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DAPHNE THORNTON…grew up helping to breed and raise horses on her parent's Poplar Hill Farm. She began hunt seat riding and jumping in her early teens and has continued in that discipline throughout her long career. In the early 1980's, Thornton began her own lesson and training business, Two Bit Training. She has bred or trained many USEF (formerly AHSA) top finishers and champions, including a Sallie B. Wheeler Hunter Breeding champion, "AA" winter circuit champions, a USHJA International Hunter Derby winner, and ribbon winners at Pony Finals, Devon, and a USEF HOY. Her client’s have appeared in the top zone and national point lists , as well as the top breed awards.

In addition to national winners, Thornton has participated actively in the local hunter/jumper show scene and has coached many show and circuit champions at the local level. Thornton has trained young horses and handled them on the line, and has produced several premium foals, site champions and many USEF Hunter Breeding winners. Thornton also authors an occasional blog post for The Plaid Horse Magazine and had been a guest on their podcast, The Plaidcast.

Thornton currently trains from Seven Oaks Ranch at 199th and Pflumm in southern Johnson County. Seven Oaks offers 75 stalls, pastures boarding, a large indoor arena, two outdoor arenas, grooming and wash areas, a lounge and viewing area, and loads of trails. You can get more information about Seven Oaks Ranch at

 Thornton is a board member of the Kansas City Professional Horseman's Association and is a multiple past-president. In addition, she has been a member, Board Member, and past officer of the Kansas Hunter Jumper Association (formerly the Northeast Kansas Hunter Association) and a member of the Missouri Horse Show Association. She is a professional member of the United States Equestrian Federation and the United States Hunter Jumper Association. Daphne Thornton can be reached at her cell number, 816-507-5928, or you can email her at

We are happy to have assistant trainer Dana McCullough available work with beginner and intermediate riders. Dana (at left, on Harley) owned and ran her own barn in Iowa, CanterBrooke Equestrian Center, for many years. She taught dressage and eventing before moving to Kansas in 2011. While maintaining a small student base of dressage riders at Seven Oaks, Dana also teaches beginning hunt seat riders for Two Bit Training.

Rachel Kruse is an instructor and the professional rider for Two Bit Training. Rachel is from Plano Texas but currently lives in Overland Park, KS. She is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute with a major in painting, as well as an accomplished rider.

In the saddle since 2007, Rachel was a working student for Gloria Byler out of Wylie, Texas, before moving to Kansas City for school. Rachel began riding with Daphne in 2009. She became a working student in 2010 and an instructor and professional rider in 2019.

Kristen Hargis is an instructor and professional rider with Two Bit Training. Kristen has a Masters degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education and also teaches in the Blue Valley School District. Kristen has been riding since the early 90's, eventually specializing in hunt seat riding and jumping. She has been a working student for trainers including Brandie Holloway, and Sarah Jane Franklin - showing in the hunter and jumper rings. She owned her own boarding and training facility before moving to Overland Park, in the fall of 2021. She has been with Two Bit Training for a year now.

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