Pamela Noble Nelson
Renowned trainer, judge, and horsewoman, Pamela Noble Nelson, “The Mother”, of Hollister, California died on November 2, she was 78.
Pam was born in Pasadena and quickly discovered a love of horses when she fell in love with a neighbor's Palomino. She talked them into "letting" her take care of him, and was soon riding him all over the trails of Pasadena. Later her family moved to Rolling Hills, California where she talked her parents into buying some Shetland Ponies who she drove, rode and showed.
After having her two children, Heidi & Brad, she returned to horses, buying a OTT TB named Royal Pretender. With Royal she was introduced to dressage and there it began! Pam trained with Hilda Gurney and took a weekly trip to Hilda's for lessons.
At a young age Pam began teaching and training in Palos Verdes, California, developing an affinity for problem-solving and spotting talent in both riders and horses.
Opening her own training facility in Coalinga in 1977, Pam earned her USDF Gold Medal and became one of the few FEI level Dressage trainers and competitors in California. She earned 5 years on the USET Grand Prix short list, as well as becoming a respected FEI level coach, and “S” level Dressage judge. In 1989 Pam and her husband Dan, moved to Hollister, California and purchased the property that is now known as Villa Rosa.
Pam was a pioneer in the Dressage industry, traveling to Germany in the early 1980's to train, meet, watch with the legend's of the time. During a visit to Dr. Klimke's stable, Dr. Klimke recommended that Pam, and her friend Shirley Rector, meet an up-and-coming young trainer named Johann Hinnemann. From those days on, Pam and Johann were best of friends and business partners. Together they imported more than 85 horses to the USA.
Pam was the Chef d’Equippe of the Gold Medal winning NAJYRC team in 1987, and has trained and competed numerous horses up the levels to Grand Prix, including Dublin, Volkmar, Revelation and Valentyn.
Pam was one of the first trainers in California to bring clients up to the Grand Prix level, creating numerous regional and national champions, NAJYRC competitors and USDF Gold medal winners including her daughter, Heidi Gaian (FEI Competitor, Trainer & "S" Dressage Judge).
Her wit and love of life made Pam a popular clinician, judge and trainer. She also loved gardening and planted hundreds of rose bushes at Villa Rosa, creating a stunning landscape in spring. She was also known for her holiday entertaining and elaborate decorations, many of which she crafted herself.
Mrs. Nelson is survived by her children, Bradford Noble Gaian and Heidi Gaian. A celebration of The Mother's life will take place at Villa Rosa in the Spring of 2023. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Alzheimer's Association ALZ.ORG, or your favorite animal charity.
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