Our History

Since 1956, Runnymede Stables has been the family business of Charlotte Moffitt Troup, her daughter, Lee Troup Johnson, and Lee’s children, Sean & Kelli Johnson.  More than eighty years of training experience is available at Runnymede.

Runnymede Stables was established by Charlotte Moffitt Troup in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the Fall of 1956.

Charlotte had given lessons to local children and, in 1956, decided to start a riding school that she named Runnymede School of Horsemanship.  The stable specialized in the hunt seat style, teaching children in the Harrisburg area and taking them to local horse shows.  A tragic fire destroyed the stables in 1981.  Additionally, the Harrisburg urban area was beginning to encroach upon the farm, so Charlotte and daughter, Lee, decided to rebuild the stables in Oklahoma.  The present Runnymede Stables in Glenpool, Oklahoma, is just south of Tulsa, and was custom designed and built in 1983.

Runnymede has produced excellent horses, including champions Copino and I’m A Copino Too.

Through the years, Runnymede Stables has handled most breeds of horses, including thoroughbreds, Quarter horses, Appaloosas, Morgans and Paints.  In the 1970’s, Runnymede was primarily involved with the Appaloosa breed.

The most well-known Appaloosa stallion at Runnymede during this period, Copino (whom Lee Troup Johnson showed for ten years until his death), demonstrated his athletic ability by winning thirteen ROM’s; and his son, I’m A Copino Too, winning World and National titles through his lifetime in all 3 seats, plus driving and trail..

Other Appaloosas were Captain Frost, Rebel Son, Arapahoe Jess, Mighty Booger, Sully’s Lady Venture, Jag-on-Joe, Hot Cinderbar, Touch Me Echo, Above and Beyond, Front Page, Might Amy, Just A Double, Cofleet…and the list goes on.

Runnymede’s riders have competed in Appaloosa shows under the Runnymede banner in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Oklahoma Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, and in Ontario, Canada.

Several nationally ranked eventers, including Aaron Thompson, Sean Johnson, and Jessica Gordon, have begun their careers at Runnymede. Two very noted Appaloosa trainers from Runnymede are Rob Meneely of Meneely Show Horses in Conyers, Georgia; and Connie Strauss Burchett of Burchett Show Horses from Harrisburg, PA. Well known hunter jumper trainer Jill Schull of Harrisburg, PA also began her career with Runnymede, and Paint Horse trainer Tonia Nance of Wichita, KS. had her start with us. New Jersey’s Forest Edge Farm, owner and operated by Ursula Yahn has its roots from Runnymede.

Morgan horses have been prominent among the breeds trained for riding, carriage and versatility competitions. Fortune’s Amber Lady, Fortune’s Hightime, and many more have won national titles in carriage and under saddle.

On any given day, Runnymede might have an eventer, hunter, jumper, carriage-driving horse, western pleasure horse, polo pony, barrel racing, reining, or trail horse in training.

The stable is a full care training facility as well as training and lessons.  We accept any breed and help people achieve their goals..

 

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The First Generation

More than eighty years of experience is available from the trainers at Runnymede Stables. Our family’s equine roots begin with the Beaufort Hunt, and thefamilyphoto_george02 Pennsylvania National Horse Show. 

From Our First GenerationGeorge R. Moffitt, original member of the Beaufort Hunt in Harrisburg, PA.  George served on founding committee of Harrisburg Horse Show

Also from Our First GenerationLillian Moffitt.  On the original Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, founded in 1936, which, to this day, is classified as one of the Big Four national horse shows.

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January 10, 1939
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This group includes some of the prime movers in arranging for the first indoor exhibition by the Harrisburg Horse Show Association, Inc., which took place in the new Arena at the State Farm Show. L to R:  Dr. George R. Moffitt, member of board of directors of the association; Mrs. Moffitt; Farley Gannett, director; Harry Banzhoff, director; Ehrman B. Mitchell, secretary, and C. Fred Crane from Harrisburg.

The Second Generation

In our Second Generation, the family’s equestrian excellence continues with daughter Charlotte Moffitt-Troup.

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As a young girl, Charlotte showed thoroughbred horses in Hunt Seat Equestrian classes and over-fences. She then became an avid foxhunter and a member of the Beaufort Hunt. From 1939 to 1944 she was one of the “Whipper Ins” for the hunt. After the birth of her daughter she gave up foxhunting but not her love for horses. From 1944 to 1956 she cared for her own horses as well as her father-in-law’s saddlebreds.

Throughout that time in her life she remained interested in the horses and always wanted to contribute more to the community. In the fall of 1956 she opened a riding school known as Runnymede School of Horsemanship in Harrisburg, PA. That business became the birth of Runnymede Stables. After a tragic fire in 1981, the facility was moved to Tulsa, OK where it remains a very successful training facility today.

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The Patriot News
June 4, 1938
Miss Charlotte Mofitt,
Harrisburg, riding “Bracola”
[Bracola was sired by Bracadale,
a brother to Man O’ War,
both being sired by Fair Play
]

The Patriot News
March 25, 1935

Charlotte Moffitt on her horse, “Scottie”, which she will ride in the horse show to be held for the benefit of the
Junior Red Cross at the Harrisburg Barracks.

The Third Generation

Carrying on the family tradition into the third generation is Charlotte’s daughter, Lee Troup Johnson.

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Lee was a very successful rider, and was the first woman selected to train with the U.S. 3-Day Olympic Equestrian Team. Lee Troup-Johnson was the 1964 USCTA Rider of the Year.  Her horse, Whispering Sam, was awarded Horse of the Year that same year.

While still a teenager, Lee fell in love with jumping. In the 1960’s Lee rode open jumpers with Matthew Douglas and event horses with Betty Howett and Collette Stevens at the Potomac Horse Center.

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Lee’s success and desire led her to become a student of General Jonathan R. Burton of the U.S. Olympic Team.  She became an avid eventer and was one of the pioneer women in the sport of eventing, which until that time was primarily a “man’s sport”.

Lee won the three-day event in Gladstone, New Jersey in 1964 and was selected by the USCTA as Rider of the Year.

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In 1968, Lee joined the family business as a professional and the name of the business was changed to Runnymede Stables. Also in 1968, Lee married her husband, who was the Monty Roberts of that era.  Through him, Lee became interested in the behavior of the horse.  From her experience she learned that many well known theories were not exactly correct and, after her husband’s death, headed West to study equine behavior.  In Thousand Oaks, California, Lee apprenticed with renowned horse trainers, Jack and Linda Baker, where she started a training program to break and train problem horses.

Lee specializes in training a rider to understand their horse.  Her greatest reward is to give the rider and horse a new start, and watch it flourish from a new beginning.

 The Fourth Generation

And now the reins are passed to the fourth generation, Sean Johnson and Kelli Johnson, Lee’s son and daughter. Sean has left the family business to pursue a career with reining horses. Sean has a long list of awards and honors is already one of America’s up and coming horsemen. Kelli started her career on a morgan jumping pony and became very successful in the show ring at a very early age.  Kelli went on to become an avid pony cluber with the Council Oaks Pony Club. After out growing her favorite pony she continued with the pony club on her horse “Shelley Time”.  When she graduated she moved on to a job and a husband now a mother.  Before she became a mother she helped for several years with the younger students and worked as my assistant trainer showing her beloved Sneak Preview at local shows and horse trials.  Now with her little one she is being a full time mom.

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