Craig Rawlins became associated with dressage horses at a very early age, due to the involvement of his older brother, international trainer and rider, Dane Rawlins who is now also the director of Dressage at Hickstead in England, which will be hosting the 2003 European championships.
After leaving school , Craig went to work for international rider, Piet Thyssen, in Holland. The time spent there was what would, eventually, become the true source of his addiction to dressage horses. Having worked there for some 2 years Craig went on to train as a farrier with, amongst others, Rob Renire, who is probably one of the worlds best known craftsmen. With the amount of travelling involved in this career choice, Craig was fortunate enough to see, evaluate and learn from horses and people at some of the most famous stables in the world.
The training & selling of horses was something that Craig was involved in as a sort of hobby and didn't really become of any significance until he recieved a request for help from one of Britains young rider team members, Kerry Allen and her partner, David Crockford. The pony that Craig advised them on turned out to become one of Englands' most well known dressage ponies, her name was Virginia, and she went on to compete in a total of 7 european championships, a record that has yet to be repeated! With this the ball started to roll and it was not long before a choice had to be made between farriery and a life of training horses and advising clients. Needless to say, Craig now only shoes his own horses!
KEBIE VAN DER HEIJDEN
Kebie Van der Heyden was more or less born in the saddle, with two parents who were fanatical amateur dressage riders, which they managed to combine with their extremely busy catering company.
It was almost certain that Kebie would, in one way or another, go on to work with her parents and would continue to ride as a hobby. This, however is not how things would turn out....
Kebie started, as do most children, with a pony but managed to ride her fathers advanced medium horse through her first advanced test, at the age of 11. One thing led to another and by the age of sixteen Kebie was riding her first international young rider competition on a monster of a horse called Adios, with whom she trained at Piet Thyssens' barn.
Kebie then took a course of action, on Craigs' advice, that would change the course of her life for ever. Two years at the yard of one of the worlds most famous and controversial trainers, George Theoderescu. Kebie endured her own personal hell, as so many riders must, during this period of her life but managed to become one of the chief riders at this very prestigious establishment within a very short period of time. Kebie rode horses for several clients of Theodorescu, including those of the Spanish team member Beatrice Ferrer.
Kebies' relationship with Craig made her decision to continue with her training and enter into a life surrounded by horses an easy one to make.
On Kebies' return to Holland she found that Craig had laid the foundations for her to take the ride on a 6yr stallion answering to the name "Chopin". This horse was owned and competed at medium level by his owner Piet Linders who, due to the somewhat awkward character of this four-footer, was unable to continue to ride him or sell him. It clicked!! and within 18 months, having won just about every competition she rode with him, Kebie was riding as one of four members of one of the strongest young rider teams the world had seen to date. The result was that Holland demolished the thirty year undisputed rein of the German young rider team and Kebie and Chopin were on their way home from Helsinki with a European Gold medal!
Gold in Helsinki!!
Bronze at the World championships in Verden!!
Stal Korenbloem began to flourish.... taking the approved KWPN stallion Kennedy to victory at the Dutch championships, going on, with another KWPN stallion, Jester, to take the bronze medal at the World championships in Verden, In the same year Kebie was 2nd in the final of the Dutch pavo cup, a year later she won it, she won the Dutch advanced medium championships, she won the international in Goes, was 2 and 3rd on 2 different horses in the Dutch 3 yr old V.S.N. championships and so on and so on and so on...
Meanwhile several of Craigs' English clients were doing very well themselves nationally and internationally. One young girl, Sarah Millis, who bought her first pony from Craig, was busy with toppers of her own such as Korenbloem Virginia, Ludo, Korenbloem Frere and Korenbloem Lothar: At the ripe old age of twenty-one, with these horses, she gained the unprecedented honour of being able to say that she had competed at a record 10 consecutive european championships! And Craig had the unprecedented honour of supplying the horses with whom she did it! So the story continued, with horses sold by Stal Korenbloem joining their countries teams, Craig and Kebie began to gain international recognition as one of Hollands' leading producers of top class dressage horses. They went on to present and finance one of the richest prizes in the world for young dressage horses, the 10,000 pound "Korenbloem Challenge" that is now held in Braintree, England, every November.
With the help of a team of people in England, Canada and America Stal Korenbloem has secured a solid position in the world of dressage. The international team of clients and friends surrounding them have, together, accumulated an uncountable number of victories both at both National and International level, but , above all of this, a lot of fun has been had doing it! To their team, their friends and their clients Stal Korenbloem extends its' eternal gratitude for their undying faith and loyalty over the last decade.