Why Is Holly Parks The Best Option For Your Equestrian Business?
Updated: Jul 22, 2022
If you don’t personally know Holly Parks, you may not know her extensive experience in the equestrian industry. We'd like to share a little about her journey to help demonstrate her deep understanding of equestrian businesses.
Holly has been an avid eventer for over twenty years with experience all the way through the Intermediate level though it's been a few years now since she has left the start box following the birth of her daughter. She was certified by the USEA's Instructor Certification Program (ICP) through Level II (Preliminary/CCI*) and is a recipient of the USDF Bronze Medal in dressage.
Holly began riding at the age of four and developed her foundation riding in the hunters until she was twelve. At that time, she was introduced to Eventing and Pony Club aboard a spooky Arabian who was sure he wanted to have no part in cross country. Holly would see several more difficult mounts through her early Eventing education, including a Quarter Horse fresh out of a career as a barrel horse and a green Thoroughbred who had recently ended his career on the racetrack. She credits each one with providing her valuable lessons and some scrappy riding skills. From the age of twelve on, Holly has had the care and management of her horses as her responsibility. She is no stranger to unloading a trailer of hay, mucking stalls, or emergency vet visits. After her first year of college, she spent a summer as a working student for Clark Montgomery. Holly touts Clark as providing her the right tools to be successful and confident at the upper levels.
Holly began teaching in 2009 while also working a full-time career as a CPA following graduation from Texas A&M University with both a Bachelor's and Master's. Her intent was to use the additional funds from teaching to cover the tremendous cost of maintaining a travel schedule that included numerous trips across the country each year to compete and train. At the peak of her lesson program, she owned 9 horses, including her personal competition horses and a half dozen lesson horses and ponies for riders of all skill levels. Her barn was full of more than 30 horses in total, including boarders and client horses, and she managed half a dozen workers to meet the needs of the horses and the property. She did all this while still working a 60% schedule for a CPA firm. In 2015, Holly decided that trying to manage two nearly full-time job commitments was unrealistic and chose to end the portion of her lesson program that offered lessons to riders who did not own their own horse. She sold the lesson horses and continued to teach riders with competitive aspirations on their own horses and returned to her CPA position full-time.
In addition to shifting the focus of her teaching business, it was important to Holly to also focus her efforts to obtain the best mounts possible for herself for the future. Knowing she possessed both the time and skills necessary to produce a quality young horse rather than the funds to purchase one, she set out to breed her future superstars. Holly has raised two homebreds and looks forward to returning to competitive sport with them in the future. The homebreds are: 6-year old Irish Sporthorse Flagmount's Newton Physics (Newton) by Flagmount's Freedom and Westfalen yearling Diamanté Noire (Noé) by Hanoverian stallion Donarweiss.
Beginning in college, Holly always knew her desire was to run her own CPA practice. After twelve years of working in public accounting, the birth of her daughter in October of 2019 brought about a new passion for increased flexibility and governance over her life and work schedule. Coincidentally, at the start of COVID, Holly decided it was time to hang out her shingle and leave behind Corporate America. It's a decision she has never looked back from. With the tremendous success of her own firm in its first year came about different struggles. She found that she was still splitting her time between teaching riding lessons, managing and growing her tax business, and spending valuable time with her husband and daughter. The thing left at the end of the day that there wasn't time for was her own time in the saddle! She decided to end her teaching business in 2021 to provide herself with the ability to spend more time pursuing her own competitive aspirations.
Having been involved in all aspects from teaching, training, management, competition, to breeding, Holly has an immense understanding of equine businesses and all the tax and accounting complexities that could be involved. Despite no longer teaching, Holly is still deeply connected to the equestrian world through her own horses, by sponsoring equestrian competitions, and by serving as a a tax advisor for equestrian businesses. Holly takes immense pride in assisting others with not only their compliance needs, but also there business consulting and growth needs. There is nothing more rewarding than being part of the team that helps another business grow and prosper. Contact us to see how Holly can help you spend more time in the saddle, too!