Skip to content

Great Times For The Saccocia Family



People get into and stay in the show horse industry in many different ways and for many different reasons. Time and time again, however, the most reoccurring theme is family involvement. In today’s fast paced society in which children usually have something in front of their face (video/computer screens) or in their ears (cd players/ipods) there are fewer and fewer opportunities for activities which involve the entire family.

The horse has been and continues to be the common bond for the Saccocia family of Halifax, Mass. With their daughters Kasey and Kellie, going to horse shows throughout the New England area is a way of life for the Saccocias. Making it even more complete is the fact that the girls’ grandparents also love to be a part of the process.

Gary grew up around horses and following high school joined his father in their successful equine dentistry practice. The two continue to stay on the road making horses’ mouths happy in both the show horse and thoroughbred industries.

At the age of three, Jill was introduced to American Saddlebreds by her mother Christine Stewart who rode with Briggs Stables in Hanover, Mass. It was a time in her life she cherishes today.

“It brought us so close together. Made us best friends and it remains that way today,” said Jill of the time spent as a child riding and showing with her mother. “We spent so much time together and you learn about love and respect and discipline when you’re involved with horses as a child. You learn to appreciate what you have and how lucky you are to have horses. You especially appreciate it now as an adult when you’re paying the bills."

Jill and Gary met through the horses and the two married and started a family. Now the two girls, Kasey, who is six and a half, and Kellie, age five and a half, are enjoying the same experiences that kept their parents close with their families. Like their mom, both girls started riding at the age of three. They have been instructed by Lillian Gilpin of Rocking Horse Farm, Plymouth, Mass. The family has been with Gilpin for the past 12 years.

“The girls have loved horses since they knew what they were,” said Jill. “They’ve always wanted to ride and when they’re not riding they’re playing horses and having their own little horse shows.

“Showing as a family is a great thing to do together. We bring the camper and the girls just love that. They get to meet and play with the other kids. We are all like family at the barn. They develop some great friendships before things get too competitive. Riding and the shows also teach them a love for animals and respect for other people. I think they mature faster and it gives them confidence to try their best in what ever they are doing.

“Lil[Gilpin] has done such a great job with them. She works so hard and is great with kids. We can’t thank her enough for what she puts into it.”

Both Kasey and Kellie are active participants in the show ring participating in the Leadline division. Kasey started out on a grand Morgan named Stagecoach Portrait, while Kellie started with the American Saddlebred Goody Goody For Me. In March, Papa and Mimi (Gary Sr. and his wife Rosemary) purchased the Morgan mare Indian Creek Belle Star from CPM Stables and the Saccocia family is sharing her. Jill showed her to a reserve in the Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle class at the UPHA Spring Premiere, but she will now be shown by Kellie in Leadline and by Kasey who will be entering the walk and trot division. Earlier this year the sisters showed Indian Creek Belle Star at one of the grass roots South Shore series of shows and each girl won their qualifier and championship.

Not only do Kasey and Kellie have their parents and barn friends to cheer them on, their grandparents are getting a big kick out of it as well. Jill’s mother and Gary’s mom and dad are always around supporting the horse adventures. It’s no wonder they walk a little taller at the shows when their granddaughters are riding. “Papa loves it and loves to be a part of it,” said Jill, “and my mom is still as crazy about it as she ever was. It brings the family together and the girls love having them there.”

As Kasey and Kellie head into the 2005 show season they have new dreams and goals. Kellie is getting quite competitive in the leadline ranks and is looking forward to a year with her new mare. Kasey on the other hand is hoping to make that jump from leadline to walk and trot and knows she wants to go to Louisville.

One thing is for certain, whether it is the two or three days a week riding at Rocking Horse Farm, or the pleasure rides at Papa and Mimi’s or riding across the green shavings of Freedom Hall, the entire Saccocia clan will be there cheering Kasey and Kellie on and enjoying the closeness of family.

More Stories

  • Obituary – Chaudion Womble

    Chaudion Womble, 71, of Chattanooga passed away December 8th at a local hospital. Womble grew up in Flintstone, Georgia, where he learned to train American Saddlebreds with his father and brothers, including Eddie B. Womble and Jimmy Womble. Read More
  • Southern Saddlebred Spring Fling Dates Change

    The Southern Saddlebred Spring Fling will now be a four day show for 2019 so the new dates are April 24-27, 2019... Read More
  • Save the Date for Runway and Rescue

    Save the date for Runway and Rescue on Friday, February 15 at 7:00 pm at Churchill Down’s Starting Gate Suite. Carson Kressley will Emcee the evening’s festivities which include a fashion show, cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres and entertainment... Read More
  • Latest Issue 12 10 18

    Read More
  • Obituary - Gregory Ramos Maldonado

    Gregory Ramos Maldonado passed away Sunday, December 2 at his home in Springfield, Kentucky. He was 63. Read More
  • Obituary – Steve Hanks

    A noted horseman and dear friend to many, Steve Hanks passed away at his residence on Monday, December 3 at the age of 66. Born July 24, 1952 in Statesville, North Carolina, he was the son of Harold Hanks and the late Frances Foster Hanks. Read More
  • Schedule Set for 34th Annual Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stallion Auction

    The 34th Annual Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stallion Service Auction will be held Sunday, January 13, 2019 at the Thunder Bay Restaurant in Milwaukee, WI. Read More
  • 2018 American Saddlebred People's Choice

    You don’t have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in Saddle Horse Report People’s Choice conducted by The Saddle Horse Report and Horse World. It's wide open...just your opinion of who were the 'Best of the Best' during the great 2018 season. Read More
  • 2018 Morgan Horse People's Choice

    You don’t have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in Saddle Horse Report People’s Choice conducted by The Saddle Horse Report and Horse World. It's wide open...just your opinion of who were the 'Best of the Best' during the great 2018 season. Read More
  • Save the Date for LBS Grand Weekend

    The AHHS Limited Breeders Sweepstakes Grand Weekend will be held in Fishers, Indiana starting Friday evening, March 8, 2019. On Saturday, March 9, there will be two sessions of speakers and the annual general membership meeting, followed by the Limited Breeders Sweepstakes dinner and stallion auction. Read More