Assistant Trainer Spotlight: Katherine Crowe of Gillespie Show Horses
Assistant Trainer Katherine Crowe currently lives in Whitesboro, TX where she works for Gillespie Show horses. She specializes in western pleasure, hunter under saddle, and all-around events. Her responsibilities include saddling, horse show prepping, riding, and coaching. Initially from Buford, GA, Crowe always loved horses, starting at a very young age.
“My family found a great place called Little Acres Farm that Christie Moss, Carmen Mayabb’s mother owned and operated,” Katherine shared with us. “I started going to summer horse camps and taking lessons throughout elementary school there. I was hooked and couldn’t get enough time at the barn. The other kids and I practically lived there.”
In fifth grade, Crowe got her first horse and started showing at 4-H and local open shows. She says she showed in just about every class, from the all-around to running barrels and everything in between. It didn’t take long before she moved up to showing AQHA, where she got serious with the all-around classes. Katherine attended her first Quarter Horse Congress at age 13 and trained with Jason English and Chrisite’s daughter, Carmen.
GHS: Hi Katherine! Thank you for sitting down with GoHorseShow. First of all, what is it you enjoy about horses and showing?
Katherine: There is just something about being around horses that makes me whole. I got out of the industry for about eight years and tried to find my place in the outside world, but I always felt like there was a void or something was missing. So, I moved back to Georgia and reunited with Jason English, where he allowed me to get back to riding and showing. It didn’t take long before I gave up my non-pro card and went back to being an assistant trainer. I knew it was the right decision – where I needed to be. Being the person to start a young horse, putting your initial imprint on them, and watching them grow, is so gratifying. But, then, showing is just the icing on the cake to see all your hard work pay off.
GHS: Can you tell us about some of your accomplishments?
Katherine: My first significant accomplishment was at the 2004 Quarter Horse Congress, where I was Reserve Champion in the Three-Year-Old Open Non-Pro Western Pleasure on the mare, Show Diva. More recently, in 2020 I showed Sweet Southern Susie, where I won the 3 Yr Old Limited Open Western Pleasure at the Big A and was Reserve with her at the NSBA World Show. After many years out of the show pen, it felt like a huge comeback for me, and I am grateful.
GHS: Tell us about some well-known horses you have trained.
Katherine: The first horse I learned to train on was Show Diva. I have also worked with Sweet Southern Susie, Made to Ride, and An Absolute Martini.
GHS: Who are some of your biggest mentors?
Katherine: Christie Moss was the first to impact my life with horses. She dedicated her life to teaching people how to ride and the responsibilities of caring for horses. I wouldn’t be the horseman I am if it wasn’t for her. Another huge mentor for me is Jason English. When I was a youth kid and bought Show Diva, who was three and wasn’t finished, Jason took the time to help show me how to help train her. It was fun to watch her grow and know that I had started her foundation. I also worked for him recently for a couple of years, and he improved my skills in starting colts. Finally, Troy Oakley is also a mentor to me. I rode with him at the end of my youth and into my amateur career. I would spend most of my weekends riding colts and plenty of other green horses at his place. I think that’s truly when I fell in love with western pleasure. Troy showed me the ropes on how to ride and show pleasure horses.
GHS: Any advice you’d like to share with young trainers?
Katherine: This industry and job are hard and take everything you have sometimes. It’s easy to get discouraged or down on yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail or ask for help. Take every day as a learning experience and try to grow from it.
GHS: Any favorite memories you’d like to share?
Katherine: I don’t think I can narrow down a favorite memory because there are just so many. I will say that my friendships in this industry are like no other. We all share such a special bond. Growing up traveling the country, doing what I love, has given me unique experiences and memories.
GHS: How did you come to work for Tim and Shannon Gillespie?
Katherine: At the end of 2020, I heard the Gillespies needed an assistant. I had seen them around at shows and was always impressed with their horses. I had wanted to expand my skills in other events, so it seemed fitting to contact them. We hit it off, and by the beginning of January, I was headed to Texas. I have loved my time here so far – we all work so well together. They take their time and cater to each horse’s specific needs. I have been given many amazing opportunities to ride and show some great horses and coach customers. Shannon has shown me so much with western riding and trail. She has a true talent, and I love watching and learning from her. Tim and Shannon have been nothing but supportive of me.
GHS: What’s one thing people may not know about you?
Katherine: Most people don’t know that I ride motorcycles. I have a Harley Sportster that I try to ride during my free time. Also, my boyfriend Thomas and I love going on motorcycle camping trips.
GHS: What are some of your future goals?
Katherine: I would like to continue to improve and start showing in the western riding. Of course, a goal would be winning at NSBA World or Congress. I hope to be successful enough to take on a few horses of my own one day.
GHS: Anything else you’d like to add?
Katherine: I am so grateful to everyone who has influenced me and made me who I am today.
GHS: Thanks, Katherine!