Dixie Stables is under new ownership after being owned by Allenhurst resident Lynn Pace for more than four decades.
Southern Legacy Stables, as it now will be called, will be operated by Pace’s former student, Caitlin Jarriel.
“I’ve been doing this since 1972 … and Caitlyn came in just at the right time,” Pace said, adding she is thrilled that one of her former riders stepped up to take over the business. “I care enough about it and I know it meant so much to a lot of kids, so it is wonderful to me that it is not going to die.”
For the last four decades, Pace has taught children and adults the art of riding and showing American saddlebreds.
According to Jarriel and Pace, 2014 was a great year for Dixie Stables and its riders.
Pace received the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Georgia (ASHAG)’s high point trainer of the year award. Pace also received the Frank Kennedy Humanitarian Award for ASHAG. She was chosen due to her lifelong dedication both to her horses and students.
“We are on top, we are doing great, the kids are winners and Caitlynn and I finish each other’s sentences,” Pace said, looking back over the last year with Jarriel. “She’s been my student for a long time and she went and made her own life and did very well and then came back to the horses … how wonderful is that.”
Jarriel said her relationship with Pace has come full circle. Both started their riding career at Sea Island Stables on St. Simons Island.
By the age of 7, Jarriel was showing American Saddlebreds and winning numerous awards across Georgia and around the nation. At 13, she met Pace when she joined Dixie Stables and formed a bond that eventually led to devote her time to operating the facility.
Jarriel said it was her dream to operate a stable, but Pace advised her to finish her education and see where it led.
She attended Mercer University and obtained her degree in international financial management and economics. She got her master’s in business administration from Georgia Southern University and worked full-time as a risk-management officer for The Heritage Bank. While in college, Jarriel continued to strengthen her horsemanship skills by riding on GSU’s equestrian team. She later transferred to Mercer and helped start an equestrian club on campus. Jarriel also studied abroad in three countries and rode with the University of Wales’ equestrian team.
Jarriel married Chris Jarriel, and the couple lived in Statesboro for a while. But as Jarriel resumed her riding career, she asked her husband if they could move in order to be closer to the barn. The couple sold their home and currently reside at Pace’s property, renting the small home behind Pace’s house.
Her husband started a lawn-care company, and she quit her job to keep her husband’s books. Jarriel’s love for horses and Dixie Stables grew, and she started to learn every aspect of the business from Pace.
“Lynn had always talked to me and all of her students about possibly taking over the barn…she hated the thought of having it just die out or stopping,” Jarriel said.
Jarriel said Southern Legacy Stables at Dixie Stables will carry on the great work established by Pace.
Her first show of the 2015 season will be March 7 at Golden Isles Riding Academy.
“I really want to see the kids and the adults set their goals and achieve them,” she said.
For information on Southern Legacy Stables, call 912-242-2847.