Vera Kessels-Barisone riding Urbanus at home in New Jersey. Amber Heintzberger Photo   

Vera Kessels-Barisone riding Urbanus at home in New Jersey. Amber Heintzberger Photo

 

 

Vera Kessels-Barisone

Vera Kessels Barisone is a native of the Netherlands and became a US Citizen in March, 2014.  Growing up in a family of show jumpers, Vera eventually found that her passion is for dressage. Vera has a busy teaching and training business and has developed numerous horses to the Grand Prix level.

Vera moved to the United States in 1995 after working for ten years at a large training and sales barn in Holland. She brought her Grand Prix horse Dotato to the US and initially worked as a trainer for Nan Sexton. Eventually she started her own business, met Michael Barisone, and things developed from there.

Every September Vera travels to the foal auction in Holland and buys two or three foals, as well as a couple of young horses to start, thus keeping the family business growing and thriving.

Though Vera's focus has been on developing horses, in March, 2014 she returned to Grand Prix competition after a 16-year hiatus, riding Jane Suwalsky's 11-year-old KWPN gelding Whitman. The pair won the Grand Prix at Return to White Fences III with 68.9%.

Since then Vera has rehabilitated Urbanus from injury, and when she is not teaching and training at home she spends many of her weekends teaching clinics around the United States.