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Assistant Trainer Spotlight: Kyle Dougherty of Beckey Schooler’s Beckey’s Place

Assistant trainer Kyle Dougherty currently lives in Adrian, Michigan, where he works for Beckey Schooler’s training operation, Beckey’s Place. They specialize in all-around events and futurity horses. His responsibilities include starting the two-year-olds, coaching amateurs and youths in all-around events, and specializing in futurity horses.

“What I enjoy most about our program is that with the range of events and abilities, we can train horses for disciplines that meet their talent and capabilities,” Kyle told us. “We start many young horses in the western pleasure and start their all-around careers.” 

Dougherty grew up in northern Kentucky, where he graduated high school from Simon Kenton High. While growing up, Kyle played multiple sports and got involved in local 4-H. Kyle and his mother started doing local open shows until he was about 12 years old, and then they began showing at quarter horse shows in Kentucky with Sheza Classic Joy, his first quarter horse.

Kyle sat down with us to talk more about his background and future goals.

GHS: Hi Kyle. Thanks for talking with us. Please tell our readers what it is you like about training and showing horses.
Kyle: I am naturally very competitive. I enjoy the challenge of having to approach training each horse differently to fit their learning styles. Each day is something different, and there is always something new or to improve in a horse’s training. Success to me is bringing each horse to its highest capability. 

GHS: What have been your favorite accomplishments in the show arena?
Kyle: They have been winning the Zimeta Three-Year-Old Western Pleasure L2 Stakes at the AQHA World Show in 2020 riding If It Aint Dixie. I was also 4th on Dont Doubt Im Cool in the Green Trail at the NSBA World Show in 2019.

While I strive to succeed in the open events, I am probably most proud of seeing our clients meet their goals. One team that always comes to mind is Janet Egolf and her horse, Hes Forever Good. Janet has placed in the trophy’s three straight years in Select Amateur Trail at the NSBA World Show – 3rd in 2018, 2nd in 2019, and winning the World Champion title in 2020.  

GHS: What have been some of the more well-known horses you have worked with?
Kyle: Catch Twenty Two, Hes Forever Good, If It Aint Dixie, IllBeSeeinYou, and Dont Doubt Im Cool are horses that have been significant in shaping the beginning of my training career. Catch Twenty Two and IllBeSeeinYou were my first two junior horses to take to the 2018 AQHA World Show as an open rider that I had started in the trail and other all-around events.

Both horses finished in the finals of the trail, and IllBeSeeinYou made the Jr. Western Riding finals. Catch Twenty Two also went on to a successful amateur week with my fiancé Ty Paris making the L2 and L3 finals in the equitation and horsemanship with Top 5 placing and a Reserve World Championship in L2 Horsemanship. 

GHS: Who have been some of your mentors growing up in the industry?
Kyle: As a youth, I had the opportunity to train and be mentored by Tommy Sheets, Ryan Cottingim and Amanda Gately. I tribute my success as a youth to Tommy and Ryan and my foundation of learning to train and show all-around horses.

Additionally, over the last five years I have worked under Beckey Schooler as an assistant trainer. Beckey has taught me how to start the young horses and build them into both futurity or all-around horses. She has also allowed me to start and show many green and junior horses in western pleasure and trail. I am grateful for the horses and guidance she continues to give me. 

GHS: Do you have any advice for young trainers?
Kyle: Listen and learn as much as you can. I learn from watching and listening to many other trainers all the time.

GHS: What is something people in the industry might not know about you?
Kyle: I was a 6-year varsity basketball letterman at Simon Kenton High School, and I traveled playing AAU basketball starting in third grade. Second, I was Reserve Congress Champion in the 15-18 showmanship with Bit Western as a youth. 

GHS: What are your plans and goals for the future?
Kyle: My plan for the future is to keep striving to be the best horseman I possibly can be. As an open rider, I also have goals to be in the top placings at the AQHA and NSBA World Show and be a leading money earner rider in the western pleasure.

GHS: Thanks Kyle!