<<< back







Trainer's Profile



Always with a Smile on his Face -
Simon Kelly


Photo: Irina Filsinger

Simon, you are one of the best young trainers in Europe.
When did you start your interest in show training of Arab horses,
and how did you get in touch with it?

My interest started while I was 15 years old. I started working after school on an Arabian training centre cleaning stables and doing the daily chores that had to be done there so that I could earn a little money for myself. But eventually it became more about the horses than the extra money! And in the end I was just going for the horses.


Photso: Irina Filsinger

What did you do before you began your career as trainer?
How did you fall in love with the Arabian horse?

I went to school before, and think it's also very good to have
a good education as this business is not only about horses, it
is also the people and business side of the Arabian horses world.
And how I fell in love with the Arabian horse - there is such
a thing called love at first sight..... 

Photo: Irina Filsinger

Photo: Irina Filsinger

Is there any specific key situation that made you decide
to become a show trainer and handler?

I was working at a local training centre and I had to go to my
first show, what I witnessed and how I felt when a horse from
our stables went out and won was a feeling that I would not
forget and from this moment I knew what I wanted to do train
and show Arabian horses. 


Photo: Irina Filsinger

What talents are needed to become a good horse trainer –
what is your advice for young people?

The talents a young trainer needs??? First and most important
is passion for the Arabian horses! Without this it's not possible.
This is a hard job with long hours and sometimes difficult situations. 
And for this alone you need to have a lot of patience and passion.
 Feeling, patience and understanding of the horses is a must have
to be a successful trainer. My advice to young people and future
trainers is to travel and work in teams for as many different trainers
as possible - then it's possible to see different types of training
methods and you can decide on what method you prefer and suits
you the best. Then work on it until you reach your goal of where
you want to be. The last point is to never forget that with horses,
you never stop learning.

Photos: Irina Filsinger
Photos: Irina Filsinger

You are British native, but live and work in Germany
for many years already. Starting at 'Specifically Equine Training
Center' you are now residing as chief trainer at Sax Arabians
Are you showing and training horses only for them?

Yes, I train and show the horses of Reinhard and Monika Sax
being the resident trainer at their Sax Arabians, and I really love
to work with them. In co-operation with them I have the possibility
to accept a selected number of outside training horses each year.
With the great team we have at Sax Arabians for the last few years,
we had already many great successes for our clients!


Photos: Irina Filsinger

Photos: Irina Filsinger

Photos: Irina Filsinger

Tell us how you start and train new and inexperienced horses.
What are the steps and how much time do you spend
to get such a fresh horse ready to a final show touch?

I have to say that this is a difficult question to answer as every horse
is different and some horses learn easier than others. Obviously it's
a great advantage when a horse already is handled and experienced
in day to day things and that they are used to humans working with
them. The raw horses are different. They need more time to learn
trust and gain self confidence along side people and these are the
things that are really important before you start with halter training.
I would say that to get a horse ready for the show you need about
three months depending on the horse. 

Simon trained and showed several top contenders for Al Khalediah Stables
at the 2005 Saudi National Show in Dirab, Saudi Arabia, among others,
the filly Jouharat Al Khalediah (top), the mare Ansata Nile Perl (mid),
and the later World Champion Mare Robyn K (bottom)

Photo: Irina Filsinger

Photo: Irina Filsinger

Photo: Irina Filsinger

With 24 years in age, you won the annual 'Handlers Cup' held
during the prestigeous 'All Nations Cup' show in Aachen in 2004.
In a huge group of handlers from all over Europe the judges
voted you to be the best of them.
What did this 'Handlers Cup'
and win mean to you personally?

The Handlers Cup was a good success for me. It was the clarification
that I was heading in the right direction as a trainer and handler,
and it also gave me the opportunity to make my parents proud and confident that I had made the right decision in choosing my profession.


Photos: Irina Filsinger

What do you see and understand as your biggest success until now?

There are many successes that have been important for me. Just a
very few ones – one was winning Gold Champion with AL MILAN at
the International A-Show in Wels, Austria. Also when I was invited
with him to the First International Al Khalediah Arabian Horse Show
in Saudi Arabia where he was 2nd in a strong class.

Simon Kelly presenting for Reinhard and Monika Sax (pictured) the stallion
AL MILAN at the First Al Khalediah International Show in Saudi Arabia in 2008
Photo: Irina Filsinger

Another great success for me was with the Sax bred mare MARSINA
that I had the chance to present for Sheikh Mohammed Al Qassimi's famous Albidayer Stud at the 2005 Dubai International Arabian Horse
Show and fought my way to first place.

Simon presented the mare MARSINA for Sheikh Mohammed Saud Al Qassimi,
Albidayer Stud in Sharjah/ UAE to her win at the Dubai International show 2005
Photo: Irina Filsinger
At the International Arabian Horse Show in Marbach, I was very proud
to get for Reinhard and Monika Sax the titles “Gold-Champion Filly and BEST IN SHOW” with their extreme beautiful filly AMYRA BINT KHIDAR.
And then the bay colt MARSHAN, whom I have shown successfully in
many occasions including first place and Bronze Champion at the International A-Show in Wels 2011 beating Al Ayal AA, the two
months before awarded Dubai 'Title' Champion Colt.
Simon showing the 2009 German National Champion Filly AMYRA BINT KHIDAR
Photo: Irina Filsinger

Are there any favorite or “key” horses you had showed within the years that you never forget or that even gave you some special input?

I have had the opportunity to work with many world class horses
but there is always a special few that you will never forget
So is the time I worked and trained the multiple and World Champions
DAKHARO and GAZAL AL SHAQAB, as well as the multiple Champion
AL MILAN, and many others more. At the moment one of my favorite horses is the young stallion MARSHAN, a son by Meshan Ibn Kubinec
bred and owned by Sax Arabians. He has such a super character
and just loves every minute that he can work and try his best
to please you. 

One of Simon's present favorites is the young stallion MARSHAN

Photo: Irina Filsinger

He trained and conditionned horses to their success for example the multiple and
World Champion DAKHARO, from Al Khalediah Stables, Saudi Arabia - below
pictured in Paris 2005 with the Al Khalediah team - Simon standing far right

Photo: Irina Filsinger
...the multiple Champion AL MILAN, bred and owned by Sax Arabians,
pictired here winning 2010 German National Champion Stallion
Photo: Irina Filsinger

What do you enjoy most in your daily work with the training horses?
Is there anything you dislike ?

The thing that I enjoy most is coming in the barn in the morning
and having all the horses greet you and seeing them happy to see
you are here. What I don't like at all is all the things to do before
and ahead to a show - washing, clipping, packing, loading and
all the stress for the horses. But this is also a part of the job,
and all has positive and negative aspects, while definetely
the positive ones are on the top.

Photo: Irina Filsinger

What you consider to be your personal way and style
to train a horse?

I try to train the horses to do their job in a happy environment
where they can enjoy working and learning at the same time.
Training the horses means to me that the well-being of the horses
is the most important and nothing could change that.
The horse always comes first!


Photo: Irina Filsinger

What are your next plans and aims in work and life as a show
trainer and handler?

Who knows what the future holds - if you know anybody that knows please let me know….. My current plans are planning for the 2012 show season from Sax Arabians, and I hope it will be as enjoyable for me, Reinhard and Monika Sax, all the clients and of course the horses.


Photos: Irina Filsinger

Photos: Irina Filsinger


If you could re-record your life, would you again start a career
as a show trainer, or maybe decide for something else?

I do not regret becoming a trainer but of course at hard times it
may go through my mind I should have done something else,
but then you have a horse in your hand - and you know it was
the right decision. So no I would not change anything! 


Photo: Irina Filsinger

Do you have your own horse/s?
Could you imagine being a breeder in the future ?

Presently I do not have my own horses. But maybe one day I will.
I think there is a lot of excitement in breeding horses and also
a lot of responsibility to the breed. It's not that easy to be
a successful breeder.

Photo: Irina Filsinger

Thank you, Simon, for this input to your life and work,
and we are looking forward to see you many times more
in the show ring all over and going toward a bright future!


>>> back


The Feature was brought up to you on 06. January 2012
by ArabianFlashlights.com & FilCoARt International


Copyrights & All Rights reserved !


Photographs and Artwork are copyrighted - All Rights reserved!
Any Download or Reproduction is prohibited,
and would be only possible with our written permission!

© 2012

Best viewed at 1024x768