Meet me, Karin Sarah Coles Koep

Born in Windhoek, Namibia, I was raised in a trilingual household in the middle of town. I started vaulting as a young child before going onto horse riding lessons. In Namibia, children rode horses straightaway and not ponies, and as the oldest of four daughters, having my own horse was always a dream.

My first horse was a chestnut mare called Bodenhausen Cremona by Graveur. She was hot and opinionated but taught me so much. When I moved to South Africa in 1992 to go to Boarding school, I decided to start breeding with Cremona. Her first foal was by the stallion Galapagos and she produced a filly called Rivendell Cascaya (Gayega), who in turn produced the filly Rivendell Caprice, who is in Johannesburg and has produced foals of her own. Her second foal was by the stallion Glückscup and she unfortunately died 24 hours after her foal was born. He was then raised by bottle and only died in 2023. Rivendell Gandhi competed successfully in dressage and eventing.

After school and one year at UCT, I was invited to go and ride in Germany, at the stable of Claus Erhorn. Toward the end of that same year I was working and riding for Swarovski family in Austria, where I met the mare Piaffe. I then also decided that I was coming back to SA to further my studies at Stellenbosch University. The owners of Piaffe decided to give her to me as well as pay for her trip to South Africa, which they did, and she became one of the most special horses in my life. I competed her up to medium dressage and 1.25m showjumping before retiring her to stud. I did a BSc agriculture in Animal Science and then graduated with a MSc agriculture (cum laude) from Stellenbosch University.

Since then, I was involved with the SAWHS as a committee member and inspector for over 15 years. I went to England and did my DEFRA approved certifications in assisted reproductive techniques. I have produced several horses up to advanced level dressage and have represented my province regularly.

I have won individual national and regional dressage titles on different horses, including winning the advanced FEI challenge on Delovely in the group V in the world.

I have bred, by the end of 2022, over 13 horses that have successfully competed in open showjumping competitions. Two of my stallions were exported and are currently competing in Ireland. Who knows what will happen in the next 20 years