Fran's Bio


Fran's passion for horses started over 30 years ago, going back to his childhood when he began riding in North Carolina on a pony called Millie. Throughout his teen years he focused on jumping and competed locally.

Fast-forward to adult life when he moved to the Hamptons in Long Island, NY, and bought his first horse, Melody, continuing to practice the hunter/jumper discipline while working on a horse farm doing everything that horse care requires - grooming, exercising, mucking out, etc.

From there he opened a pet shop, and then managed a tack shop called 'Horse Haven' for 3 1/2 years until he spotted an ad in a horse magazine that said 'Top Dressage trainer looking for a groom.'

He began working for six-time Olympian Robert Dover and Fran's love affair with Dressage began. Robert became his teacher and mentor, and from there Fran took a job teaching Dressage at a stable in New Jersey and was a fill-in trainer for the New York University and Columbia University intercollegiate riding teams.

Then it was on to a job as stable manager working with four top quality Dressage horses and travelling back and forth between New York and Wellington, Florida every six months.

Now Fran lives in Warendorf, Germany, and together with his partner, Michael Ripploh, runs a private training barn with at least two 'sale horses' in residence as well as their private horses, brood mare and foals. They have sold horses all over the world to all types of clients, from FEI top riders to horse lovers looking for quality animals.

Since moving to Germany over 5 years ago, Fran has earned his bronze medal, or 'Reitabziechen', and won the first Caprilli Prize with a score of 8.7% on his five-year-old Westphalian, Nocadero. He also spent six months working with the late German Master, Georg Theodorescu, riding with him weekly and gaining valuable classical Dressage lessons the opportunity of a lifetime.

Fran's extensive knowledge of all aspects of horse care, training and disciplines including Dressage and jumping combined with his business skills and auction savvy make him the perfect person to assist potential clients in the purchase of their next winner or dream horse.

"I decided to start Auction Connection because although buying horses at auction is fun and extremely exciting, I often noticed how lost people who are not familiar with the language are. Auctions move quickly and potential bidders need to know exactly what is going on at all times. I also believe strongly that people need to have an honest outside opinion of the horses they are interested in. Plus, I enjoy making connections with people and making them feel comfortable and entertained. It's the perfect combination!"

 

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