Iwear many hats: Barn Manager, trainer, coach, sometimes-groom. I pretty much do it all. If something goes wrong at night, they call me,” grins Lauren Knopp, 31, barn manager and so much more at the prestigious 130-stall IDA Farm in Wellington, Florida. That outstanding degree of love and commitment by Lauren hasn’t gone unnoticed – or unappreciated – by her dressage peers. After the final votes and nominations were cast and counted at the conclusion of this season’s Global Dressage Festival, she was declared the Omega Alpha® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Barn Manager of the Season winner for 2022.
The USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist and Grand Prix level competitor credits her parents, Teresa and Harry Knopp, with instilling a solid work ethic early. “I wasn’t handed any of this,” she says. “They made me earn everything I have. I had to do well in school. They set goals for me and taught me how to set goals for myself.”
“It’s one thing,” says her mom, Teresa Knopp, “for people to say, ‘Laura does a great job running the farm, running her own business,’ but it’s an entirely different thing to see people take time out of their day to nominate and acknowledge her. I’m very proud of her. I’m grateful to be with her every day.”
Now, even more Omega Alpha® products will be with Lauren every day, too. She and her grey FEI partner, Amadeus De Massa, won last November’s Omega Alpha® Healthy Horse Award, after “crushing” their personal best in the Prix St Georges at Global Dressage Festival with a better than 72% score. A 2009 NAJYRC team and individual Silver medalist and reserve National Junior Champion, Lauren has trained with (among others) Raul Corchuelo, Marco Bernal, Caroline Roffman, and Oded Shimoni, and is currently working with Devon Kane.
In between her barn managing, she adds, “I ride my own horses, most recently Amadeus, in CDI’s and coach students. It’s really rewarding. I love what I do.”
Looking back on winning that first Omega Alpha® award, Lauren says, “Amadeus had only done one other CDI in his life! He was bought for my Mom and she’s been generous enough to let me take over the ride, so without her (and him) I couldn’t be here. We went in and he said, ok let’s do this, and knocked it out of the park. He’s a great teammate. I tell him what we need to do and we work through it together.”
“As a Healthy Horse Award winner, I have already been using some Omega Alpha products, like the liquid joint supplement, Sinew-X, and the probiotic formula, Biotic 8, so I can’t wait to dive in and try more. It’s a huge thing to win this and I’m so grateful.” Lauren says.
What’s next for these two rising stars? “I’d really love to compete at Lamplight,” Lauren says, adding with a laugh, “Goals with Amadeus always change! He is now schooling the Grand Prix. First it was just, let’s go show and see where we are. Now it’s oh my gosh let’s go to the Ocala CDI, let’s go to Lamplight, maybe Europe next summer. I also have a Grand Prix mare and my hopes are, by next year, to compete internationally on her and Amadeus.”
But what about the farm back home?
“If I go to Europe, I guess I’m going to need a barn manager,” she muses with a grin before adding, “I don’t worry. We have an amazing team.”
And who knows? Maybe another Barn Manager of the Season is in the making.
The Omega Alpha® Barn Manager of the Season was announced during the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* and was presented with an Omega Alpha® bit box to be filled with the Omega Alpha® products of their choice, as well as joining a prestigious list of prior Omega Alpha® barn manager winners, including two from Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer’s Southgate Farm, Nate Tucker and Lila Chase; Angela Van Den Brink (Endel Ots), Alex Vespico (Jet Show Stable), Steve Fischer (Diamante Farms), Kelsi O’Hara (Three Acres Farm), Julie McKean (Bespoke Farm), and Amy Barrett (New Vintage Farm).
Omega Alpha® is a Canadian-based company offering an extensive line of all-natural products to support optimum health in horses (as well as a line for humans and pets). Experience the benefits of Omega Alpha® in improving and maintaining respiratory, digestive, joint, hormonal and immune system health, detoxification, muscle rehabilitation and performance at www.OmegaAlpha.com.