Who We Are

Celeste Hotze

Celeste is the primary operator of Appalachian Eventing.  Horse crazy since birth, Celeste was begging pony rides off neighbors before she could walk.  At the age of 3 her parents thought they might silence her pleas for a pony by giving her riding lessons with a local instructor.  Little did they know it would only make things worse.  At age 4 Celeste's family adopted a pony "for all of the kids to share", but as soon as her brothers realized they had to take turns riding they lost interest and Napoleon became Celeste's closest companion.  A 6 year old Shetland pony, Napoleon had originally been used as a stud.  When he outgrew the breeder's mares they gelded him late but were left with a very rank gelding who became a liability to their boarding operations.  After some time Napoleon let go of his stallion habits and became your typical perfect first pony.  He taught Celeste all the basics from walk, trot, and canter to her first experiences jumping.

When they finally accepted the fact that her horse habit wasn't going away any time soon, Celeste's parents decided to adopt her first horse, Scotty, through the 4-H program.  Scotty was a saint in Quarter Horse form and he safely carried Celeste through many adventures both in the jumper ring and out on trails. 

A second green horse followed a few years later, Boo, a Thoroughbred with a patchy history.  Celeste decided to train Boo for 3-day eventing and see how they liked it.  Boo still thinks cross country ditch jumps are his mortal enemy, but Celeste fell in love with the sport and they never looked back!

Celeste attended Roanoke College, attaining her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Accounting in the spring of 2011.  While she knew the education was superb, Celeste had always dreamed of riding for her college and Roanoke did not have any equestrian programs.  So Celeste did the only thing she could do... she founded an equestrian club for horse enthusiasts and then convinced Roanoke's Board to allow her to found an Intercollegiate Riding Team to represent RC at Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competitions.  Celeste served as the team's Captain until her senior year and was proud to help her start-up team hold their own against prestigious riding schools such as Hollins University, Sweet Briar College, Randolph-Macon, UVA, and Bridgewater College.  The RC Riding Team continues to ride and compete.

Throughout the years Celeste has ridden, retrained, and started numerous horses undersaddle and over fences including bringing Boo along from a green walk, trot, canter horse to jumping 3' courses.  In October of 2011 she fell head over heels for a 3 year old horse up for adoption on the track at Laurel Park in Maryland.  She decided it was time to retrain her first Off Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) coming directly out of racing.  Reily is currently showing at Novice level eventing and hoping to move up to Training level soon.  

Whether it's a 12 hand pony or an 18 hand warmblood, Celeste has ridden, trained, and loved them all.

Ben Hotze

Ben is the ultimate jack of all trades at Appalachian Eventing.  Cameraman extraordinaire, show day helper, jump setter, fence mender, chainsaw wrangler, and all-around wonderful person, Ben is the husband that every horse girl dreams of.  When Celeste isn't recruiting his help you're likely to find him fixing a four-wheeling vehicle or cuddling with the nearest feline.

At Appalachian Eventing, we are focused on providing equestrian services with the highest levels of quality and safety, and we will do everything we can to meet your expectations.

With a variety of offerings to choose from, we’re sure you’ll be happy working with us.  Check our Services page for a listing of all that we offer.  Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.  We hope to see you again!  Check back later for new updates, there’s much more to come!

Why Us?

As a small operation we can provide the personal, laid-back experience that both horses and people thrive on!