Chrissa F Hoffmann is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist who has also competed at the international levels at Grand Prix. Chrissa and her horse, F. Ferrelli, captured the spotlight in Florida in 2009, winning the Gold Coast Opener with a 65.5% in a class of twenty-five top horses and riders. Chrissa and Ferrelli finished in the top 6 in the World Cup Qualifier at WEF***, earning her a ranking on the USET list of riders.
In addition to her work with Ferrielli, Chrissa gained notoriety for training Harry Callahan, one of the highest scoring American saddlebreds in the world. Chrissa worked with Harry from the time he was three years old to Grand Prix, earning scores up to 65%, with top placings in Florida...against warmbloods! Harry and Chrissa have been featured in eight publications—even landing on the cover of the USDF Connection in 2005.
Chrissa has been fortunate to work with some of the best trainers in America and abroad, including her current trainers Steffen Peters and Michelle Gibon, in addition to Barbara Silverman, Robert Dover, Tina Konyot, Hasse Hoffmann and Christoph Hess. Chrissa applies her training in classical dressage competitively into the modern day show ring. Her hard work and determination have been recognized with multiple high score and year end awards and achievement of the Grand Prix level. She has trained three horses to Grand Prix and nine others over the years to FEI. Each horse in her program is developed in the proper way; simple, quiet, riding that focuses on proper equitation and correct communication between horse and rider.
I am an absolute believer of wearing a helmet while riding horses, not just a young horse, but any horse I sit on, from baby green to Grand Prix. With all honesty, I admit I just recently starting wearing a helmet, because in the past our dressage rules never required us to wear them while competing, so I, along with many other professionals decided, why wear them while schooling?
Unfortunately it took a tragic accident of friend and colleague, Courtney King Dye, a former Olympian, who suffered a severe head injury while schooling a young horse. The horse never did anything naughty or wrong; he simply got tangled up in his own legs while working and fell. Courtney was in a coma and suffered a severe head injury. She is in recovery now and doing well, which we are all thankful for, but I can tell you the day, hour and time it happened because the entire sport of dressage stopped, in such overwhelming emotion. I was in Florida when we heard the news, I instantly got off the horse and felt sick to my stomach, I could not ride the rest of the day. Since then, the entire dressage community has come together to show support in honor of Courtney and honor all equestrians to wear helmets.
I don’t know why it takes a tragedy to wake myself and others up, but it just does. Now it has become a dressage rule for all national levels of dressage competitors to wear helmets. I also think it’s our job, as top professionals to teach our youth and bring awareness to the importance of safety, period.
I am honored to be a part of the Troxel team and am willing do whatever it takes to prevent anyone else having to go through what Courtney and many other equestrians who have been involved in major accidents have gone through.
Chrissa owns and operates, CFH Dressage in Vero Beach, Florida, a top notch dressage training facility in the heart of horse country. Chrissa continues to train with her coach Robert Dover, 6 time Olympic medalist. She is currently competing her 8-year-old, Scrabble, in PSG where she won her first time out with a 70%! She then went on to win the developing horse class in Wellington at the Global Dressage Festival with a 67.9% and most recently won the USEF PSG developing horse class with a 68.3%. Chrissa is looking forward to competing her other 8-year-old, Faustus, in the small tour and bringing several youngsters up through the ranks.