The youngest of three children, Nick, grew up at Far West Farms. At first, he was more interested in the freedom to run around the property, but at the age of three it all came together at a pivotal moment. A trainer, who was working for his father gave him his first lead-line lesson. This simple experience was to ultimately represent a defining moment on many levels, personally and professionally. Shortly thereafter, his father had Nick Jr. in his arms at the front door as guests arrived for a Christmas party. The trainer who opened up the three-year-old’s world approached the door and Nick Jr. seized the opportunity, he asked her tomarry him. And so it all began…
Nicolas (Nick) Konstantine Karazissis was born July 27th, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. He descends from a long line of individuals who were most passionate about two prevailing subjects, education and horses.
On the paternal side, Nick’s grandmother, Grace Karazissis, rode horses in her native Florence, Italy. She and her husband, Nicolas left Florence to work in Peru directly after World War 2 where she continued to ride horses until she was five months pregnant with Nick’s father, Nick Karazissis Sr. His grandfather’s dream was always to live in the United States and the family ultimately moved to Los Angeles, California in 1955. Once settled, Grace resumed her riding with the Women’s Calvary at Pickwick, which is known today as the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
Nick Jr.’s father, Nick Karazissis Sr. became a legendary horseman and competitor. He currently owns and operates Far West Farms in Calabasas, California, as he has for over 40 years. The equine pedigree was to subsist on both sides creating what may be considered a genetic predisposition. Nick’s mother, Diana Lee Karazissis was a rider who won multiple top amateur Pacific Coast Horseshow Association awards in the hunter and equitation divisions such as the Victor Hugo Vidal PCHA Amateur Adult Finals.
Nick cannot recall a time when horses were not a prevailing focal point in their lives. Far West Farms and the Karazissis name (now inclusive of many extended family members, all of whom share a collective passion for horses) are synonymous with the highest level of showmanship, horsemanship and horse-mastership. Their sterling reputation is highly respected and recognized for their unsurpassed integrity, and an unwavering respect for the welfare of these most noble animals.
Nick early in his riding career focused on equitation (the foundation of riding in the hunter and jumper show ring). After winning the Onondarka Medal and consistently ranking and winning in the Children’s Hunter Divisions, it was clear that Nick exhibited an innate talent and aptitude for horses. This was repeatedly illustrated by his strong sense of balance, correct position and classical style. Nick’s empathetic, soft and effective hands were also strong enough to support, direct, frame and reset a horse’s balance. These elements served to calm the horses. In short, horses have always trusted Nick and this prescription promoted his rapid
progression through the divisions. Nick competed successfully in the Jumper Division at Spruce Meadows, The Del Mar National and throughout the West Coast.
When the decision was made to turn professional at nineteen years of age, Nick Sr. insisted that he study with as many talented
professionals as possible. In addition to training with some of the best trainers and clinicians in the world, Nick’s professional influences have included the opportunity to work and show internationally with his father, Nick Karazissis Sr., Ray Texel for four years and Mike Edrick from Mike Edrick Stables (a prestigious hunter/jumper training facility in Southern California) for eleven
and a half years.
Resultantly, Nick draws from a compilation of influences whereby he was able to identify and bring forth the highest and best information from a myriad of sources. He has woven this education and his observations into his own unique system of flatwork and jumping that has become the foundation of the program he now teaches to his students at his own barn, Far West Farms/Malibu.
Most trainers in the business today entered the industry directly after their junior year without the maturity or the business acumen to make the kind of daily decisions one must make in order to follow a program for both horses and riders alike. At thirty-four years of age Nick has seen it all, and he is ready to blaze his own trail, defined by his own terms, goals and under the umbrella of a self-designed business plan for Far West Malibu. Ideally, he would like to keep his business on a smaller scale with ten to fifteen clients. This will afford him the luxury of working without the aid of assistants so he can maintain a hands-on program that offers an unprecedented level of service, quality and learning. Nick’s primary goal however is to create an environment that is serious about showing, but more importantly, a place where clients can come to have fun while they learn. His personal credo for the state of Far West Malibu is quite simple…”Be nice or leave, and if you can’t laugh, this is not the place for you.”
Nick has chosen to operate his equestrian business operations in Malibu because of the culture of horses that have existed in this
microcosm since its inception. Far West Malibu is located at Sycamore Farms, a charming, hidden sanctuary for horses and horse lovers alike, adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountain Preserve. Additionally, Nick is also committed to acting as an emissary for the furtherance, continuation and preservation of the equine presence that has always prevailed in Malibu by staying abreast and attending public hearings regarding land use.
He currently serves as one (if not the youngest) Board Member in the history of the California Professional Horseman’s Association, Pacific Coast Horseshow Association, and the Los Angeles Hunter and Jumper Association; the three largest governing bodies of the West Coast horse Industry.
Nick articulates his experiences in the equine world and industry, and his personal life, as somewhat cataclysmic. He had a full circle moment from his first proposal, when he met and ultimately married in 2009, Adrienne Karazissis, an accomplished horsewoman, and horse-show-manager.
This particular time in his professional life represents a compilation of…
…All that has been, all that is, and all that will be.