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Crystal Hickey-Nelson

Growing up in Southern California, most are surprised to find out her obsession started by a simple touch, petting a horse on the nose when she was just two years old. It was at this young age that her love affair with horses began, and yet to end.


As a Amateur, she rode with Karen Healey while attending Biola University. Under Karen's tutelage, she qualified both her horses for the Prix De Nations classes for West Coast Active Riders. Crystal represented the US at the prestigious Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta and also competed in the Young Rider Championship trials (1.40 division). She also received the PCHA Reserve Champion Most Money Award on her horse Enrico. In 2005 graduated with a Major in Kinesiology and double minor in Coaching and Biblical Studies. 


Crystal continued her riding education post college and trained with Nelson Pessoa in Belgium. "Neco" fueled her persistent passion to excel, and was excited to come home to the West Coast and apply what I had learned. 


As a professional, Crystal has ridden several Hunter & Jumper horses to the the winners circle while riding at Northern Run located at the Stanford Red Barn. She has won numerous classes at the Grand Prix level, represented the United States in competitions, and competed in Europe with the Czech World Cup team and Nelson Pessoa. In addition to her competitive consistency, Crystal has a solid base in equitation and in 2010 she won the OCHSA Professional Equitation Challenge and in 2015 was Reserve Champion.


Crystal is one of the newest trainers to the Northern California Circuit and her desire to jump big is no secret. Like other talented professionals, Crystal enjoys competing at the Grand Prix level. Crystal has a reputation for improving horses as well as successfully developing young, talented hunters/jumpers into top level competitors. Her success is a direct result of confidence, discipline and determination, mastering the relationship between the horse and rider. Combining her love for the sport, natural talent, and persistence her capabilities met her sensibility. 


She enjoys teaching all levels of riders and has taken clients from the very beginning to the upper levels of the hunter, jumper and equitation divisions. With ample experience on the competitive A show circuit she specializes in bringing talented young horses to their full potential and fine-tuning established horses and riders. She loves to make dreams come true. 


​​Jeffrey Nelson has grown up around horses since he was learning to walk. His Grandparents provided him the opportunities to work on their ranch in Oregon, which developed his talents for handy work, tractor/trailer  knowledge and hunting skills.


Jeffrey is also the co-owner of RingSide Hay Company with his wife. Jeffrey and Crystal Nelson combined their backgrounds to form a leading hay company which utilizes agriculture growing technology (behind the success of many strawberry, raspberry, artichoke, and blackberry producers worldwide) with 30 years of show jumping horse management. 


Currently the Safety & Facilities Director at Plant Sciences in Watsonville, CA. Jeff plans to be involved with the equestrian industry as a hauler for Crystal's horses. 

Jeffrey Nelson

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