Meet Our Board

Kristin Mills

Chapter Chair

Kristin is a German professional FEI competition dressage rider based in Sacramento, CA. Competing in Europe and the US, Kristin holds Bronze and Silver Medals from the Deutsche Reiterliche Vereinigung (FN) and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals from the United States Dressage Federation (USDF).

Kristin began riding in her hometown Hamburg, Germany at age three where she competed in dressage shows and later pursued riding as her profession. Kristin apprenticed under renowned dressage judge/trainer Juergen Böckmann in Schenefeld, Germany for five years, focusing on classical German riding principles promoting harmony between horse and rider. In 2006, Kristin attended the prestigious Nordrhein Westfälischen Landgestüt Warendorf where she successfully completed the two-day long German Bereiterprüfung examination, earning the celebrated title of “Bereiter FN” and state licensures as both a dressage and jumping instructor.

In 2008, Kristin moved to California and founded Kristin Mills Dressage. She became a USDF L program graduate, has been COPA USPRE winner and team rider, has won the FHANA Dressage Performance Award, and earned placings at several Regional Championships. Kristin currently trains a select number of dedicated students and their horses and continues to compete internationally.

Carlee Arnett

Chapter Treasurer

My first memories are of the horse in the pasture next to our house. When I would go missing, I could be found curled up in the grass near the horse. My father says my love of horses started there and there was no point fighting it. As a teenager, I rode hunters at Blue Cloud Farm in Longmont, CO. After graduating high school, I went to Germany and was not involved with horses for 22 years. Then I adopted a retired horse from UC Davis and took an off-track standard bred from a rescue. Not too much later, I was taking riding lessons. After a year, I retired the standard bred and decided to buy a dressage horse. This was an excellent decision! We are currently competing at First Level and it has been a wonderful experience.

Nancy Johnson

Chapter Secretary

Born and raised in California, I’ve been living in Vacaville since 1974. My lifelong passion for horses apparently started as soon as I could talk, as Dad said the first words out of my mouth were: “Dad, I want a horse”. No Dada, pony…horse. And from thence it went! I started out having my horse saddled for me (the saddle outweighed me!) and being led up and down the driveway. Graduated from there to 4-H, riding Western and galloping all around the countryside. As an adult, I decided I wanted to learn to jump and started taking Hunter Jumper lessons. It was durimg that time a guest trainer came in and her discipline was eventing. I was hooked! I evented until my mare decided she didn’t want to jump any more, so we continued with our dressage training, discovered how much fun cows were to move around, packed the mules and trekked up the mountains, trail rode at Pt. Reyes (although never did make it to the beach…that’s still on my bucket list). My last ride on her was at 33 years old, and she passed away at 35. So my “new” guy, who is 26 this year, a Thoroughbred long off a successful racing career is happy just walking down the road. I’ve been offered the wonderful opportunity to ride Julie Smith’s mare, ReJoyce, who is very busy teaching me to RIDE! I’m learning so much from her, and hopefully she’s learning a thing or two from me.

I’m new to CDS, and as Secretary, I’m very trainable. I look forward to working with everyone, learning about the Society and what it offers the riding community.

Julie Smith

Education Director/Adult Camp

I have loved horses from my earliest memories. After years of watching from afar, I began riding at the age of 10. From that time, horses have always been a part of my life. I have been a member of CDS for approximately 25 years, with my participation ebbing and flowing as other work/life responsibilities took precedence.

I am now retired from a 30 year career at UC Davis, and live with my husband Stan in the hills of Vacaville. We have country property that allows me to have my horses at home as well as board a few horses too!

I currently am riding a 7 year old Hanoverian mare "Fabrizia". We competed this past year at 1st level and are schooling 2nd level with hopes of competing at that level next year. I also have a 5 year old homebred mare "ReJoyce". We haven't competed yet, but hope to next year. I never thought I would have a redheaded mare, and now I have two and love them both.

Pamela Carroll

Communications Director

Have you ever tried to take a selfie with a horse….or two….at dawn….in the rain?! I highly recommend it! It’s a great way to start the day. Most of the photos are hilarious! As usual, my horses gave me a real dose of joy on the morning I tried to take photos for this bio!!

Like most of you, I cannot remember a time that I was not obsessed and totally in love with horses. I was fortunate to have my first horse, Rosa, when I was 11 years old. We lived just outside of Madrid, Spain and she was a PRE mare that I could not believe was mine! Over the years I have known and loved many beautiful equines. Currently I share a 5 acre property with two PRE mares; Samba and her daughter, Skye.

As a teenager, I rode bareback except for once a year; I used a saddle when I rode in the Fiesta Days Parade through downtown Vacaville! While a student at UCDavis, I learned to play polo and I have played polo in the US, India, New Zealand and Argentina. My horsey travel adventures also include a safari on horseback in South Africa and riding trips in Ireland, New Zealand and Portugal. My Dressage journey began while I was working and living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In order to ride, I took lessons at a stable in the city. The lessons were tailored to the discipline of the instructor. I learn to jump a little until the jumping instructor went back to England. She was replaced by a Swedish Dressage instructor. So my education in Dressage began. I am not a competitive rider and am very much an amateur; but I love learning about fine tuning my communication with my horse and how to influence her way of going.

As your Communications Director, it will be my privilege to communicate with all of you the Dressage news from our chapter and beyond.

Annette Pressas

Past Chair

Annette Pressas was born with cowboy boots on. At least, that's the way her family remembers it. Since her first trophy earned riding as a toddler in a parade, Annette had the bug to show and ride elegant horses. She already was horse crazy and began showing with her first pony, an ornery Shetland that was gorgeous. Annette collected more horses and rode in 4-H and local schooling shows in western disciplines, never with formal lessons outside of 4-H.

Annette fell in love with the beauty, precision and athleticism of dressage after attending the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. In 1999, she began her training in dressage. A year later she bought her beloved partner, Frappuccino.

Annette studied the rules of dressage at all levels and became the go-to gal for anybody with technical questions. She began serving on the Sacramento Valley Chapter of CDS in various positions in the early 2000s.