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CHICAGO SPOTLIGHT: Ryan Sassmannshausen

Although no one can spell the last name, those who show in Chicago all know it well.  The Sassmannshausen Family and their Kinvarra Farm in St. Charles, are frequent entrants at the Chicago area shows. Owners Rick and Janet have four boys who ride and show, Eric, 23, Ryan, 18, Kevin, 16, and Matt, 14.  We recently caught up with Ryan at the George H. Morris clinic and got an update on his recent ventures.

Ryan has spent this last summer and fall as a working student for Missy Clark and North Run Farm in Warren, Vermont. For those who are not familiar with trainers outside the area, Missy Clark is a top trainer on the east coast with many riders winning the equitation and junior hunter finals.  The team of Clark and John Brennan, top riders themselves, travel to all the top shows with approximately 30 horses. Ryan earns his lessons by grooming, barn managing, exercising horses and anything else that needs to be done.  Ryan also got to compete in the equitation ranks training under Missy.  Ryan rode a young six year old warmblood named "Dallas" in the medal finals at Harrisburg, PA this year and finished in the top 25.  He also earned a spot in the Maclay Finals at Syracuse, NY and competed there.

Ryan says, "Missy is an amazing trainer. She is really good at figuring out what to do with a horse and it always works. She always produces winners and is tough but calm."

Ryan was also able to assist with the George H. Morris clinic, setting jumps and helping to school some horses with issues.  George says it is always good to have a man around the barn!  Ryan stated he loved the clinic and was able to gain great information he can use back east. Ryan also rode in the Grand Prix section on the horse "Oz", a great jumper owned by the Sassmannshausens and previously ridden by the older brother, Eric.

Ryan plans to return to North Run for the Florida Circuit and in fall of 2011, plans to attend college at Florida Atlantic University to study business. In the mean time, Ryan will continue to learn how a big farm is organized and run from the top level team, and will show whenever the opportunity arises.