Phyllis Dawson and Albany II in the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, 1988.
Phyllis Dawson and Albany II representing the United States
at the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, 1988.

       Phyllis was born July 27, 1957, and grew up in Great Falls, VA.  From the time she can remember, all she wanted to do was ride and train horses.  She found her first pony under the Christmas tree in the living room when she was four years old, and hasn't looked back since.  Phyllis was active in 4-H Club and showed Hunters as a kid, and was also an avid foxhunter from the time she was 12.  She joined the Reston Pony Club (now Difficult Run), and eventually achieved her 'A' rating in Pony Club.  After graduating from Herndon (VA) High School, she completed the Advanced Horsemasters course at Potomac Horse Center in Gaithersburg, MD, and then trained as a working student with top event rider Bruce Davidson in 1976.  She continued to train with Bruce whenever she had the chance for over 20 years. 
     Phyllis began Eventing in 1973, and reached the Advanced level in 1977 with Freedom Flight, a horse she brought up through the levels herself.  Since then, she has trained many horses to the top levels.  She has successfully represented the United States in International competition, including the 1988 Olympic Games and the 1997 European Championships.  For more information on Phyllis' early riding experiences, follow this link to "Starting Out".  

      Phyllis made her International debut at Boekelo CCI*** in the Netherlands in 1985, where she participated on the winning American team in the "friendly team competition" on Mountain High.  In the autumn of 1987, she placed 2nd at the Chesterland CCI*** on Albany II.  She followed this up with a 6th place in the Olympic Selection Trials in 1988 in Lexington, KY, which earned her a spot on the Olympic Three-day team in Seoul, Korea.   

     Phyllis represented the United States at the Olympic Games in Seoul aboard Albany II and finished 10th, the highest placed American in the Olympic Three-day Event.  It was really the experience of a lifetime.  Phyllis was thrilled to put in a' personal best' performance, jumping clear around an extremely long and demanding cross-country test to finish tenth in the world on the day.  The experience of competing among the top riders in the world and finishing well was exhilarating, as was the experience of living in the Olympic Village and mingling with famous athletes from all sports and countries.

Albany and Phyllis at the Olympics.
Phyllis and Albany II at the water jump in Seoul, Korea, 1988.      

     Phyllis continued to compete successfully at the International level.  She has ridden around the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event over twenty times, and has several times completed the prestigious Burghley CCI**** in England.  She has won Three Day Events at Radnor, PA,  Essex, NJ, North Georgia, Checkmate, Ontario, and Bromont, Quebec.   She has won the Advanced division at Morven Park Horse Trials a total of six times, and her wins and high placings on various horses at other competitions, both here and abroad, are too numerous to mention.   Other highlights include being named the United States Combined Training Association's high point Leading Lady Rider in 1992, and the winner of the North American section of the FEI Landrover World Rider Rankings in 1997.  Visit the Competition Horses page to learn about some of the special horses Phyllis has competed over the years.

Starbound at the Leaf Pit at Morven Park.

Star Bright at Thirlestane Castle, Scotland

     Phyllis had the opportunity to compete in England with the USET during the summers of 1997 and 1998.  She competed successfully in many Events there, including the CCI*** at Blenheim, the Scottish Open Championships at Thirlestane Castle, the British Open Championships at Gatcombe Park, and the Bramham CCI***.

     In 1997, Phyllis had the opportunity to again represent the United States Equestrian Team, when she rode in the Open European Championships at Burghley.  A clear fast cross country round helped her finish a strong 19th out of a field of over 90 starters consisting of the best horses and riders in the world.

  Snowy River and Phyllis Dawson representing the USET at the Open European Championships.
Phyllis Dawson and Snowy River at the Open European Championships at Burghley, 1997

        Phyllis rode and trained many horses to a high level of success in Eventing.  She has always enjoyed building a relationship with her horses based on mutual trust, and considers the rapport between horse and rider, built with a correct foundation of training, to be one of the most rewarding aspects of riding.  Although no longer competing at the Advanced level, Phyllis is continuing this philosophy while concentrating on training and producing top quality young horses, and giving them the right start to their competitive careers.  

     At Windchase, her Virginia farm, Phyllis specializes in offering an outstanding selection of talented prospects and Event Horses for sale, correctly started and well produced.  Windchase also takes horses of all levels in for schooling and training, ranging from green-broke youngsters to high level Event horses being prepared for competition.  We also offer top class instruction on there own horses for riders of all levels.  For more information on these services, see our Boarding and Training page.

     We invite you to base your horse at Windchase and let us help you prepare for competition.  There are excellent events within about an hours drive most weekends from the end of March through mid November.  Windchase has everything you need in order to have you and your horse ready to do your best at the events.  We offer everything from occasional schooling on request to complete preparation for the competitions, where you show up for the event and we have your horse ready to go.  Come and join the Windchase Team.

Star Bright at Blenheim, England

Visit the Competition Horses page to learn about some of the horses Phyllis has competed over the years.