By Jan Westmark
FarmVet trucks offering horse and pet supplements and supplies are a common sight at horse shows throughout the horse world, all the brain child of horseman and entrepreneur Christian Currey.
“I started FarmVet in August 1999 believing I could take my horse experience and leverage it on the internet,” Christian said. “Things did not go according to plan and the internet bubble burst in 2000. I decided to load up my horse trailer with product and take it to a few horse shows to market FarmVet. That template has evolved into nine trailers going to 260 horse shows now.”
While he stays busy with FarmVet, Christian also rides and competes. “I’ve been competing every year since 1968,” he said. “The last few years, I have been showing in the Adult and Low Amateur Jumpers. I just recently acquired a horse that has allowed me to step back into the 1.4m-plus ring. I had not competed in a Grand Prix in 10 years and I have shown in a few this year, which has been a blast. I want to win a Grand Prix in my 60s and 70s.”
In addition to his goal of winning a Grand Prix later in life, Christian hopes to have FarmVet enter the equine market in other disciplines so that riders think of FarmVet as a Walgreens for their horses. “I want to expand our store footprint, and bring in and create new products and therapy items that will truly help the horse.”
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in New York City and lived there until I was 15 years old. We moved to Franklin, Tennessee, in 1977. We live on a 100-acre farm 12 miles southwest of downtown Nashville.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to Kathryn Currey from Nashville. I have four children—Brownlee (25), Charlotte (22), Samuel (11) and Margaret (6). In addition, two dogs, five cats, two turtles, an eel, a snake, five fish and too many horses and ponies.
How did your horse career start?
My mother, Agneta Currey, dragged me to Clairmont Riding Club in New York City when I was about 6 years old. Claremont used to supply horses for Central Park trail riding in the city.
Who did you show with growing up?
Rick Eckhardt was my first trainer and I rode with him until I was 18. I joined Joe Fargis and Conrad Homfeld in 1980. I was their second customer, and I still train with them today.
What’s your favorite thing about owning and running FarmVet?
Going to horse shows, meeting people, competing and now being able to call it a career. FarmVet has been a lot of work but it never has been a job.
What are some great show experiences that stand out from your time showing?
My fondest moment was competing on the winning 1985 Nations Cup team in Aachen, Germany. We had a dream team—Joe Fargis on Touch Of Class, Conrad Homfeld on Abdullah, Louis Jacobs on Janus De Ver and myself on Manuel.
Any favorite horse experiences over the years?
Competing at two World Cup finals was incredible. I liked that I qualified on points and did not have to go through any selection committee.
Do you have a favorite horse that stands out from your time showing?
Manuel. He took me to two World Cups as well as Aachen and Hamberg Derby, and placed at all the major events in the United States. He was my war horse.
Have you had a funny horse moment that still makes you laugh?
The 1985 World Cup Finals in Berlin, Germany, the second round: Manuel spooked at the very big triple combination coming into it and dislodged me from the saddle. By the second element, I was behind the saddle. He jumped the whole triple without any faults and proceeded to buck, which threw me back in the saddle. I had to circle to gather myself, and ended up with eight time faults—and a standing ovation.
What’s your favorite thing about being part of the horse world?
Being with people who have this crazy passion for horses. I’ve gained a lot of lifelong friendships.
If you weren’t involved with the horse world and running FarmVet, what career do you think you would have picked?
If you had a week off, what would you do?
Go horse shopping in Europe, foxhunting in England or skiing in Europe
Who inspires you?
Those that give their time to charitable causes
What talents do you feel you have?
I can make you smile.
Do you have a personal motto or catch phrase?
Never give up
What’s your favorite item of clothing to wear?
What three items can usually be found in your refrigerator?
Ice cream, cashew milk and kombucha
What’s your favorite meal?
What would be the best gift in the world?
For my kids to never get sick
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
What’s something everyone should try at least once?
To go without using plastic for a day
How would you like people to remember you?
Good father, hard working, fair and able to light up a room
Christian Currey in Budapest with Bert DeNemethy’s boots.
Photo courtesy of Christian Currey