In the News Blog - The Chronicle of the Horse - August 6, 2019

Creating Right Program Starts With Knowing Your Horse

We’re only a week away from the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship and the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, two of the biggest events of the year for hunters.

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In the News - Great Lakes Equestrian Festival - July 19, 2019

Caitlyn Shiels Tops Performance Hunters at Great Lakes

Professional hunter competition returned to the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, for the first half of Week III, where a series of new champions were crowned. In the High Performance Hunters, Caitlyn Shiels of True North Stables, based out of Illinois and Florida, piloted Cassius to the top of the scorecard.

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In the News - Equine Journal - May 1, 2019

Collecting thoughts: Caitlyn shiels

Growing up in Sheffield, MA,, Caitlyn Shiels fell in love with riding at the age of eight and quickly dedicated herself to equestrian sport. As a junior rider, Caitlyn began commuting to New York to train with Andre Dignelli as a working student at Heritage Farm. Under his tutelage, she finished in the top 10 of each of the major American equitation finals and claimed both the team and individual gold medals at the 2004 North American Young Rider Championships.


In the News Blog - The Chronicle of the Horse - March 19, 2019

Attitude And Honesty Can Open A Lot Of Doors

Having the opportunity to blog for The Chronicle of the Horse is rewarding for a number of reasons, but one of them is the way that it encourages me to reflect on the highs and lows of running my own hunter/jumper training program, True North Stables. I get to reflect on what I have accomplished and what lessons I’ve learned. It also gives me the opportunity to share that insight with others so that hopefully someone else will find it beneficial.

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In the News - Sidelines Magazine - March 1, 2019

Michelle durpettI: an old-Fashioned work ethic

As Michelle Durpetti waits to jog her amateur-owner hunter, Lucca, at the Kentucky Horse Park, she is talking animatedly into headphones tucked carefully under her helmet with her cell phone in hand.  

The 39-year-old Chicago native is on a conference call with part of the Turnkey Hospitality Group team – her family’s company whose brands include famed Chicago steakhouses Gene & Georgetti, The Estate wedding venue, Turnkey Events Catering, and more.

Marisa Malevitis and KT Forest photo courtesy of True North Stables.jpeg

In the News - Sidelines Magazine - March 1, 2019

Ingate: show news

Illinois- and Florida- based True North Stables kicked off the winter season in winning style at the World Equestrian Center Winter Classic #3 at the World Equestrian Center in Chagrin, Ohio. Led by trainer Caitlyn Shiels, junior and amateur riders Erica Halstead, Katie Hawkins, and Marisa Malevitis (pictured) all claimed top-two finishes in the low children’s jumpers, low adult amateur jumpers, and adult amateur jumpers, respectively.

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In the News - The Plaid Horse - January 1, 2019


Ask anyone what they think it takes to make it in the equestrian industry, and, while you may get a myriad of answers, there is likely to be a resoundingly common one: money. In today’s hunter/jumper sport there is the perception that it is only with vast financial means that one can achieve success.


In the News Blog - The Chronicle of the Horse - January 1, 2019

Oh, The Places I’ve Gone And The Lessons I’ve Learned

“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!”

One year ago, I shared that excerpt from Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” on Facebook because I, full of exhilaration and a healthy dose of nerves, was about to set off to a new “great place” and to take on a new mountain: the launch of my own, Illinois-based riding and training business, True North Stables.

Now, looking back over the past year, oh, the places we’ve gone! There’s been travel to favorite shows in Florida, Michigan, Iowa and Kentucky, but also to emotional “places”—like the high mountain top that is seeing clients succeed and reach their goals and the low valley that is dealing with uncertainty of business success and finding the right clients, of health concerns, of wondering if you have what it takes.

Looking back over the past year and my first year in business, it’s gratifying to reflect on the places that True North Stables has gone and the lessons that I have learned along the way.


In the News - Modern Luxury - December 20, 2018

The Best of Chicago Lifestyle for 2019

Best Place to Board a Champion

Caitlyn Shiels provides boarding and training at her new True North Stables. The barn excels at taking both horse and rider to the next level. 41900 N. Delany Road, Zion

Emily Britton, Marisa Malevitis, Michelle Durpetti, Caitlyn Shiels, and Katie Hawkins by Fine Art Horses_IMG_0766.JPG

Press Release - August 9, 2018

True North is 'Great' in Traverse City

In January 2018, Caitlyn Shiels launched her own True North Stables with the goal of growing a barn of riders dedicated to learning proper horsemanship and to pursuing success in the show ring at any level.

Now, only eight months later, Shiels is seeing that goal come to fruition – as was evident at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF).


Press Release - June 22, 2018

True North Stables Takes Top Ribbons at Country Heir Horse Shows 

In 2013, Caitlyn Shiels purchased a six-year-old grand prix prospect named Cavalier II, and now, after five years of Shiels’ tireless training and tutelage, Cavalier II is no longer a grand prix prospect but has developed into a grand prix-winning mount.

Fresh off a win in the $25,000 Maffitt Lake Grand Prix in Cumming, IA, in May, Shiels and the 11-year-old warmblood gelding traveled to the Country Heir Horse Shows, held June 6-10 and June 13-17 in Lexington, KY. There they topped the $1,400 1.40m Jumpers on Thursday, June 14, and they returned to the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park the following day to take fourth in the $25,000 Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital Grand Prix with a double clear effort.


Press Release - May 24, 2018

Caitlyn Shiels Earns Grand Prix and Hunter Derby Wins at Maffitt Lake for True North Team

True North Stables’ Caitlyn Shiels rode Cavalier II to the win in the $25,000 Maffitt Lake Grand Prix on Saturday, May 12, a mere 24 hours after winning the $2,500 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) National Hunter Derby riding Cassius.

Shiels’ back-to-back victories in both the jumper and hunter rings marked just two of the many highlights from True North Stables’ successful two weeks at the Maffitt Lake Spring Gathering I & II, held May 9-13 and May 16-20 in Cumming, Iowa.


Press Release - March 22, 2018

Join the Team! True North Heads to New Illinois Location and Looks to Accept Limited Number of New Clients

Accomplished professional rider and trainer Caitlyn Shiels launched her own True North Stables in January 2018, and now, following a successful winter circuit in Wellington and Ocala, FL, True North Stables will head north to a new location at Buena Vista Farm in Zion, IL, and will begin accepting new clients.

“I am looking forward to returning to Illinois and getting settled, and I am really excited to be accepting clients of all levels and with a wide range of goals within the hunters, jumpers and equitation,” said Shiels. “Having competed both as a junior and a professional in each, I can’t wait to begin helping people set and reach their riding and competitive goals”


Press Release - February 5, 2018

True North Stables Celebrates Successful First Month With Wins at Winter Equestrian Festival

In its inaugural month of operation, True North Stables brought home top honors from the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida, including victories for both lead rider and trainer Caitlyn Shiels and amateur competitor Michelle Durpetti. Shiels rode her own Cavalier II to the win in the $2,500 1.35m Jumpers during WEF 1, while Durpetti and Cassius claimed a win and the reserve championship in the Osphos® Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Hunters 3’3” during WEF 2.

“The entire Winter Equestrian Festival season is so competitive, so to be able to start out by launching this new venture there and to have it go so well is fantastic,” said Shiels, whose business is now based out of both Florida and Illinois.


In the News - The Plaid Horse - January 12, 2018

Caitlyn Shiels Launches Own True North Stables

Following decades of industry experience, professional rider and trainer Caitlyn Shiels has launched her own True North Stables, dedicated to providing top-of-the-line hunter/jumper riding and training services with the goal-oriented equestrian in mind with locations in Illinois and Florida.

“It’s an exciting, natural next chapter,” said Shiels, who spent the last four years working as an assistant trainer for Greg Franklin of Canterbury Farm in Hampshire, IL. “I’ve always wanted and worked toward being on my own, operating my own business, and growing as an individual. The timing now is fantastic. We – myself, the horses, and clients – had a really solid year in 2017, which was a great stepping stone for me in my career, and I feel very ready for this next venture.”


In the News - WPTV - January 10, 2018

Winter Equestrian Festival begins

It's the start of the busy season for equestrian riders in Wellington. Wednesday marked the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

The festival is held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. It is the largest and longest running horse show circuit in the world. On any given day 1,500 to 2,000 horses compete on the grounds.

Caitlyn Shiels, a professional rider from Chicago says she looks forward to the event.