Skye Liikanen grew up riding horses from a young age.
As a teen, Skye was very competitive to National level in both Dressage and Showing, being a member of the QLD Young Rider Squad and a HOTY winner. Skye spent over four years as a trick rider/performer at the Australian Outback Spectacular, before moving to WA with Josh to take up a position as a primary school teacher. Whilst in WA Skye taught a number of children to ride, and she and Josh started a number of horses for local cattle stations.
Skye and Josh made the decision to follow their passion of horses to North America, spending time with a number of talented horse people before taking up an amazing opportunity to work as assistant trainers for Dan and Elizabeth James of the Australian Equine Performance Center in Midway, Kentucky. Skye had the opportunity to work with a vast range of breeds and types of horses while at Dan’s, including warmbloods, thoroughbreds, quarter horses and ponies as well as starting horses at liberty and working with Dan’s liberty team. Skye was responsible for client liaison and farm management.
One of Skye’s main goals in America was to take part in the Retired Racehorse Project’s TB Makeover. Skye found her partner Brumby for this in April of 2018 and had six months prepare him for the Freestyle and Dressage components of the competition in October. Brumby showed the true versatility of the TB by winning the Dressage Championship and placing 4th in the Freestyle in a field of over 100 competitors.
Skye was also able to successfully take out clients dressage horses who had been started under saddle at the centre to their first competitions with wins and placings. One of the highlights of working for Dan was being his travelling groom at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon USA with the reining stallion Don Magnum as part of the Australian team.
Skye is looking forward to competing in the dressage and show rings on Australian soil, and enjoys starting horses for the racetrack. Skye also has an interest in producing safe, reliable children’s ponies.
She is very passionate about the Race to Ranch Competition and can’t wait to show how versatile the Off the tack thoroughbred can be.