Hillary’s Story

Hillary Simpson started riding before she could walk; this was a natural progression as she is the daughter of Christina Schlusemeyer, a highly successful professional horse and riding trainer.  Hillary launched her competitive riding career with numerous benchmark accomplishments throughout her young riding life.  In 1986 she was the overall Grand Champion at Pony Finals at the age of 7, this was a major coup as the competition was open to riders up to the age of 18.  Throughout her career Hillary has taken pride in knowing that she has worked with some of our industry’s top professionals: Peggy Wallace, Christina Schlusemeyer, Robert (Bobby) Braswell, Frank Madden, Bill Cooney, Tom Wright, Mike Heneghan, Barney Ward, George Morris, Chris Kappler, Jeff Cook and most recently Norman Dello Joio.  In 1993 she was top ranked junior jumper rider of the Wellington winter show circuit. In the last years of her junior riding career, Hillary had many valued accomplishments.  The most memorable were the magic eight days in 1996 when she won both the Rolex/USET Talent Search Finals and the AHSA Medal Finals.

Following her wins in the major equitation finals and junior hunters, Hillary narrowed her focus to the jumper ring.  During her studies at Rollins College she spent two seasons at Hunterdon, riding with George Morris and Chris Kappler.  While focusing on both her studies and her jumper ambitions she achieved numerous wins in the Amateur/Owner division as well as top placings within the Grand Prix ring.

Following her successful junior career, Hillary headed for further education at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL.  As important as riding was to her, education was always at the forefront of Hillary’s mind.  Coming from a family of academics, Hillary’s mother understood the importance of a full and focused education. After graduating with honors, she took up the reins again in the Amateur/Owner division.  This decision allowed her to explore other opportunities in her new home of Southern Pines, NC as well as further develop her relationship with her now husband, William Simpson.

Ultimately Hillary decided to go into business with her then new husband William Simpson.  She worked side by side with William for 6 years in the restaurant and gourmet food industry.  The business was sold in the fall of 2006 as it was time to think about what to do next.  This is when Hillary realized it was well overdue for her to get back into the saddle and fulfill her dreams of going to the Olympics and riding for the United States Equestrian Team.  In 2007 she started her own business, Palmyra Enterprises in Southern Pines, NC.

2009 was a trying year for Hillary; at the beginning of her winter season in Wellington, FL she was thrown from a newly imported horse having emergency surgery to repair a shattered hip and broken femur.  This was the first major injury for Hillary and she took it very seriously.  Instead of rushing back to the ring as quickly as possible, she listened to the advice of her physicians and took nearly 8 months off from riding.  Following her injury, Hillary found her passion for teaching.

She spent the following two years working with her own clients and helping her mother with her clients at Quiet Hill Farm.  At the beginning of 2011, Hillary and her mother took the first step to getting her back into the Grand Prix ring.  This was marked by the purchase of Cantus D and Nopus du gue Joubert.  The year and Hillary’s sights soared from there.

Hillary has achieved a great deal of success competing both horses throughout 2011 & 2012.  She earned numerous top-12 placings in the grand prix ring, many successful starts in some of 2011/2012’s biggest classes on the East coast, competed in many FEI World Cup Qualifiers, and CSI*** Grand Prix.

Currently Hillary is working on developing her business, Palmyra Enterprises LLC.  Her sights are set on moving her mounts into the international levels, locating, training and competing her new set of Grand Prix horses as well as teaching clients and acting as a buying and selling agent for show horses.


Featured Horses

"Denis" is a 9yr. old TB gelding. See him in his first ever Grand Prix and Grand Prix win at the Jump for the Children Horse Show.