Joe and Ruthie Meyer – Attached at the hip – Eventing Super Couple series

Ruthie & Joe Meyer pool side at their farm in Florida on a cool February day.

bitofbritain-Week1

Our new series “Eventing Super Couples continues. Over the next couple of weeks, to celebrate Valentine’s month, you will get to know some of the sports’ favourite couples just a little bit better. These hard working Eventing pairs provide insight about their businesses and programs and they are also sharing their love stories.

 

Ruthie Meyer (USA) and Joe Meyer (NZL)

Ruthie started riding in high school while attending a boarding school with a riding program. After graduating from college and trying a stint at a traditional job, she gave it up and returned to riding in her mid twenties. She built a business from buying one young horse off the track, developing it and selling it and continuing to do so for many years. Eventually, she was able to bring some investors on board to purchase horses from overseas. She could bring them up to the two-star level and sell them. Her and the investors would profit and she truly enjoyed it as she was not comfortable riding above the Intermediate level. She says, “About five or six years ago, I really wasn’t comfortable at the Intermediate level either. I was starting to realize that I really enjoyed the agent part of the business more than the competing. And Joe kind of came along at that point in my life, which turned out to be very convenient.”

Joe Meyer began his competitive career at the age of six. His parents own and manage the successful Mamaku Stud in New Zealand. He has ridden a variety of horses to the top levels but his most famous partner, Snip, was the horse that he rode at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Together they had top placings at the highest levels of the sport including a 10th place at Badminton in 2006 and 7th place in 2007. Joe has produced numerous horses to the Advanced level and continues to produce horses while currently based in Ocala, FL. This year, he may be competing at Rolex if plans stay on track. Joe is very happy to accept horses into his program for training, competing and resale. Year round, Joe is a sought after clinician and he does clinics all over North America and the Bahamas. He also coaches a growing group of students on a regular basis.

Since Ruthie and Joe have become a couple, the biggest part of their business is finding the right horse for a variety of clients including young riders, amateurs and pros. Ruthie focuses on finding horses in the Ocala market place where she has lived for many years. She says, “I have a very different perspective about what I do now that I no longer ride. I really enjoy it and I love meeting people. People come in twice a week. I ride around in the car with them. I make friends. We do crazy things. We end up becoming friends and I meet many friends through the business. I really like the social aspect my job as well as matching up the horses and riders. Since I don’t ride now I’m able to dedicate 100% of my time to finding horses for clients.”

Joe says, “Ruthie has good idea of what is in Ocala, and makes it her business to know what everybody has in their barn. She is very good at putting the right horse with the right person.”

Joe on the other hand focuses on finding horses in Europe since he lived there for over 15 years and has a network of contacts. Going abroad with Joe to find a horse is a very simple process and if a client has a valid passport, travel can be arranged in three to four weeks. The best time to buy horses overseas is October to November as the season is over and people are prepared to sell rather than keep them through the winter.

Joe says, “The most important thing for us is that we get the right horse to the right person, and then we get return business. That’s the crux of it. Sometimes people don’t buy one, but that’s just one of those things. But we are very proud of the fact that we have many return customers and referrals.”

Ruthie adds, “We have on many occasions purchased horses for clients from Europe without the client making the trip. For example, Copper Beach and The Apprentice for Buck Davidson were purchases sight unseen. He bought both of those based on me sourcing them and Joe sitting on them, riding them, and saying, it’s like this, this, and this. Both of those horses have been very successful. There are a lot of other people we have done the same for but aren’t big names like Buck. We take a lot of pride in doing this. If someone buys a horse that we source overseas, sight unseen, and they don’t like it, they can send it back to us, and we’ll sell it for free. We understand that if you buy something and you haven’t seen it, it’s a big, big risk. We are pretty much guaranteeing that if it’s not the horse for you, it’s going to be something we’re going to sell pretty quick.”

Joe and Ruthie married in a private ceremony and prefer to keep the date a secret. The best love stories always have an air of mystery to them! If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting the Meyer home for dinner or watching their interaction at a show, you cannot help but notice the affection that these two have for each other. As this is their busiest time of year, during the days they are not able to spend as much time together. However, in the evening, they are spending quality time watching the Bachelor, although Joe may deny it!

They have travelled the world together and built a life and home in Ocala, FL. They share their home with a bird and a couple of beloved dogs. Joe’s daughters Viv and Lexi visit in person a few times a year but are in the house daily through Skype.

Ruthie&Joe

Ruthie and Joe unplugged
Thank you Ruthie and Joe for sharing some fun details about your love story.

Where did you meet?
Ruthie: Europe. There was an initial mutual attraction. I was wondering immediately, who is this interesting guy.
Joe: At the side of a horse box at Bramham Horse Trials. We were with a group having drinks.

Where did you go on your first date?
Joe:
We got together again at a drunken barbecue.
Ruthie: It was my birthday.
Joe:Yeah, it was her birthday and she may have had too much to drink, and I may have had to take her back to my horsebox to make sure that she was okay.

Who said ‘I love you’ first?
Joe:
Me.
Ruthie It was very, very romantic for us because we both knew we had never felt like this before. We were completely, completely head-over-heels in love, and that hasn’t changed. We’re four years later and we still tell each other all the time how lucky we are to have each other.”

Joe, what do you love most about Ruthie?
Joe:
Her company. Yeah, I love having her around me. I love hanging out with her and doing things together. The other thing I thrive on is her encouragement as she’s fantastic at that. She pulls me into line every now and then if I’m straying off, but she’s really, really encouraging. She’ll say, “Didn’t that horse go great? Isn’t this good?” She’s very, very positive, and so she’s a great person to be around.

Ruthie, what do you love most about Joe?
Ruthie
Well, I would say dinnertime because he’s a fabulous cook, and I do nothing domestic. He cooks dinner and we sit up at that bar every night together and we talk about the day. He always cooks me a fantastic dinner. I’ll drink a margarita and not do anything. We laugh about it but we really are attached at the hip. It seems really hokey but he’ll turn around and say, “Well, I need to run to the grocery store. Are you coming with me?” We literally do everything together.

Where’s the most romantic place you guys have been?
Ruthie: Disney boat cruise.
Joe: I don’t know. It’s a toss-up. There’s a couple of different ones. But yeah, the Disney cruise was fantastic. We are really lucky. We did have a really fabulous vacation over Christmas in New Zealand at our house with the girls there. We had 15 days up there with family and the kids. We did it really well this year, didn’t drive anywhere. We stayed at our vacation house on the side of the lake.

Ruthie, what’s the best gift Joe gave you?
Ruthie: I’m going to try not to get emotional about this. (She failed and cried.) But I already am. Snippy. Having that time riding that horse, and I still miss him. I’m so sorry about getting all emotional. You know, that was a special thing in Joe’s life and then came to my life, and he was a very special horse to me, too. Joe let me ride him in his retirement. I consider that a gift. Snip had amazing character. You know, everybody was drawn to him. He was a once-in-a-lifetime horse. He ended up being something I was very emotionally attached to, and having that time with that horse was very special.

Joe, what’s the best gift Ruthie gave you?
Joe: This farm. After trying to get my Visa for three months in the UK, we came back here and she said “I hope you like this place. I’ve just bought it.” I knew she’d looked at it. Knowing myself, I probably would’ve come and gone, because it was a complete wreck with 30 cats in it. We arrived back in the US and I spent two weeks, doing it up. After the first room, I painted the bedroom, and just got the ceiling, two ceilings done or whatever it was, and Ruthie said, “I can’t do this. I cannot do it. It’s too hard. I’m going to call a decorator.”
Ruthie: I said to the decorator, we have plastic down. We have everything taped. How much is it going to cost? And they were like $3,000, and I was like, never mind, back to painting.
Joe: No, Ruthie, no, you did not paint. You fetched and carried. You did trips to Lowe’s. You did the lunch and things like that. You were like, do you need some cold beers? I believe in playing people to their skills. That’s what she was good at. We have been so lucky because we compliment each other in so many ways.

 

Need help finding your next horse:
If you are looking for your next equine partner, you can contact Ruthie. You just need to know what you want and they will arrange for you to try out a group of viable candidates.

When you contact Ruthie just have the answers for these five questions:

  1. What type of horse do you want?
  2. How old do you want it to be?
  3. How big do you want the horse?
  4. What do you want to do with the horse?
  5. What is your budget for the horse?

Students and clinics:
Joe has a few clinic dates open for 2015. However, his calendar is filling up fast so contact him as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Email: ruthie@joemeyereventing.com
Ruthie: 1-386-965-5663
Joe: 1-352-615-5907
Website

To keep up with Joe on a daily basis:
Twitter     Facebook

To keep up with Ruthie on a daily basis:
Twitter     Facebook

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