Like most equestrians, Rick Silvia had a self-professed “innate infatuation with all things equestrian and equestrian sports,” right from the start. Raised in a non-horsey family where he spent time growing up in Florida and Virginia hunt country, he dreamed of one day having his own horse and the adventures that would follow.
And, like a lot of beginners without a trainer, Silvia initially acquired and learned from a variety of misfits and so-called “problem horses.” As he wisely stated, “When you don’t know any better it’s all fun and, of course, when you know better, you do better.”
He later moved his horse to a barn where he was exposed to several young event riders who were competing internationally, and credits this with initially giving him the idea of competing internationally himself.
In late 2004, Silvia took his horses to Germany to train at Otto Schulte-Frohlinde’s legendary breeding and dressage facility Gestüt Grönwohldhof (which had been home to the celebrated sport horse and stallion Donnerhall). At age 21, he competed internationally in Grand Prix dressage, earning a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Gold Medal in recognition of his excellence as an equestrian athlete. Returning to the USA in 2006, he served as the Grand Prix Demo rider for the USDF Symposium.
In the years since then, Silvia has attended multiple National Young Horse Championships (earning three top ten placements and a bronze medal) and competed at the FEI level with 17 horses. Well-known for his successful contributions to equine breeding programs across the US, his horses have won multiple USDF Horse of the Year (HOY) titles and have also been recognized in the USDF Hall of Fame. In addition, Silvia — born in 1984 —was consistently ranked among the ‘top ten’ owners in the USA for nearly a decade.