Tag Archives: Quail Run Horse Centre

Quail Run Discusses Regional Jumping Climate

March 4, 2017 by
Photography by Contributed

This article appears in the program book for the FEI World Cup Finals, produced by Omaha Magazine in March 2017.

Omaha’s equestrian community has made gains over the past several years to better explain and show the beauty of horse jumping and English riding to the area’s general public while also making strides, regionally and nationally, with riders, owners, and exhibitors.  In short, it’s an exciting time to be a horseman or horsewoman in Nebraska’s largest city.

Patrice Urban

Patrice Urban has a healthy, long-view perspective.  She and her husband have owned and operated the Quail Run Horse Centre jumping/training facility near 220th Street and West Maple Road for three decades.  And while, she says, the FEI World CupTM Finals is exciting—in her words “huge”—the work leading up to earning that event has been important, as well.  Thanks to the work of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation, Omaha hosted its first U.S. five-star jumping competition in the region, the International, in 2012.  The International has been held annually since then. The application for the 2017 FEI World CupTM Finals, characterized as a “longshot” bid on the OEF website, was submitted four years ago.  Event organizers in Omaha during the past few years have learned how to make a great show for everyone—participants, horse community members, and the public, she says, and people who come to the FEI World CupTM from beyond the area are going to be pleased.

“They’re going to come because it’s the World Cup, but what’s more important to Omaha is they’re coming to see Omaha,” Urban adds.  She says that she has been educating people about Omaha whenever questions come up about this year’s FEI World CupTM Finals.  Omaha is the first new city selected for the event in a decade.

“We’re in the niche in the United States in the equestrian world that we really don’t exist very much,” Urban says.  “So for them to be able to come to the Midwest and experience our hospitality and what we have to offer is a new adventure for them.”

Dan Urban, Patrice’s 32-year-old son, has grown up in the area’s horse community and says he would enjoy seeing more people get excited about his sport.  He serves as a trainer, instructor, and co-owner at Quail Run. 

“When you’re watching a grand prix like that it’s suspenseful.  It’s exciting. You kind of sit on the edge of your seat when they’re in the speed phase and they’re trying to beat the clock and the rider before them,” Dan says.

Over the past five years, he and his two brothers have been organizing horse competitions, as well, to add onto the horse centre’s teaching and boarding business.

“I want people to know that they’re going to see the top of the top (at the World Cup), but anyone can do this,” he says.  Separate from the International, Quail Run now runs five weeks of competitions.  Prior to offering an Omaha-based riding event, the nearest competitions were in Kansas City, Des Moines, or Colorado.  The recession of 2008 highlighted a need.  Shipping a horse to a horse show in St. Louis costs more than $700, Patrice says. 

“When the gas prices went crazy, shipping went crazy,” she says.  In 2008, the buying and selling of horses in the area took a hit, as well, but teaching riding was a constant.

“Our lessons didn’t take a hit at all. We are very consistent with what we teach and we are always busy,” Patrice says.  “Sometimes we have four instructors teaching at the same time out there.”

“People (after the start of the recession) didn’t want to travel anymore,” Dan says. “They didn’t want to pay to put their horses on a trailer when the nearest venue was four, five, six hours away.”

During the past few years, Quail Run added three outdoor riding arenas and a stabling barn with the competitions in mind.  The facility has 45 stalls and conducts 300 to 450 riding lessons a month. The horse shows typically bring in 95 to 125 horses and are now attracting riders and owners from around the region in their own right. 

Patrice says the OEF’s focus on bringing in spectators to its large events has been important.  Family friendly educational displays, demonstrations, and more have made kids love the International, she says. Dan says he would like to see a lasting economic impact for the metropolitan horse community because of the FEI World CupTM Finals Omaha 2017.   

“It’s here. It’s not some, like, event to put up on a showcase that’s unattainable for people,” he says. “We do this right here in Omaha, and anyone’s invited.”

Dan Urban

February 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Even while pursuing a degree in physics at the University of San Diego, Omaha native Dan Urban always knew he would build a career around his love of horses.

So after graduating college in 2006, he moved back to Nebraska to do just that. Urban serves as a trainer, instructor, and co-owner at Quail Run Horse Centre. His parents, Jim and Patrice, opened the facility near 220th and West Maple Road more than 25 years ago, and it’s where Urban nurtured his passion for equestrian sports, including show jumping.

The sport will be in the spotlight this spring when Omaha hosts The International, an equestrian jumping competition. Now in its second year, the event takes place April 12-13 at the CenturyLink Center Omaha downtown. Organizers are expecting about 200 horses, 135 to 150 professional and amateur riders, and thousands of spectators.

Urban, 29, will be among the local riders. He’s excited about getting the chance to compete at home instead of having to travel to Kansas City, Des Moines, and other cities.25 January 2013- Dan Urban is photographed at Quail Run for Omaha Magazine.

A graduate of Skutt Catholic High School, Urban has been riding horses since he was 4. He loves equestrian sports because of the thrill of competition and the unique partnership between horse and rider.

“Once you get horses in your blood,” he says, “it’s hard to get it out.”

Urban travels all over the country to compete in show jumping, sometimes as much as two weeks out of the month. In May 2012, he and his horse, Astro Boy, won the Grand Prix title at the Midstates Horse Show in Mason City, Iowa.

There’s a great deal of work involved before hitting the competition ring. To build stamina and strength and bring horses to peak fitness and readiness, they undergo various technical exercises, jumps, and other techniques.

“Just like any athlete, you want to make sure they’re in top fitness,” he says.

“Once you get horses in your blood, it’s hard to get it out.”

At Quail Run, Urban spends a good chunk of his day riding and keeping horses in shape. The farm offers acres of trails as well as indoor and outdoor riding arenas. He also gives lessons to riders of all ages and skill levels. Teaching is one of his favorite parts of his work.

In addition to competing at The International, Urban, along with many of his family members, will help with event setup, promotional activities, and other aspects. Bringing high-level equestrian events like the International to Omaha, he says, helps increase awareness and generates interest in horse sports to a wider audience.

25 January 2013- Dan Urban is photographed at Quail Run for Omaha Magazine.

Omahan Lisa Roskens, The International’s chairman of the board, says Urban’s horsemanship and character make him a wonderful representative of the sport.

“For a professional in a sport that takes so much guts, he is very quiet and thoughtful, not brash or full of bravado,” Roskens says. “His down-to-earth approach, combined with a good sense of humor and good horsemanship, make him very effective. He works hard, he’s kind and compassionate to his clients and horses, and really deserves a shot at the spotlight.”