| 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
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.
more information on Phyllis' early riding experiences, follow this link to
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
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.
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,
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
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.
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
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.