Kaci and Jack's love for each other and horses has made them an inseparable team. Their shared dreams and goals for a successful future in the reining horse industry has driven them to open Pond Hill Performance Horses - focusing on training, showing and selling reining horses, as well as coaching their non-pro clients.
Together, they have developed a program for training, handling, and caring for horses that they strongly believe in. Having such a strong relationship allows them to work effectively together to do the best job possible for their horses.
pond hill performance horses
Pond Hill Performance Horses is named after and is a division of the Pond Hill Ranch in Castleton, Vermont. The Ranch has been in the O'Rourke family for 5 generations. Pond Hill Ranch keeps over 850 head of horses at any given time, as well as over 150 head of bucking stock for their Stock Contracting Division. Most of these horses are leased to children's camps and resorts all over the country. Others are sold privately or to organizations such as the NYPD and Disney World. The Ranch puts on at least 10 rodeos each season and hosts other equine competitions.
Both Kaci and Jack take pride in the fact that they have grown up taking part in many different equine disciplines. This gives them an appreciation for all kinds of horses.
Kaci was born and raised in Castleton, Vermont on the family owned, Pond Hill Ranch. Growing up in this environment allowed her to gain an appreciation for all kinds of horses and get experience in many equine disciplines. The family business involving caring for hundreds of horses allowed her to grow up as a horsewoman.
Kaci began reining at the age of 13 and accumulated a number of wins during her youth career, including: 5X NRHA Top Ten World Standings, over 700 Youth Points, NRHA Derby Circuit Champion, 2X NRHA Affiliate Champion, Congress Top Tens, and many more.
Her NRHA Professional career began at the age of 18 under the guidance of 2X NRHA Futurity Champion Casey Deary for nearly 5 years. It continued alongside NRHA 4 Million Dollar Rider Craig Schmersal. During her time with both trainers, Kaci made the Open Finals at the NRBC, NRHA Derby, and NRHA Futurity - along with multiple Derby and Futurity wins and placings.
Since beginning Pond Hill Performance Horses, Kaci has had much success in the show pen including: L4 Open NRHA Futurity Finalist, NRBC L4 Open Derby Finalist, SWRHA Futurity L4 4th, Mare Incentive Champion, HRRC L4 Open Futurity 6th, TRC Developing Horse Futurity L3 Reserve Champion, Buckeye Reining Futurity Top Ten, All American Quarter Horse Congress Open Futurity L2 Champion, L4 2nd highest go-round score and L4 Finalist, NRHA Futurity L3 & L2 Finalist, Mid Atlantic Reining Classic L4 & L4 Stakes Reserve Champion, L3 & Yankee Prospect Stakes Champion. Kaci is looking forward to the future and what is yet to come!
Originally from Rockhampton, Queensland Australia, Jack grew up training rope horses and cow horses. He soon made a name for himself in the reining industry in Australia training 2 yr olds and Futurity prospects as well as showing in Reining Australia events.
Jack first came to the U.S. at the age of 17 to compete in the National High School Rodeo Finals in both calf roping and team roping. He then returned to America to work for NRHA's #3 all-time money earner Craig Schmersal.
Jack has spent much time perfecting his 2 yr old program and prides himself on putting a complete, solid foundation on his horses. Having shown extensively in Australia, he began his career in the U.S. with a Top Ten finish in the NRHA's Affiliate Rookie Pro and Limited Open, 3rd TRC L1 Open Futurity, 3rd SWRHA L1 Open Futurity. Jack made the Open Finals at the 2022 NRBC, and most recently was the NRHA Open Derby Level One Champion.
Jack's passion for horseshoeing began as a teenager. After apprenticing for several accomplished farriers in Australia, he took a position as Head Farrier for Patinack Farms - the second largest racehorse training stable in Australia. Though his career turned to horse training, he has always held a love for shoeing.
Since coming to the United States, Jack has earned his credentials as a AAPF Certified Farrier. He spends any spare time studying and is working to soon complete his AFA Certification.
Jack pays particular attention to balance and conformation. He spends considerable time with each horse, ensuring that every horse is sound and comfortable. His shoeing philosophy is centered around leaving the horse as natural as possible, while applying mechanics to the shoe as needed for the individual. Since he sees the horses every day, he is able to determine the best possible plan for each horse. Jack plays a huge role in the soundness and longevity of our horses.
Taylor joined Pond Hill Performance Horses in the Fall of 2021. Originally from Kinston, North Carolina, she realized a love for horses and reining from a young age. She spent time showing reining horses along the East Coast as a Youth and then relinquished her Non Pro card at the end of her Youth Career.
Taylor has experience riding two year olds and show aged horses as well as giving lessons and showing herself.
Since joining PHPH, she has proven to be dedicated, passionate, and driven. We are very proud to have her on our team!
Osiel joined Pond Hill Performance Horses in July 2022. From Springfield, Tennessee, he has always had a passion for training horses. Osiel is dedicated to learning and very driven to succeed in the reining horse industry. He is a valued part of our program and team.
Lauren came to Pond Hill Performance Horses from Marshfield, Vermont. She competed in various other disciplines, but came to Texas to pursue her dreams of training reining horses. We appreciate her attention to detail and dedication to caring for our horses. We are very happy to have Lauren on our team!
Bridgett came to Pond Hill Performance Horses from Denver, Colorado. She has experience as an assistant trainer - both coaching and riding. Bridgett has become a valued member of our team!