Lauren Knopp, 31, is the barn manager and so much more at the prestigious 130-stall IDA Farm in Wellington.
“I wear many hats: barn manager, trainer, coach, sometimes-groom,” Knopp said. “I pretty much do it all. If something goes wrong at night, they call me.”
That outstanding degree of love and commitment 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 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 said. “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 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,” her mother Teresa Knopp said. “I’m very proud of her. I’m grateful to be with her every day.”
Now, even more Omega Alpha products will be with Knopp 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 with a better than 72 percent score. A 2009 NAJYRC team and individual silver medalist and reserve national junior champion, Knopp has trained with Raul Corchuelo, Marco Bernal, Caroline Roffman and Oded Shimoni, among others, and is currently working with Devon Kane.
“I ride my own horses, most recently Amadeus, in CDIs and coach students. It’s really rewarding. I love what I do,” Knopp said. “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.”
What’s next for these two rising stars? “I’d really love to compete at Lamplight,” Lauren said, 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 said. “I don’t worry. We have an amazing team.”
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 the winner’s 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).
Learn more about Omega Alpha, a Canadian-based company offering an extensive line of all-natural products, at www.omegaalpha.com.