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A horse for every rider

  • Ellie Apollo pets one of the horses kept at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
    Ellie Apollo pets one of the horses kept at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
  • Children enjoy horseback riding at a summer camp at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
    Children enjoy horseback riding at a summer camp at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
  • This quarter horse is one of nine horses and ponies at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
    This quarter horse is one of nine horses and ponies at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
  • Ellie Apollo pets one of the horses kept at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
    Ellie Apollo pets one of the horses kept at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
  • Ellie Apollo prepares a pony for riding at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
    Ellie Apollo prepares a pony for riding at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
  • These quarter horse are a couple of nine horses and ponies at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
    These quarter horse are a couple of nine horses and ponies at Apollo Farms in Palmerton. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
  • Delia Apollo talks to one of her horses at the Apollo Farms stable.
    Delia Apollo talks to one of her horses at the Apollo Farms stable.
  • Delia Apollo and her horse leap over one of the jumps during a competition. She competes professionally. PHOTO PROVIDED
    Delia Apollo and her horse leap over one of the jumps during a competition. She competes professionally. PHOTO PROVIDED
Published June 30. 2017 08:32PM

Delia A. Apollo always dreamed of having a horse farm, now she does.

"This is my dream to have my own farm, to be able to teach and to ride," she said. "I'm lucky every day to be able to live my dream."

Apollo Farms is located on Summer Mountain Road in Palmerton, and provides horse riding lessons for all ages, summer camps and team-building events.

It opened not long after Apollo moved to the area in 2012 from southern New Jersey where she grew up. She has been riding horses since she was 7 years old.

"I've been riding basically all of my life," she said.

Her love of horses actually goes back to her relationship with her maternal grandfather, Hector Zayas, who emigrated from Puerto Rico. His family had horses there.

"He was really admired. He would get on the horses no one else would get on and he would tame them," she said. "I guess I get all of that from him. We were really, really close."

At Apollo Farms, Apollo often takes in horses that need to be trained to handle riders, and when they are ready, she salls them.

She said her family jokes that her love of horses skipped a generation.

"My mom and dad are scared to death of horses," she said.

"It's an unexplainable desire to be around them, like a magnet," she said about her love of horses. "I would do anything to be at the barn. It's just such an indescribable bond."

That love didn't skip the next generation, because her daughter, Ellie, also loves and competes in horse riding competitions.

One of Apollo's early trainers is George Morris. According to the HorseWeb/United States Equestrian Federation Inc., Morris is considered a "founding father" of hunt seat equitation, which involves both riding on flat surfaces and jumping fences. He was a chef d'equipe or team manager for the United States Equestrian Federation, a show jumping team, and he has worked as a judge of riders and horses in hunter and show jumper competitions.

As an adult, Apollo rode with Anne Kursinki, an Olympic equestrian who competed with the United States Equestrian Team in five Olympics and continues to compete in show jumping.

In 2005, she turned professional and continues to compete. Currently, Apollo is being coached by her mentor, U.S. Olympic show jumper Nona Garson, owner of The Ridge Farm at Riverview in Lebanon, New Jersey, a woman she calls "legendary."

"I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity to ride with these people in my career," Apollo said. "Continued education and guidance is what makes a champion. In this sport, you never ever stop learning, as every horse has a completely different personality and challenges/talents within."

At Apollo Farms, there are nine horses in all sizes: pony, small, medium and large, for people of all ages to ride. If after riding and taking lessons, a new equestrian enthusiast wants to compete, then Apollo can provide guidance and training.

And if owning a horse is the fulfillment of a dream, then they can grant that wish as well. Apollo said they have investment opportunities to help reduce the cost of owning a horse that include partnerships and leases.

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