JESSIE "JESS" HARGRAVE was born & raised on a farm in rural North Carolina, where she & her two brothers began riding as soon as they outgrew their indoor rocking horses.  Getting her first pony at the age of 3, Jess grew up free-spirited on a horse farm, which fueled her avid love of horses as well as her adventurous ways.  While all three children were encouraged to pursue horseback riding, Jess was the one described as "pony mad", and she joined her local pony club at age 9.  

Via pony club & old VHS taped episodes of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she was introduced to three-day eventing.  Hardworking & driven, Jess progressed through her pony club ratings, and achieved the coveted "A" rating at just 16 years of age, on an off-the-track Thoroughbred she trained herself.  


A constant pursuit of high level training throughout Jess's riding career is evident, and she has been fortunate to train extensively with some of the very best coaches and most talented riders in the sport.  


During the 2011 season, she was based on the east coast with Candadian Olympian (and good friend) Rebecca Howard, prior to Rebecca's relocation to the UK after the 2012 London Olympics.  From 2010 to 2013, Jess also trained with International 4* competitor and ICP level IV certified coach Holly Hudspeth (nee Hepp). In 2013, Jess relocated to the West Coast, is currently based in Temecula, California.  Other notable trainers and mentors include:

  • Mary Gordon Watson - British Olympic, European & World champion

  • Lucinda Green MBE - British Olympic & European champion, & 6-time winner of Badminton horse trials

  • Tim Grubb - British Olympic show jumper

  • J. Michael Plumb - Hall of Fame Equestrian, 6-time US Olympian, & US Olympic team gold medalist

  • Sinead Halpin - International 4* competitor, level III ICP certified USEA coach, & member of the 2014 USA WEG team

  • Daniel Stewart - founder of Ride Right equestrian sport psychology, US Paralympic team coach

  • Tamra Smith - International 4* competitor, Pan Am & Olympic shortlisted rider, certified ICP coach


With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master's degree in Early Childhood, Special Education, and International Education, Jess has a strong foundation in the art of teaching.  Her love of learning and passion for education, coupled with a background in learning theory and a myriad of teaching experiences, allow her to teach a broad range of students & horses in a variety of different settings.  Jess prides herself on being able to effectively work with both children & adults whose interests may range from Pony Club to pure Dressage and Eventing.

Committed to continuously expanding her own base of knowledge, Jess is a Ride Right Equestrian Sport Psychology certified level III coach, and a USPC National Examiner.  She is also working toward the USEA ICP certification.


Challenging or "difficult" horses have always been an interest and passion of Jess's. She has been able to achieve high degrees of success with horses others have written off or given up on, largely due to her patience & persistence, as well as her strong belief in relationship-based learning, and the ethos that each horse is a unique individual, and their training program should reflect that.


Jess has her training program based out of Temecula, California.  As both coach & rider, she has been fortunate to have wonderful owners, sponsors, & clients providing her with the support to pursue her equestrian endeavors.  With her background in pony club and her enthusiasm for coaching young riders, she is pleased to offer regular lessons & training for riders and horses of all ages & disciplines.

SCES & Tax Deductible Rider Sponsorship Donations


Southern California Equestrian Sports, Inc. (SCES) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping equestrian riders and organizers raise tax deductible funds to compete in or support their National and International competitions throughout the United States.  


SCES is a designed to help athletes and owners expand their financial resources to train and compete by allowing supporters to receive a tax deductible benefit for contributions.   SCES understands the financial commitment it takes to compete at the highest levels of equestrian sports; therefore established an organization to help foster development and competition. 


SCES has been granted a tax exempt status under Section 501C3 of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax deductible at the maximum allowed by law and donations can be made on behalf of Southern California Equestrian Sports, Inc.  


     Mercedes Samons, who has been our amazing working student for this last year, will now be

taking over the role as my assistant. She will be covered under my insurance to longe and ride

horses in training with me, as well as helping run our beginner lesson program.


     Emily Reitmeier is now our office manager. She will be handling all the billing and office tasks, effective December 1, 2020. All billing inquiries should be directed to her first.