Kimberly Herslow on Rosmarin Earns Move to World Stage the Hard Way

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Kimberly Herslow - Rosmarin V0000043

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Kimbery Herslow will be the top ranked rider on her Rosmarin at the United States Intermediaire I Championship in Kentucky next week, an achievement she hopes will be just another step on her way to the center of the world stage.

Rosmarin is only eight years old and although Kim’s first international mount the 42-year-old rider has built an impressive record this year with the dark bay Hanoverian gelding.

In 17 starts at Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire 1, the pair have won nine times and finished out of the top three only three times in competitions in Florida and the U.S. northeast.

With Rosmarin (Rosentanz x Weltmeyer), she has set herself the ambitious goal of the 2015 Pan American Games and the 2016 Olympics after two decades devoted to building a business and an equestrian center she has created from 52 acres (21Ha) in Stockton, New Jersey.

As a stepping stone to Grand Prix, she has started riding Donnermeyer, a successful 15-year-old small tour horse confirmed at Grand Prix that Peter Ofenstein sent from Germany after seeing her compete in Florida last winter.

Within days of a sweep of the small tour at Dressage at Devon in Pennsylvania at the end of September she was awarded a grant to train with Lars Petersen, the Danish Olympian based in Florida.

Kimberly Herslow and Rosmarin on the United States I team that won gold in the Wellington Natons Cup. The pair were the top finishing combination. © 2013 Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com
Kimberly Herslow and Rosmarin on the United States I team that won gold in the Wellington Natons Cup. The pair were the top finishing combination. © 2013 Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com

And it comes at the same time as Comosecure, a business operated by her father and sister, has committed to sponsor Kim who describes herself as “married to my farm in New Jersey.”

For years that has meant training, competing and selling horses of pretty much every discipline over the years on the farm that she developed from nothing.

Kim was raised in New Jersey and went to Delaware Valley College in nearby Doylestown, Pennsylvania to study equine science.

But horses are not her only passion.

Her father was into drag racing for 25 years and she went to events with him until horses started taking over her life.

She owns two Chevrolet Corvettes–a 1963 model and the other 50 years newer, a 2013 model.

“I love loud engines and fast cars,” she laughed. “Drag racing is still in my blood.”

Kim’s specialty has been young horses that she likes to make from scratch so they learn the basics correctly.

But she was never able to keep horses long enough to prove herself at the top echelons of the sport.

Four years ago, Kim was given money to find a horse and that was Rosmarin.

In 2010 she started competing Rosmarin at First level and then graduated through the levels until the breakthrough at Dressage at Devon in 2012 when the pair placed second in the Prix St. Georges.

Right before the Florida winter circuit this year, her financial partners agreed to sell out to Kim.

“It has been an amazing journey,” she said. “Lucky they sold their half to me. It has made a huge difference. I don’t have to worry the horse is going to have to go somewhere.

“I feel lucky this is the path that brought me to this horse, one of a kind… with a super mind, and he goes in the ring and wants to do his best.

“It’s cool to have a horse that works with you. He wants to be impressive and can handle the pressure.

“It’s amazing to have the opportunity that I’ve worked my butt off to make it happen.”

Kimberly Herslow with the United States I gold medal team at the Wellington Nations Cup. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kimberly Herslow with the United States I gold medal team at the Wellington Nations Cup. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Kim wanted to be in the horse business since she was seven years old, but admits she did not know what she was signing up for.

“I just grin and bear it,” she said. “I’ve figured out a way to put my goals in the right places.

“It would be very easy to give up, and not have to do it. It can get monotonous at times. Horses break and people can get crazy… the trials and tribulations of the business.

“But I’m fortunate and grateful for what I have.

“I have the horse of lifetime. I want to get on the bandwagon to ride and train, to present myself the way it should be.”

Though she has the horse and the support to pursue her goals, Kim still has to deal with the realities of the East Coast of the United States.

Her farm is in New Jersey and the primary CDI circuit is 1,200 miles (1,900km) away in Florida.

“I love my place. It is Shangri-La for me. It is hard to leave it behind to go to Florida. But I realize how important it is for me and my chance to make it happen.

“I don’t regret doing what I have done. If I knew then what I know now I might do it differently.

“I’ve really made a lot of sacrifices to make that time to get to this point.

“It’s been a really long road. I have no regrets. For 23 years I’ve been slowly but surely building my dream.”