Virginia Horse Trials is always one of my favorite
events of the season. The Virginia Horse Center is a
fabulous venue, and the 360 degree view of the mountains
from the top of the hill on the cross-country course is
unrivaled. Windchase had nine horses there, and for the
most part they all went great.
Cindy Anderson-Blank had a busy weekend; she
successfully completed the CCI* with HMS Cooley Vegas, the
Intermediate with Windchase Alcor, and the Preliminary
with Windchase Castlecomer. She will have a fun and busy
time next year when all of these horses move up the
Amy Faisson had a great ride on Faro de la Galerna in the
Novice, this exciting young horse finished on his dressage
score. And Sarah Wyssen successfully completed the
Preliminary with her own Prince Rasmuth. And Heidi
Roberson placed 3rd in the Training with her talented
homebred Red Shift.
love the new Modified divison; it is a perfect stepping
stone between the Training and Preliminary levels. Jean
Bowman and Morgan McGrath both had great rides in the
Modified; Morgan tied for first place.
But it is hard to believe that the autumn Event
Season is over; it seems like we just got started! Maybe
that is because half of the events got rained out this
year. But now in the off season, it is time to focus on
schooling the young horses while the upper level ones are
having a little break. But time flies, and really, the
2019 season is just around the corner.
Are you looking for an
exciting young Irish Sport Horse eventing prospect with
the talent and ability to go to the top of the sport? You
don't need to go to the Goresbridge Go for Gold sale in
Ireland; come to Windchase instead.
Windchase is proudly
offering six exceptional young homebred Irish Sport Horses
for sale in our own private Windchase
Go for the Gold sale.
These talented youngsters, 3 to 5 years of age, all
have correct conformation, lovely movement and unlimited
potential. They have been brought along carefully and
correctly. Progeny of leading sire Brandenburg's Windstar,
they are carrying some of the best jumping bloodlines in
Ireland. They are all traditionally-bred Irish Sport
Horses with at least 75% Thoroughbred blood; this type of
breeding is getting harder and harder to find, even in
Starfire, one of the talented youngsters offered
in the Windchase Go for the Gold sale.
So instead of going to Ireland and trying to outbid the
other buyers at the big sporthorse auction, come to
Windchase and see our exceptional group of youngsters. Save
yourself the cost of overseas travel, the inflated auction
prices and the extra $10,000 to ship a horse home. Visit
our Horses for Sale page
to see our excellent Irish youngsters offered for sale.
Don't wait too long; the prices on the three-year-olds
will go up when they turn four in January!
October 17, 2018
to Cindy Anderson-Blank and MHS Cooley Vegas, owned by the
Windchase Syndicate, for winning the Preliminary division
at Morven Park!
Cindy and MHS
Cooley Vegas (a.k.a. Greg)
Cindy Anderson-Blank and Windchase are happy to
announce the formation of The
its purpose being to own and help maintain Cindy’s new
ride, an exciting and talented 2010 Irish Sport Horse
named MHS Cooley Vegas.
If you are at all familiar with the sport of
Eventing, you will know how much hard work goes into it,
and how much dedication, determination and skill are
required to succeed. For those of you acquainted with
Cindy, you know she has embraced the hard work and
dedicated lifestyle needed to form a successful
partnership with her horses. Over the past year she has
successfully moved up to the Advanced and CIC*** level
with Windchase’s homebred Irish Sport Horse, Windchase Phoenix Star.
But for a rider to be successful in this sport it
is necessary to have multiple horses coming up through the
ranks, hopefully with several competing at the higher
levels. Cindy, with Phyllis’s help, has been
searching for a talented horse to move up the ranks. MHS
Cooley Vegas seems to be a great prospect. He competed
very successfully in Ireland up through the Preliminary
and one-star level, and has the talent and ability to move
up to the top. He is ready to bond with a rider in this
country and fulfill his potential. Already Cindy and MHS
Cooley Vegas (known as Greg in the stable) are forming a
Cindy and MHS Cooley Vegas are already forming a
But the sport of Eventing is expensive; the
acquisition and upkeep of a top level horse is not
something that most riders can afford on their own. This
is why Cindy is putting together an ownership syndicate,
to help support her partnership with MHS Cooley Vegas. She couldn’t do it without the help of
interested supporters and owners like you!
you are interested in participating in ownership of an
upper level Event horse or supporting Cindy in her
ascension to the top levels of the sport, visit The Windchase Syndicate page
for more information, and contact us if you would like to
get involved. For those who want to help out in smaller
ways, tax deductible donations to Cindy can be made
through the American Horse Trials Foundation.
Invest in the Journey!
Finally, the sun is shining today! It seems like it
has been doing nothing but rain lately. Right now the
fields are as wet as I have ever seen them. Noah’s
biblical 40 days and 40 nights of rain seem paltry; it has
been raining in Virginia now for seven months! I have been
noticing that my lurcher puppies, 7 months old, don’t
seem to mind the rain at all – then I realized they
don’t really know anything else; it has been rainy as
long as they have been alive. (I exaggerate only slightly
– we have had some nice days in between the excessive
rain now and then.)
Windchase had a good go at Plantation Fields last
weekend; that horse trials is one of my favorites, with a
fabulous XC course on the rolling hills of Unionville, PA.
I have many fond memories of my time spent in Unionville
training with Bruce Davidson, and Plantation Field is
right next door to his farm.
Anderson-Blank rode her two new mounts there in the CIC*,
and had a great result with both. She has already formed a
super partnership with MHS Cooley Vegas (known around the
barn as Greg), placing 5th out of a competitive
class of 54 entries. She also had an excellent clear XC
round on Windchase Alcor, one of our homebreds who
recently returned to Windchase. Cindy has only been riding
him a short time, and this was their first cross-country
round together, as the Prelim XC got rained out at Seneca
Valley. They had a dynamite ride, and plan to go
Intermediate next time out.
Anderson-Blank and The Windchase Syndicate's MHS
Cooley Vegas placed 5th in the CIC* at Plantation
The World Equestrian Games (WEG) in NC earlier this
month was disappointing for the Americans. We had what
should have been a competitive team, but the stars did not
align our way. The cross country course was lovely, but
did not look overly difficult; definitely a 3-star effort,
while all of our horses had 4-star experience. And indeed,
a higher percentage of competitors jumped clear on XC than
is usual for a World Championships. Yet on the other hand,
a number of the best riders in the world had trouble, with
refusals causing penalties for such luminaries as Sir Mark
Todd, Blythe Tait, Chris Burton and Julie Krajewski, as
well as our own Boyd Martin and Will Coleman. The U.S.
team finished 8th, which was very
disappointing; we had not expected to medal, but were
certainly hoping to be in the top 6 to qualify for the
Tokyo Olympics. The
team results were unexpected; nobody was too surprised to
see the Brits at the top of the leaderboard, but one would
not have expected to see Japan and Ireland in the top
four, above Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Oh well,
now our team is in the all-to-familiar position of having
to win the Pan-American Games next year to qualify for the
Olympics. Hopefully we will rise to the challenge.
always on this date, I think of that fateful day in 2001,
when our world changed forever. Never forget.
I was wandering around the farm with my camera last
Sunday afternoon, when I saw a great egret flying around
over the lake. It was a lucky photo op, as I captured this
elegant creature in flight.
My neighbor who adjoins the back
side of the property puts up camera traps to see what goes
by on the game trails; he recently sent me this photo from
May. This family of bears was in the woods just past the
cross country course in the top field. How I wish I had
gotten to see them myself!
I am off to the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in
Tryon, NC tomorrow, to cheer on our American Eventing
team. I am on the USEF Eventing Selection Committee, so I
have a vested interest in how the team does, and am
looking forward to watching this World Championship
competition. Of course, Hurricane Florence is also heading
for Tryon, so hopefully that won’t make too much of a
mess of things. Go Team USA!
Wow, time flies, and once again I am way behind in
updating this page. Oh well, as my mother used to say,
anyone who is always on time obviously doesn’t have
enough to do.
On the Eventing front it has been a frustrating
summer for several of our working students, as horse
injuries prevented them from doing the planned
competitions. They have been good sports about it though,
and gained a lot of experience riding and competing
different horses and broadening their riding skills. It is
a pleasure to have such a great group of barn workers.
Sadly, Windchase Phoenix Star, our Irish homebred
that Cindy has been competing at Advanced level, sustained
an injury and will need to sit out the autumn season.
However, this prompted the acquisition of two new exciting
rides for Cindy; a grey 2010 Irish gelding named MHS
Cooley Vegas, and a black 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding
that we call Alcor, that was actually a Windchase
homebred, but has been competing up to the two-star level
with Boyd Martin. So it looks like and exciting autumn
season! Cindy is already off to a good start with MHS
Cooley Vegas; she has done two Training events just to get
to know him, placing 2nd and 3rd,
and will go Prelim next time out. More on these two
exciting horses soon!
June 30, 2018
Summer is here, and life at Windchase is as
magical as always. Not a day goes by that I don’t
appreciate the beauty around me.
Between competitions cancelled because of rain and
a few lame horses, it has been a frustrating month on the
Eventing scene - but that’s horses for you. The star of
the spring season has been Galerna Campari Mail; this
talented six-year-old has successfully moved up to
Preliminary, completing four events at this level, jumping
clear both XC and SJ in each. This talented young horse
has a bright upper level future; see him on our Horses
for Sale page, along with quite a few others.
In the meantime, the puppies continue to grow in
leaps and bounds. They love it when I take them for long
walks in the fields; if I go a mile they must cover ten as
they run back and forth. It must be great to have that
have three lovely foals this spring, two colts and a
filly. The colts are both by Brandenburg’s Windstar,
accounting for the last of his frozen semen, and both will
be grey. The filly is by the cremello Thoroughbred
stallion Goldmaker, and she is a lovely golden buckskin
color. Here is a look at them:
Pegasus, and his dam Smart Notion.
Filly by Goldmaker (not yet named), with her dam
Unnamed colt out of Gold Trinket.
ever stop raining? It has been pouring rain for a week and
a half, and the fields are full of standing water. We
would like to be out schooling cross-country, but instead
we’re stuck in the indoor arena. But I guess we have no
reason to complain - how lucky we are to have
an indoor arena to ride in during this weather!
meantime, I have my hands full with two new lurcher
puppies. If you are not familiar with this breed, lurchers
are simply the best dogs in the world. Bred by the Gypsies
in Ireland and England, they were bred to poach game in
the Royal Forests, and valued for their silent hunting and
stealth. A sighthound crossed with a working
dog, the typical lurcher cross is greyhounds and border
collies, but whippets and deerhounds are also used.
Lurchers are intelligent, fast, and extremely loyal.
I got my
first lurcher from Bruce Davidson back in 1988; he
imported a male from England named Herbie, and I got one
of the pups from his first litter, whom I named Sage. He
was a terrific dog, and I have had lurchers ever since,
raising a litter of puppies every so often.
I had a
lovely female lurcher named Gracie from my last litter
that I was planning to breed from, but she died
unexpectedly last year, and my male, Speedy, is neutered.
Heartbroken, I called my friend Siohbain in Canada, who
has Nykie, a littermate of Gracie’s, and told her she
had the last one of the line that had not been spayed or
neutered, and she just had to breed her. Fortunately,
Siohbain agreed, and found a nice dog in Canada to cross
good deed goes unpunished.
Nykie had ten pups, but had to have a C-section.
Then she did not produce milk or show much interest in
taking care of the puppies, so poor Siohbain and her
partner Connie had to bottle feed ten puppies!
I have two of the puppies, both females, currently about
12 weeks old. I kept the baby names Siohbain had given
them; the lighter brindle one is named ‘Rae’ (named
after a female Jedi in a Star
Wars movie), and the darker one with white is ‘Grace
O’Malley the Pirate Queen’ (named after a famous
character in Irish history from the 16th
century – I have been to her castle in Ireland), or
Grainne for short. Sage would be their
These pups are a handful, and a total delight.
May 6, 2018
Finally, I have finished my
travel journal from last summer's fabulous trip to Africa,
complete with photos. Read
about it here!
Love the babies! I have named
this lovely colt Windchase Pegasus. Two more on the way!
Finally, Spring is here! But it has really only
come in the last few days; it has continued to be quite
cold all through March and early April. And with spring
comes babies! Here is our latest Windchase homebred, a
lovely colt by Brandenburg’s Windstar.
I just got home from Fair Hill, where we had a
super weekend. Cindy rode Phoenix Star in the Advanced,
and they had a super performance in all three phases, and
after jumping clear around a demanding track she ended up
7th in what was a very competitive division.
Cindy Anderson-Blank and Windchase Phoenix Star,
in the Advanced at Fair Hill.
Cindy also piloted Galerna Campari Mail around his
first Preliminary, and he went very well, jumping clear
both cross-country and show jumping and finishing 5th.
Look for this talented young horse on the Horses
for Sale page.
March 14, 2018
Waiting for Spring! February was quite mild, and
during the warm snap where the crocuses came up and the
grass started turning green, I was sure we would have an
early spring. Somehow I get suckered into that every year;
when February ends I always think winter is going to be
over. But March has come in like a lion as it usual does,
and we have had several weeks of cold windy days. We are
all looking forward to some warmer weather.
Sarah Wyssen schooling on Prince Razmuth
The good news is that the footing is super, so even
though it is cold we have been able to get out schooling
cross-country. Last November we put in a fabulous new
water complex, and this week we started to use it for the
first time. How much fun is that! Can’t wait for the
Morven Park Horse Trials the end of the month – even
though it usually snows that weekend.
Cindy and Phoenix Star test out the water
Event Season is just
around the corner, and we are spending the winter months
training up the young horses so they will be ready. We
have a bunch of fancy five-year-olds who will get serious
about their Eventing careers this year, which is always
fun to watch.
Of course, watching is all
I am doing at the moment; I won’t be cleared to ride
until April. I am enjoying teaching and supervising, but
can hardly wait to get back in the saddle. In the
meantime, February has been pretty mild; the grass is
already getting green and the crocuses are blooming.
Here’s hoping for an early spring!
He is ready
for Spring too.
Sorry I have been a bit slow in updating this page,
but I have been busy taking care of some old problems in
order to start the New Year off right. I have been having
a lot of trouble with my back for quite a while, so being
time to put it right, I had back surgery earlier this
month. So I have spent a good deal of time on the sofa
with the cats the last three weeks (they seem to have the
amazing capacity to sleep for over 20 hours a day!), I am
more than eager to get back to life in the barn. And I
look forward to riding in the spring!
In the meantime, much thanks to my excellent staff
for keeping things going smoothly while I have been out.
As always Jineen and Cindy have done a super job of
running everything; they are the best. I want to thank the
working students Amy, Ray, Charlotte and Sarah – they
are the superheroes - and also part-timers Jess and Tori.
Jose has the place looking better than ever, and is
building new XC fences like mad. And my brother, Buddy,
has been nursemaid extraordinaire, taking care of me
during my recovery. Much thanks to all of them!
December 23, 2017
Here’s wishing a Merry Christmas to all, and a
New Year full of Joy.
the sunset filled the evening sky and the lake with color;
it was Windchase Magic at its best.
December 22, 2017
We have been enjoying
a lovely mild December; it is wonderful to be out
schooling cross-country right up until Christmastime.
My dream team of working students all showed up in
Superhero costumes for their XC school yesterday; Batman,
Robin and Wonder Woman made sense to me, but I still
don’t really understand what a Minion is.
always, I have so much to be thankful for. Windchase is a
magical place, and I am surrounded by terrific people who
keep it all running well. Jineen and Cindy, in addition to
being great trainers and barn managers, are also my close
friends. Rachel is also an integral part of the farm and a
good friend. We have a dream team of working students
right now with Amy, Ray, Charlotte and Sarah, and welcome
some extra help from Tori. And of course Jose does the
most fabulous job keeping Windchase in top shape.
2018: the new spring-fed Windchase Water Jump.
We have been making some exciting improvements
around Windchase this year. We put in a new dressage arena
next to the sand ring, which is really nice to have. And
we have just finished putting a fabulous new water
complex, several banks, and a new coffin out on the cross
country courses, built by Long’s
Grading. Carl Long did a fabulous job; I don’t know
anyone else who has a spring-fed water complex! And of
course Jose has continued to build us a ton of new
portable XC fences. I can hardly wait for time to school
all of these new jumps next spring!
Ending on a light note, I leave you with the
Thanksgiving Blessing that Jimmy Stewart’s patriarchal
character gave at Thanksgiving dinner in the 1965 civil
war era movie Shenandoah:
we cleared this land,
We plowed it, sowed it and harvested it.
We cooked the harvest,
It wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be eatin’ it,
If we hadn’t done it all ourselves.
We worked dog-boned hard for every crumb and morsel,
But we thank you just the same anyway, Lord,
For this food we’re about to eat.
had great time at the Virginia Horse Trials last weekend;
the weather was lovely for the most part, and the new Mark
Phillips XC courses for the FEI divisions were excellent.
Phoenix and Cindy
Anderson-Blank and Windchase Phoenix Star placed 3rd in
the CIC**, but really they should have won it - they were
held on the cross-country course, and a timing snafu gave
them time penalties they did not deserve. Cindy rode
great, and Phoenix went like a dream.
Pedro Gutierrez won the CCI*
on his lovely mare Unanyme du Loir, moving up for the win
with one of the few clear Show Jumping rounds of the day.
And to top it off, they also won the Best Turned-out award
at the job. And Cindy completed the CCI** with a clear XC
round on her fleet thoroughbred Two Tickets.
Pedro and Unanyme du Loir in the Victory Gallop
the Training division, Heidi Robertson won with her
warmblood gelding Redshift. Cindy placed 8th on
the talented youngster Galerna Campari Mail, and Sarah
Wyssen had a good go on her Prince Rasmus. These three
also won the Training Team competition! All in all, it was
a great way for Team Windchase to end the autumn Event
October 6, 2017
Congratulations to Cindy Anderson-Blank; she placed
4th in the Advanced division with Windchase
Phoenix Star at Morven Park last weekend. There is nothing
quite like the thrill of jumping down the Leaf Pit for the