national champions.
Three Ships, LLC, provides riding lessons, equestrian competition training, horse boarding, sales and leasing. It provides training and education for all levels of horses and riders in hunters, jumpers and equitation.
“We really like to take a kid from the beginning and see them through to the national championship level,” Courtney Motz, digital marketing manager, said.
And they do help make them into national champions. Since 2015, they have had nine national champions. In 2019, Hallie Moss won WIHS Pony Medal Finals and Pony Hunter Derby, while Rachel Boggus won Capital Challenge Adult Jumper Overall Grand Champion.
Currently, they have 23 clients and 40 horses and are looking to build up their beginning programming for children 6-12 years old. The facility offers three summer camps for those just starting out.
Motz credits head trainer and facility owner Abby Blankenship for the acclaim and many accomplishments. Blankenship is the reason Motz left a saturated Ohio market to pursue a career alongside one of what she calls the industry’s best. Blankenship has 25 years of experience in the hunter/jumper industry. She is known for her care of the horses and their whole health as much as she is for being a world-class trainer of riders.
Of the 11-employee organization, four are teachers, six are groomsmen and one is a media/marketing professional.
“I like to see a student come in knowing nothing and then go from setting goals and getting their first pony to accomplishing goals,” Kristen Moss, teacher and trainer, said.
Three Ships, LLC’s goal, according to Motz, is to take a sport that has a highly competitive atmosphere for the individual and make it feel like he/she is part of a family. There are dinners, parties and comraderie as participants travel the county in search of winning rides and performances.
In mid-July the group will be at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. Riders also spend a fair amount of summertime in Kentucky and winter in Southern Florida along another industry leader in Indiana — Tammy Provost of Meadow View Farms in Sheridan.
“It’s a unique sport and there is usually an instant connection with other riders,” Motz said. “People fall in love with it because they love spending time with the animal and that just doesn’t ever really go away.
Three Ships, LLC, is surrounded by like-minded people with polo, English and Western stables nearby. Three Ships, LLC, is located on Jimmy Williams’ property where they lease the buildings, facilities and open fields.