Born in Calgary, Alberta, Chris Sorensen has been around horses for much of his life. His grandfather, Mike Callahan, bred and raced Thoroughbreds and his aunt, Kelly Callahan, was one of the nation’s first female jockeys. Chris turned to showing and jumping when he grew too tall to be a jockey. He toured the Ontario show circuit with coach Wayne McClellan before moving to Europe at 17 to work for Alan Waldman.

With a degree in Economics from Queens University in Kingston, ON, Chris expanded the sales and training aspects of his business with the establishment of Sorensen Stables in 2004. Operating in both Canada and the US, it didn’t take long for Chris to establish his coaching credentials as the successes of his clients in hunter, jumper and equitation classes escalated. Chris’ students included the highest-placed Canadian individual at the 2015 and 2016 FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships and the highest-placed Canadian at the US Medal and Maclay Finals for three years. In 2016, Chris became one of Canada’s first-ever High Performance 1 level certified coaches.

A Canadian team member on three continents and reserve rider for WEG 2014, Chris moved Sorensen Stables to Europe four years ago to focus more on high performance training, horse trading and national team pursuits. From his base in The Netherlands, Chris also launched other ground-breaking business ventures, including the world’s first hunter auction and the monthly online sales platform, Pinch Punch, both of which proved hugely popular.

The next generation is very much on Chris’s mind. He is committed to young riders who are capable of and looking towards a lifetime career in the equestrian industry. He says it’s very important to invest in riders who want to add value to horses. His dedication to “the professionals of the future” is no more apparent than in his work for Equestrian Canada. Elected vice-president of the Board in 2018, Chris chairs the Business Development and Competition review committees, represents Category A and is fully immersed in strategic planning and the Canadian Equestrian Development committee, of which coach licensing is the cornerstone. The coaching curriculum, Rookie Rider, and Ontario’s GRIT youth program, are also close to his heart.

Foreseeable Future

“We are looking forward to launching our new facility in Hoogeloon and I look forward to getting back on the national team.” (He has two Olympic-calibre horses he hopes will prove themselves in Nations Cups this spring and summer).

Mission Possible

“I hope I will have been an Olympian and have found a way to structure our business to mentor the next generation so that they have the skill set to be complete horsemen and women.”