Kim Gentry is a USDF Certified Instructor through Fourth Level. She has ridden her whole life, and grew up in Australia and Singapore, competing in dressage, eventing, show jumping, and amateur flat races. Kim has represented Australia in three Nations Cups, and was a member of the Bronze Medal-winning team – the first medal ever for Australia in a Nations Cup. She is also a professional bit and bridle fitter, the founder and owner of Bits n’ Such, and travels the country giving her very popular bit and bridle fitting clinics.
How I got started in dressage:
As a child, I was a student of Australian Grand Prix rider and FEI judge Irene Bekels Noreen. Dressage is the basis for everything, and I feel very fortunate to have had that foundation right from the beginning. As a teenager, I had the opportunity to travel to England and learn on my trainer’s Grand Prix horse. That hooked me!
I wanted to get certified because:
I feel it is important for instructors to be certified and show that they have met the standards for education and competency required in the program.
What surprised me the most about the process (or what I learned during the process):
I’ve made long term friends and have a great network from the process. We still help each other out and bounce ideas off each other.
My current Grand Prix horse is Leonardo (Landtinus x Rambo). I’ve had him since he was two, and brought him all the way along to the international Grand Prix level. In 2015, Leonardo and I were named to the Australian Equestrian Team High Performance Squad for the Olympics and World Equestrian Games for 2015-2020. Leonardo and I were also the 2017 Great American/USDF Region 9 Open FEI Grand Prix Champions.
Fine Art (Feedback x De Niro) is ready for the Small Tour, and is schooling the Grand Prix (owned by Laurie Simons). I’ve had him since he was three and had only 30 days under saddle.
Frasier (Fuerst Piccolo x Florestan) is also ready for the Grand Prix. We had amazing results from him as a young horse, so I’m looking forward to bringing him into the Grand Prix ring.
Bondi Blue (Benicio x Rockwell) is my lovely young horse, with an incredible brain. I’m really looking forward to developing this horse! He’s so much fun!
Tips for riders:
Have a solid knowledge of dressage theory and be comfortable presenting that knowledge. I was very glad to have a corporate background and lots of presentation experience. Be able to communicate your points in a clear and concise manner! Also, be open to exploring nontraditional roles in our industry, leveraging your experience and certification. Find your passion and figure out if there is a business opportunity for it, then go for it!
Phone: (901) 412-7743