ABOUT US

About Us

Special thanks to Jaclyn Jacobs for her beautiful video and production!

 

meet the team

Kelly Kraegel

Kelly Kraegel

Owner/Trainer/Show Instructor

Kelly Kraegel has built a thriving business through hard work and groundbreaking accomplishments in the horse industry. In 2016, she became the first professional to train both the ASB Open Western Pleasure World Grand Champion and the Morgan Open Western Pleasure World Champion in the same year. She is also a USEF “R” Morgan judge and in 2021, she judged the second largest Morgan show in the world—the New England Regional. In 2022, Kelly achieved her USEF “r” judging cards for Saddlebred, Hackney & Harness Pony, Roadster and Saddle Seat Equitation.

World ChampionshipKelly’s positive training methods and dedication have taken herself and her customers to over 300 World and Grand National and Reserve Championships. She has given clinics all over the United States and Canada, and was voted the 2011, 2013 and 2014 Horse World’s People’s Choice Instructor of the Year, as well as voted the 2013 AMHA Promoter of the Year. She has been featured in articles for The Morgan Horse Magazine, The International Morgan Connection and Horse World Magazine. On a local level, Cottonwood Creek Ranch was voted Best of Guthrie Awards for Ranches every year from 2015-2021. She loves her job, her customers and her horses and her bubbly personality and attention to detail creates a successful environment.

World Cup Team 2015

2015 World Cup Team

One of her proudest accomplishments was serving as the coach for the 2015 Young Riders World Cup team in South Africa. Her dedication took the team to the top of EVERY gold medal offered—3-Gaited Team, 3-Gaited Individual, 5-Gaited Team and 5-Gaited Individual. She has also judged and given clinics in England with our Morgan family “across the pond”.

Kelly loves giving back to her equestrian community and she is the 2022 American Morgan Horse Association Vice President of the Board of Directors, and has been chairman of the AMHA Welfare and Rescue Committee for 2021-2022. She also sits on the 2022 AMHA Bylaws Committee, the 2022 AMHA & UPHA Marketing Committees, and the 2021 AMHA Finance Committee. Reaching into the Saddlebred World, Kelly was asked to join the 2022 American Saddlebred Breeder’s Committee after a speaking engagement at the 2022 UPHA/AMHA Convention.

Never one to sit idly by, in 2021 she was promoted to Regional Vice President and earned her white Mercedes with Arbonne, a health and wellness company.

Kelly was born and raised in Southern California. In 2002, she held the title of Miss Rodeo California. She was First Runner Up to Miss Rodeo America 2003, and also won Miss Photogenic and Miss Appearance. She also hosted a Country Music Show for three seasons on the Outdoor Channel, called “Out in the Country”, where she interviewed music artists every week and introduced videos for many top country artists. She has modeled for magazine’s such as Cowboys and Indians and Western Horsemen and is frequently featured in television commercials for local businesses with her beautiful horses (visit our CCR In The Media page). Kelly now She Bleu Me Awayhas her Commercial Driver’s License to drive her Peterbilt tractor and 15 horse Streamliner trailer, and even has a concealed carry handgun license. Besides her love for horses, Kelly has a pilot’s license and has logged hundreds of hours. To add to her list of accomplishments, Kelly is Scuba certified and she is proud to have enjoyed diving the three largest reefs in the world.

In January of 2009, Kelly’s daughter Emmy was born. Now most of her time away from the barn is spent enjoying her daughter.

In 2021, Kelly started Firecracker holdings LLC, an AirBnB business catering to those who enjoy the serenity of horses, nature and first class amenities.

Elizabeth Beard

Elizabeth Beard

Barn Manager

Manager extraordinaire, Elizabeth Beard, has been a staple in our barn and part of the Cottonwood Creek family for many years. She continues to manage our bookkeeping, digital systems, and other needs via the internet, and continues to be a sounding board and beacon of light in particularly difficult situations when needed.
Elizabeth Beard
There is no doubt a huge presence missing in the barn without her. We miss her everyday kindness, humor, calm demeanor around the wildest of horses, and the way she kept everything and everyone on the farm in perfect order. However, we love having her just an email, text or phone call away to save us from digital craziness! We are very lucky to have her here as part of the CCR family.

 

Melissa Swain

Melissa Swain

Trainer

Melissa began riding and showing Saddle Seat on American Saddlebreds at the tender age of five years old.

Melissa Swain

She competed very heavily and was able to travel all over the country, competing in such prestigious venues as the World’s Grand Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville multiple times, under the instruction of Marsha and Gary Garone of Fairfield South.
Melissa Swain She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2015 with a degree in Equine Management. In May 2015, she moved from Massachusetts to Oklahoma and started as an assistant trainer at Cottonwood Creek Ranch. Currently, Melissa is working on building the lesson program and bringing more people into our wonderful Morgan and Saddlebred breeds.

 

Madi DeBee

Madi DeBee

Academy Instructor

Madi began riding Morgans at 14 years of age in a lesson program, graduating quickly into the show program. Soon after, she showed under the Cottonwood Creek Ranch banner! She has shown in multiple seats including saddle seat, hunt seat, western, dressage, equitation and more.

During college, Madi worked at Cottonwood Creek Ranch as a groom. After receiving a degree in finance from the University of Central Oklahoma, she worked in the real estate industry. She worked under an event-based organization showcasing Oklahoma development, as well as being a project manager for a residential developer. After several years in the real estate development industry, she decided it was time to follow her passion back into the equine industry.

Madi is excited to continue growing the CCR lesson program and looks forward to introducing riders to the Morgan and American Saddlebred breeds.

Madi DeBee
Victory Pass Madi
Western Madi