Holly is One of The United States’ Most Accomplished Competitors
Passion and Persistence Pays Off
Based in Oldwick, New Jersey, Holly Payne Caravella has been competing and training internationally in dressage, eventing and showjumping for over 25 years. She competes at the five star level in eventing and trained through FEI dressage. An ‘‘A’’ graduate of the United States Pony Club (USPC) and a USEA Level 3 ICP Certified Instructor, Holly is also one of the founding members of the Event Rider’s Association of North America (ERA) created in 2009. She coaches and instructs at all levels in eventing and dressage while training and competing herself. Almost all of the horses Holly competes are started and brought up through the levels by her. Holly takes horses in training as well as bringing along her own young horses. She bases her training and teaching not only on the fundamental theories, but also focuses on the ever-changing dynamics of the sport. She promotes independent thinking for both horses and riders and sets the highest standards and goals for herself, her students, and her horses. Holly has ridden with many top competitors and trainers in all three disciplines and believes in constantly learning and perfecting her skills and shares this with her students.
Born into the equestrian world, she is the daughter of Marilyn Payne (competitor and 2 time Olympic Eventing judge). Holly achieved her USPC “A’’ rating at the age of 16. She competed at the North American Young Riders championships for three consecutive years and was a medalist each year. During this time she trained under Young Rider coach, James Wofford. Holly consistently started competing at the international level in 1998 and has since been working towards her goal of riding for the United States Equestrian Team.
A graduate of the University of North Florida, Holly earned her Bachelors Degree in Finance in 2005. That same year she started her own business Holly Payne Equestrian (HPE), concentrating on equine training, investments, and sales. She has established herself as a reliable trainer, consistently producing successful horses and riders. Holly divides her time between competing and training. Most of her students are also competing in eventing, which makes for a strong support system for everyone as they travel together and compete.
In the fall of 2009 Holly based herself in England where she trained with Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks and competed at the CCI****level. In 2010 she was named to the USEF high performance developing rider’s list were she trained under Captain Mark Phillips. In 2013 she was placed on the USEF National training list under U.S. coach, David O’Connor.
Holly and her mounts enjoyed a banner competition year in 2016. She competed Never Outfoxed and Santino at Rolex Kentucky CCI****. Holly and Bruisyard Hall finished 2nd at Jersey Fresh International CCI**. Holly and Santino were invited to ride in the first ever U.S. leg of the Nation’s Cup Tour at Great Meadows CIC*** and finished 4th individually. Holly and Never Outfoxed competed at Burghley CCI**** where they finished 19th. Holly received the USEF Land Rover Grant and competed at Blenheim Palace International CCl*** with Santino and finished 13th.
In 2017 Never Outfoxed finished 19th at Kentucky Three Day Event CCI**** and 10th at the AEC Advanced level. Her new mount Charm King finished 3rd at Bromont CCI* and 1st at Plantation Field Horse Trials. Her newest young horse Benjamin Button won his division at the AECs at just 4 years old. He is also qualified for the USEA 4 Year Old Young Horse finals. Holly also coached the Young Riders Area II Team, they won silver at the 2017 Adequan® FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships!
In January of 2021 Holly and her husband, Eric, welcomed their daughter, Harper Lynn Caravella, into the world. Shortly after, Holly and CharmKing finish 3rd in the 4 star at Jersey Fresh International. They then took home the win at both Jersey and the advanced championship at Millbrook later that year.