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Notes from Phyllis


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Getting by is enough right now.


June 6, 2020
     At least so far, 2020 has not turned out at all like we planned. Who could have anticipated our world being completely turned upside-down by a pandemic?  

     And now, the country is in turmoil after the brutal murder of George Floyd. But from the darkest moments, some good can come. I find it inspiring that people in so many cities from coast to coast are coming together in protest to demand justice for the death of George Floyd, and to demand change in police practices going forward. This is not just about George Floyd. Or about Ahmaud Arbery, or Trayvon Martin. It is about 400 years of racial inequality and abuse. It has been gratifying to see the diversity of the marchers as men and women of all races and all ages band together to express solidarity.

Cindy Anderson-Blank and MHS Cooley Vegas (a.k.a. Greg)

     After months of lockdown and barely leaving the farm except for the occasional trip to the grocery store, at last we got to go Eventing - Cindy rode the three greys at Plantation Field on Friday. Windchase Phoenix Star and MHS Cooley Vegas did the Open Intermediate, and Windchase Faberge Star ran the Preliminary. All three horses went great and jumped clear XC, and it was a great chance for both horses and rider to knock the dust off and get back in the competitive groove. It was fun to get off the farm for a change, and after having all the spring Events cancelled due to Covid, hopefully we can get some sort of halfway normal competition schedule for the summer and autumn.


May 9, 2020
     Getting by is enough right now.
     I saw that written as a quote somewhere the other day, and it really rang true to me. The Pandemic, Stay at Home orders, people out of work, all of the competitions shut down; it feels like we are just spinning our wheels, trying to get by. But that statement made me look at everything a little bit differently. Itís true Ė just getting by IS enough right now. So wash your hands, donít touch your face, wear a mask, stay six feet apart, and lets all just get through this, together, the best we know how.

     I know a lot of people who are not able to work have been finding themselves with tons of extra time on their hands. They are doing things like cleaning out their garage and binge-watching Netflix. But for us here at Windchase, our days are not really that different form normal times. We are still busy riding, training, and taking care of the horses. But with no competitions on the weekends, all the days do start to feel the same in a Groundhog Day-ish sort of way, and it becomes hard to keep track of what day of the week it is. We have been working just as hard as ever, just not getting to do the things that might actually earn some money, such as teaching clinics and selling horses. Part of me sort of envies those out-of-work people who are having an enforced vacation, and thinks I could really stand to take a month to clean out all my drawers and closets, and watch a few movies. (But the rest of me knows I would really hate it.)

     We have all gotten much better at social distancing. We have strict protocols in place at Windchase to limit numbers of people and keep everyone safe. We are now carefully starting up with Covid-safe clinics (with very small groups and no contact), and we are now showing horses for sale again. In fact, we have a really outstanding group of Horses for Sale at the moment; check them out!  

     In the meantime, we have been having a cool but beautiful spring. I got the chance to fly my drone the other day and take a few photos.

     So everyone, be careful, stay safe, and remember, getting by is enough right now.


April 7, 2020

     At long last, I have completed the Trip Journal from my photo safari in Africa last year and posted it on this website, with photos. Sorry it has taken so long to get done, but I wanted to do a complete report which does take some time, and well, you know, life sort of gets in the way. But it is finally online, and you can follow this link to the Africa 2019 Trip Report.  Let me know what you think.


March 29, 2020

     Thanks to covid-19, we are all going through difficult times these days. Our focus at Windchase is on continuing to take the very best of care of the horses while keeping staff and clients safe through careful and diligent social distancing and sanitizing measures.
     In the meantime, we are going on with training the horses. It is quite ironic that with the mild winter, we were been able to get outside schooling a lot and have the horses the best prepared for the spring Event season they could possibly be. Cindy took four horses down to Aiken for a month to get an early jump on the season. And now of course, everything is (rightly) shut down.
     In the end, this will all pass. Perhaps it will serve as a reminder to us that though for most Eventers our horses and competition tend to be our all-consuming focus, there are some things in this world that are more important.

     We have had to temporarily suspend our clinics and group activities, but we will keep training the horses, clients, boarders and working students, and plan to be ready for competition whenever it resumes again after this crisis is over. And we are currently accepting new horses in for boarding and training. Although non-essential businesses are shut down in Virginia at the moment, the care and exercise of horses and other animals are classified as essential.
     We have new horses coming in for sale, and are bringing along the youngsters. When this is all over and people are out shopping again, we will have an exciting group of both young prospects and Eventers with some experience to offer for sale.
     In the meantime, stay safe!


March 21, 2020

     As you k
now, the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting necessary public health measures have created significant challenges for all of us. Windchase is, as always, totally committed to providing the best of care for the horses as well as excellent riding experiences for the owners and clients.
     We are equally committed to avoiding exposure of our staff to Covid-19, so at Windchase we have strict Social Distancing protocols in place for everyoneís protection.
     Right now the logistics of life are difficult, and it seems like we spend most of our time washing our hands and spraying disinfectant on anything anybody touches. Our lives, our work and our sport are interrupted, and the worst still seems to be ahead of us. It is hard not to feel down at the moment.

      I drove over the mountain yesterday on Route 9, and up at the top there was a pickup truck with three kids standing in the back of it, smiling and waving at the passing motorists, and each holding a sign that together read: THIS  IS  TEMPORARY!  It was uplifting, and I would like to thank those children, whoever they were, for brightening up the day of everyone who passed by.

      We will get through this. We will all get through this by sticking together (well, together in spirit, but staying at least six feet apart). So take precautions, be diligent, and keep your chin up. Ride your horse, walk your dog, be glad that Spring is here, and hang in there.  Remember, This Is Temporary.


February 22, 2020

Wow, 2020! Canít believe how quickly the time passes. Which is no excuse for how behind I am in updating this page. A lot to cover now.
We have been enjoying a mild winter so far here in Virginia; the groundhog saw his shadow so an early spring is forecast. The ground has hardly frozen all winter, and we have been able to school outside quite a bit more than usual for this time of year. Exciting stuff, because Event Season is just around the corner!
     Windchase Eventing is represented down south this winter; Cindy has just taken four horses down to Aiken, where she will be based until late March. While we miss having her here at Windchase, this is a great chance for Cindy to get in some early competitions and train with some of the top coaches in the country, so we are very excited about this opportunity for her. We want to make sure Cindy is safe when out training and competing, so we had a little send-off for her and gave her a bubblewrap suit.

      In the meantime, Amy Faison is doing a great job riding the young horses, along with Jineen and our great group of working students, Peytie, Rachael, Sarah, Claire, Christi and Grace. Our friend Mordacai is a great contributor schooling the youngsters as well. Much Thanks to them all!

     I would also like to give a shout out to all of our sponsors and companies who give us assistance. Hylofit and Equine Tech Collaborative, along with the generous help of Event Clinics, awarded Cindy a Hylofit system. This is much more than just a heart monitor, and it is already helping Cindy evaluate her horsesí fitness and plan an optimal conditioning schedule for them. We are all quite comfy riding in Voltaire saddles, and the horses love them too! And we are excited about switching to Buckeye feeds; I have heard so many good things about their products, and our high performance horses are already thriving on it. We also feed Grand Meadows supplements, Cindy is riding in Tucci Time boots, and our horses look sharp wearing ear bonnets from Snowden Creations. Thanks, all of you, for your help!

     The Windchase Winter jumping clinics are going strong; we have been having 4 or 5 groups jumping every Sunday. I will be announcing new Spring clinic dates shortly. And mark your calendars; the next Windchase Cross-country Derby will be on May 16.


December 31, 2019

     Another year gone by - no wait, another decade - can you believe it? How time flies. Each day is a gift, and we should try to savor every moment. We welcome 2020 with hopes of peace and harmony. 
     Happy New Year to all.


December 24, 2019

     Merry Christmas, from Phyllis and everyone at Windchase.

Silent Night, Holy Night


December 1, 2019

     The Windchase Winter Jumping Clinics are starting up this coming weekend. Come jump with Olympian Phyllis Dawson. Visit our Jump Clinic page for more information. To sign up, go to our Event Clinics page.


November 28, 2019

     Happy Thanksgiving!

     I am thankful every day to live and work at Windchase, and for the wonderful horses, dogs, cats and wildlife that live here. And the people, too! I know how lucky I am to be able to ride nice horses across beautiful countryside, and to get to spend most days working with horses and animals and doing the things I love. I am thankful for Windchase Magic, that special quality that makes Windchase so special.

     A wise person once told me that the key to business is to surround yourself with the very best people possible, and I have been lucky enough over the years to be able to surround myself with an exceptional staff. I want to thank each and every one of them for making Windchase the special place that it is.
     Jineen Reed, stable manager, trainer and life-long best friend, has been a huge part in developing Windchase in to what it is today. 
     Cindy Anderson-Blank does a terrific job in to the role of head rider, competitor and trainer, and she is an integral part of the farm and business going forward.
     Amy Faison is an invaluable part of the operation riding, training, and overseeing the running of the daily routine. 
     Jose Bautista is farm manager extraordinaire; he keeps Windchase looking the best it ever has, and is constantly making improvements.
     Stephanie Brunkow, assisted by her daughter Savannah, keeps the competition and sale horses ready for work and looking their best.
     And the working students: Rachael Roae, Sarah Wyssen, Peytie Klein, Claire Maksymetz, as well as part-timers Cristi Whitehead and Grace Clark. They collectively do a superb job taking top quality care of the horses. 
     We also have a myriad of friends and boarders who chip in, step up, and help out whenever needed. There help and friendship are an invaluable asset. 
      Many thanks to each and every one of you for being an important part of Team Windchase!

     And as always, I am thankful or the brave men and women in the military who keep us safe and free, and for the first responders who are there for us when need is the greatest. I wish them a safe and joyous Thanksgiving.


November 14, 2019

Tracey McGrath and Mizz Indy Cat, winners of the Training division at the Windchase XC Derby

     The Windchase XC Derby was this past Saturday, and it was a big success. Despite cold weather, the footing was perfect and we had a good turnout. Judged on jumping penalties and closest to Optimum Time for all three levels, the course was almost two miles long. We all had a lot of fun, and plan to include the Derby on our schedule in the spring and the autumn next year.

Anna and Avon, flying around the BN at the Windchase Derby


October 13, 2019

     Windchaseís excellent XC course for schooling! Visit the XC Schooling page for more info. We have three large XC fields with excellent turf and over 250 fences, and last year we added a new water jump complex, Irish banks, mounds and a coffin complex. This gives us everything we need to school horses from Elementary through Advanced. It is so fabulous that we decided we needed to share it with others, so this autumn we have opened up the course for schooling by appointment (weather and footing permitting of course). Contact Phyllis to arrange to come schooling.

     Congratulations to Cindy Anderson-Blank and Windchase Phoenix Star, for winning the Intermediate division at Morven Park last weekend. Cindy and Phoenix have formed a great partnership as they moved up through the levels together, but an injury in the spring of 2018 sidelined Phoenix from competition for a year. It was so great to watch this pair gallop around the iconic XC course at Morven, and the fact that they won was just icing on the cake.

Cindy and Phoenix at Morven Park

     Join us for Windchase Wednesdays Jumping Clinics through the autumn; your choice of Show Jumping or Cross-country (weather permitting). Sign up at our Event Clinics website link: 


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Phyllis Dawson
Phone: (540) 668-6024 stable,  (540) 454-3834 cell,  (540) 668-6548 home
Address: 36502 Kidwell Road, Purcellville, VA  20132  USA