September 12, 2000
another hot and humid weekend for Eventing at Loudoun, but it was a
successful outing for my four horses. Sirius and Enniskerry Imp both
ran well in the Open Intermediate, each finishing 10th in their respective
divisions. They both jumped well over the new and improved
cross-country course at Oatlands, and though I took them around quietly,
not really trying to make the time, I was very pleased with how they went.
Star Bright won the dressage in his OI division, but I did not run him
cross-country, as the ground was getting a little hard and he didn't
really need the outing.
Temair did the Preliminary beautifully, putting
in a really nice dressage and show jumping, and then jumping around the
quite difficult cross-country course as if she had been doing it all her
life! She is a real treat to ride at competitions. Amanda
Draper and Melissa Hunsberger did a fabulous job of grooming, having all
of the horses looking great, and ready when it was their turn.
Riding four horses makes a top grooming team essential!
Congratulations also to Windchase student
Kathleen Dingus, who won the Young Riders Preliminary division on her mare
Tia Maria with an excellent performance in all three phases.
It's Seneca Valley this weekend, and I am
hoping it will be a little cooler!
Until next time,
September 5, 2000
had a fun weekend at Blue Ridge, despite extremely hot and humid weather.
Temair did her first Preliminary horse trials,
and went beautifully. She was excellent in all three phases, and
though I went slowly on cross-country due to her inexperience, therefore
incurring time penalties, she jumped superbly. A really special
horse! I also rode my four year old mare, Better
Angel, in the Novice, her first event. She was wonderful,
finishing eighth, and acting much more grown-up than I expected. Although
I have always kept her slow and controlled when schooling on
cross-country, she instinctively knew what it was all about. I had
to convince her that the Novice speed was not that fast, and we ended up
halting on course several times to establish who was in control! She
has a very bright future.
Congratulations to Karla
Wagner for the purchase of No Tomorrow. I am really happy for her to
have the horse, because I think they will be a great match, but I am also
sad to see him leave, because he is a really talented horse, and I will
miss competing him. The nature of the business, however, is that I
have to occasionally sell a really nice horse, to be able to afford to
keep competing the others!
Loudoun is this weekend, so it
has been a hectic week getting all of the 'big guys', as the upper level
horses are known around the barn, ready to go compete. Star Bright,
Enniskerry Imp and Sirius will all do the Open Intermediate, and Temair
run in the Preliminary. Should be a busy weekend, and a fun one.
With the rain we have had, the footing is super, and the weather seems to
be cooling off. I can hardly wait!
Until next time,
August 31, 2000
didn't go Eventing this past weekend, because I attended my cousin Rusty's
wedding in Richmond. It was a lot of fun; a great chance to see some
of my cousins that I have not seen much of in recent years, a real family
reunion. Rusty is a dentist, and his bride is a dental hygienist, so
at the reception they gave away toothbrushes as party favors!
Several Windchase students had a successful
weekend. Working student Anne Clayton placed 6th in the Novice at
Difficult Run with her horse Black Jack, with a much improved dressage and
an impressive jumping performance. Kathleen Dingus also had a good run in
the Preliminary with the young and talented Jasper. The star of the
weekend was Katie Willis, who rode her lovely young horse Gold Strike in
the mare's first Preliminary at Pleasant Hollow, and finished second.
I am looking forward to Blue Ridge this
weekend, where Temair will do her first Preliminary, and Better Angel will
make her Eventing debut.
Until next time,
August 21, 2000
Enniskerry Imp didn't have a swelled head before, he certainly will now.
He just successfully completed his first Intermediate, and he really
thinks he is hot stuff! He would now like to be addressed as
I ran both Imp and Sirius in the Open
Intermediate at Fair Hill International this past weekend. Sirius
was quite wound up in the dressage phase, she often tends to be that way
for her first event of the season. She jumped well, despite a rider
error on a combination on the cross-country, and I felt that on the whole
the quiet run put her in good form for the start of the season. I
was very pleased with Imp in all three phases. He really rose to the
occasion for his first Intermediate, especially since he was a bit short
on cross-country and jump schooling, as he had recently recovered from a
foot abscess. I did not try and go for time on the cross-country,
being the first event of the season and short on gallops, but even with
quite a few time penalties he finished 9th. The footing was good and the
weather was perfect, quite cool for August. Amanda and Emily did a
great job of grooming for me, as usual, having the horses looking tip top.
Really a great weekend!
I will miss getting to compete at either
Pleasant Hollow or Millbrook next week, as I will be attending my cousin's
wedding, but the following week, Temair will make her
at Blue Ridge. Both Imp and Sirius, as well as No
Tomorrow, will run
next at Loudoun in early September.
Until next time,
August 16, 2000
summer is almost over and Event season is here! I kicked off my
season last weekend running Temair at the
Banbury Cross Horse Trials in Maryland. She went absolutely
superbly, finishing 2nd in the Open Training Young Horse division, missing
out on winning by about 3 seconds on cross country. She will go
Preliminary at her next outing.
We have continued to enjoy really nice
summertime weather, with plenty of rain and cooler than normal
temperatures, let's hope that will continue to the end of the summer.
All the rain is great for the footing and the pastures, but it does make
it hard to keep the grass mowed!
This weekend I go to Fair Hill, where
Sirius will run in the Intermediate division, and hopefully Enniskerry Imp
will do his first Intermediate as well. Imp twisted a shoe and
stepped down on the clip a couple of weeks ago and got a foot abscess, so
he is a bit short on work, and I will have to see how he is after
cross-country schooling this week. If there is any doubt to his
preparedness, I will go on the conservative side and not run him.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for the best!
Until next time,
The Island of Dominica
August 1, 2000
returned home after a fabulous week in the Caribbean, on the island
of Dominica. I went with my sister Patty, her husband Rob, and their
daughter Lindy, and we had the most marvelous time. We enjoyed the
excellent scuba diving, and also fabulous hiking in the mountains, which
are all rainforest. It is a truly beautiful island, and very much an
undiscovered paradise, with very few tourists. We would have loved
to have stayed another week or two, and definitely will go back at some
point, we all fell in love with Dominica.
Time to start galloping the event horses
for the autumn season, always one of my favorite things! We have
been lucky with the weather so far this summer, lots of rain, so the
ground is good, although it makes it a little hard to keep up with the
mowing! Events start up in two weeks, so things are getting
Until next time,
July 14, 2000
I'm off for a vacation tomorrow, I can hardly wait. I am going to
the island of Dominica, in the Caribbean, for a week of scuba diving with
my sister Patty, her husband Rob, and their daughter Lindy. I am
really looking forward to it, I haven't had a chance to go diving in about
five years! By the time I get back, things will be getting really
busy, and it will be time to start galloping in preparation for the autumn
season, as the events start in mid August. But in the meantime, all
the horses are doing their somewhat boring 40 and 50 minute trot sets to
leg up, and enduring the summer weather.
So enjoy the heat, the humidity and the
gnats next week, while I am sitting on the beach with my sunglasses and a
Pina Colada, enjoying a tropical breeze!
Until next time,
|Temair competing at
July 4, 2000
been having a quiet time around Windchase, since competition season is
over and things are not quite so hectic. Star Bright, Imp and Sirius are
all back in work now after a short vacation, and getting ready for the
autumn. It's really nice to have a chance to concentrate on the
younger horses during the break between seasons as well, so we are plenty
Our last event of the spring was Seneca
Valley. I rode Temair there in the Training, and she went great,
except for a slip in the woods which caused a fall unrelated to the fences
resulting in time penalties. I am looking forward to the
autumn season with her, she should move up to Preliminary soon.
Congratulations to Emily Curtis, who was 7th at Seneca. Also,
congratulations to owner Nancy Mountz and rider Makendra Palm, for a very
successful season with Famous Deception - three 1st, one 2nd, and two 3rd
placings at the training level.
Sadly, we said good-bye to working student
Siobhain O'Connor, who finished her year as a working student this week,
and has returned to Canada. We did make her promise to come back this
October for Morven Park!
|Siobhain O'Connor and
broodmare, Chip, foaled last week, giving us a lovely bay colt. I am
really thrilled to have five lovely babies by Windstar.
We are just getting ready to start First Star, or Twinkle as we call her
around the barn, under tack. I can hardly wait to start riding her,
as she shows every sign of being the lovely athlete her father is!
Until next time,
June 22, 2000
I had a
great vacation in Arizona. My whole family got together in Sedona to
celebrate my mother's 80th birthday, and we had a super trip. There were
17 of us all together, and it was great to all get together at the same
time, that only happens about once a decade or so! We saw the Grand
Canyon, rafted on the Colorado River and climbed up to the rock formations
on the red cliffs at Cathedral Rock. We partied, reminisced, and ate
entirely too much. It was nice to get away a while, but now it is
good to be home and back to work with the horses, I guess that is what
vacations are for!
We have had two new foals by Brandenburg's
Windstar this week! My young mare Sara had her first foal, an
absolutely gorgeous all black filly, who I have named Starless Night.
She is the most incredibly sweet foal I have ever seen! I also got a
lovely bay colt out of the older mare Six-picks, who we will call
Pick-a-Star. Four down, one more to go!
We have been getting plenty of rain, which
is good for the pastures and the ground, but it makes it hard to keep up
with the weed-eating and mowing, as everything grows so fast. Then
last Thursday, we had an incredible lightning storm, which shorted out
some of the wiring in the barn, leaving us without power in the stables
until the electrician could check everything out. It also,
unfortunately, fried the modem on my computer, leaving me without Internet
access. (I apologize for being slow to answer my E-mail, but it's
not my fault!) Much thanks to Nancy Mountz for letting me borrow her
computer to check the e-mail while mine is being repaired!
Meanwhile, Windchase students have been
doing well. Congratulations to Roberta D'Ascoli for finishing second
on Alex in the Novice at the Menfelt Event. Kathleen Dingus has been
successful at the Preliminary level the last two weekends on her two young
horses, with both winning some points, and she has a good clear round in
her first Intermediate at Waredaca on her gray horse 'Ricky'. And
special congratulations to Shirley Oxendine for winning the Intermediate
at Waredaca on Smartalic! Also, thanks to Kathleen and Sandy Dingus
for the gift of my lovely new show jump, the 'Windchase Island'! It is
complete with palm trees, fish, beach toys and a bar!
Until next time,
June 6, 2000
been a fun and busy two weeks to wrap up the spring Event season. I rode
Enniskerry Imp in the CDCTA Two-day Event the last weekend in May, which
went fairly well. Unfortunately, he became tense and naughty in the
dressage, and proceeded to buck and swap leads in the canter work,
finishing this phase in eighth place. This was frustrating, since he
is quite good on the flat at home, but he is still somewhat immature, and
since he is more fit than he has been before he just can't quite contain
himself! He jumped great on both cross-country and stadium, to
finish 7th, and I will look towards running him Intermediate in the
autumn. Congratulations also to Siobhain O'Connor, who finished 4th
in the Young Rider division on her horse Flying Advance.
I then left for Canada the following
Tuesday with Sirius for the CCI** at the Bromont Three-day Event.
This is a really long drive, made longer by a blown out tire on the truck!
When we arrived (after fifteen hours on the road) Sirius got sick; she had
contracted a case of shipping fever from the stress of travel. We spent
the night giving her IV fluids and antibiotics, and luckily she recovered
in time to compete successfully. She put in a pretty good dressage
test, scoring eighth out of about forty. Amanda Draper did a great
job grooming for me for the week, and Sirius looked beautiful. On
cross-country, Sirius jumped boldly to put in a clear round over a testing
course, but I went a bit slowly because I was not sure if she was totally
on her top form after her bout with shipping fever, so we were about
thirty seconds over the time, which dropped her down to 13th place after a
good show-jumping round on Sunday. Congratulations also to Kirsten
Anderson, who completed her first two-star in good form. We
then left at four o'clock in the afternoon for the long drive home, again
punctuated by another blown out tire!
All in all, a good finish to the season, with Star
Bright, Sirius and Enniskerry Imp all jumping clear cross-countries in
their respective Two-day and Three-day events. They are now enjoying
a short holiday before resuming their summer work, and I am leaving today
on a family vacation. We are going out to Sedona, Arizona and the
Grand Canyon to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday! I am looking
forwards to a few relaxing days with no decisions or responsibilities.
Until next time,
May 22, 2000
a fun day on Saturday at the Menfelt Starter Horse Trials. We took a
number of first-timers from Windchase to this excellent introductory competition. I rode Temair, my young mare that I
imported this winter from Ireland, in the Training Horse division, where
she went like a champ in all three phases to win by a tidy margin. A
good way to start her Eventing career!
Anne Clayton and Blackjack
Working students Anne Clayton and Roberta
D'Ascoli both did their first event ever, in the Novice division.
Anne had a great go with her Blackjack, finishing fourth, and Roberta had a super dressage and show
jumping, but ran into some problems cross-country when the horse she was
riding, Alex, refused to jump the ditch. Frustrating, but she gained
much valuable experience. Both Meri Hyoky on Fire and Emily Curtis on
Discovery won the dressage in their divisions, and show jumped clear, but
unfortunately some trouble cross-country prevented them from winning.
Daryl Leuck finished third on 'Full Speed Ahead Ted'. Amanda
Draper attended her very first competition with her Morgan mare Sunflower,
and finished an excellent 6th, with no jumping faults. On the whole,
a successful weekend for the greener horses and riders!
We galloped all of the horses headed for
the Two-day at CDCTA today, and had a great time doing their final
speedwork. The footing is good, thanks to the lovely rain, and
everyone is eagerly looking forwards to the weekend. I will be
running Enniskerry Imp there, and then the following
week it is off to Bromont, Canada, with Sirius for the CCI** that is held
at the lovely site of the 1976 Olympic Games. A fun couple of
Until next time,
May 17, 2000
Everyone here at Windchase had a successful weekend last week at the Fair
Hill at Menfelt Horse Trials. It was incredibly hot and humid on
Saturday, and very unpleasant, but fortunately it cooled down when some
storms came through in the night, and was a perfect day on Sunday for
I rode Sirius in the Open Intermediate and
Imp in the Open Preliminary divisions, and could not have asked for a
better performance from both of them. They each put in the best
dressage test that they have done all season, show jumped immaculately,
and jumped great on the cross-country. The ground was hard, so I was
a touch conservative on speed, so Sirius finished in 6th, and Imp was 2nd,
just two seconds too slow to win! Darn, I could have gone faster if
I had known! All in all, I was thrilled that they both had such a
good outing as their final preparation for their ultimate goals for the
season - Imp will go to the Two-day at CDCTA, and Sirius to the CCI** at
Bromont in Canada the first week of June.
Other Windchase students also did well this
weekend. Siobhain O'Connor had a good outing on Patrick Donegal, who
is a superb jumper she has been riding at the Preliminary level, to finish
8th. Melissa Hunsberger had a good clear round with Rob Cooper's
Pajama Cap despite a slight disagreement about whether to go in the start
box or not. Melissa also had a great go on my horse Snowy River,
with an absolutely stunning show jumping round. She did not run him
cross-country because of the hardness of the ground, but the two of them
seem to be developing a good partnership. Both Siobhain and Melissa
have two horses entered for the Two-day at CDCTA, so they will have their
Susan Dooling also had a good run with her
excellent mare Blue Yonder in the Preliminary, finishing 5th.
Shirley Oxendine had a good clear go in the Intermediate with Smart Alec.
Congratulations to David Smith and Joanna Blough for successfully
completing their first Intermediate! David had a terrific clear
cross-country on his talented Irish horse Brandenburg's Mullingar.
At the Training level, Kathleen Dingus won her
division on her new mare she recently imported from England, and Katie
Willis had a great ride on her young Gold Strike, to take 2nd place.
All in all, a super weekend for Windchase,
wish they all could go like that! Now we are preparing for the
starter Horse Trials at Menfelt this Saturday, where some of the greener
horses and less experienced riders will make their Eventing debut!
Watch this space!
Until next time,
May 9, 2000
I am just back from the Foxhall Three
Day Event in Atlanta, GA, and what a great week! I rode Star Bright in the
CCI***, and he finished 10th out of around 80 entries. He did a very
nice dressage test, finishing that phase tied for 6th. He was
beautifully turned out by Emily Curtis, who did a great job grooming all
week, assisted on the weekend by Amanda Draper. My farrier Steve
Mayer also came down for cross-country day, and was a super help in the
vet box. Nancy Dresser had helped out as well by giving him a lovely clip
job before we left home, so it was truly a team effort.
clear and fast on the cross country, and finished feeling quite fit and
strong. It was one of the best cross country rides I have had, and I
couldn't have been more thrilled with him. He show jumped pretty
well over an extremely difficult stadium course, but had several rails,
which moved him down a few places, to finish tenth in the CCI, and 8th in
the AHSA Championships.
The event was absolutely lovely, with the
cross-country very much designed with the spectators in mind, you could
see three quarters of the course from the grandstands. There were
five water jumps on the course, as well as several other difficult
questions. The course was designed by Mark Phillips, and rode very
well for the most part; very smooth and flowing despite looping back
through the main arena several times. The weather was quite hot, but the
horses handled it well for the most part, and the new extra ten minute
cooling stop that the FEI had added to phase C helped considerably.
All in all, it was really wonderful to be a part of the inaugural Foxhall
Three Day Event!
Cartel had her foal shortly before we left for
Georgia, a lovely big gray colt. I have named him Star Flight.
Sadly, the other mare that was due to foal, Lucy, ran into difficulties,
and we lost both the mare and the foal. We were very sad to have this bad
luck, but nothing could be done to save her. We will hope for better
fortune with the other three mares that are due in June.
This weekend we go to Fair Hill at Menfelt, where
Sirius and Imp will run in their last Horse Trials in preparation for
their Three Day Events.
Until next time,
April 25, 2000
I don't think it is ever going to stop
raining! After a wet beginning to the week last week, we went up to
Fair Hill International, where Star Bright was entered in the Advanced and
Enniskerry Imp in the Preliminary. It rained all day Friday, and all
night Friday night, and by Saturday everything was a quagmire. I ended
up doing just the dressage and show jumping, and even though I really wanted
the cross-country run with Bright as his last run before the CCI*** at Foxhall, I felt that the footing was too risky, so I came home and gave him
a gallop instead. It was a shame, as
the course was really nice, if it
hadn't rained so much, and the organizers had done a great job with the
event. Oh well, there is always another day!
We have been anxiously awaiting the first of
our foals, we have six due this spring by our stallion Brandenburg's
Windstar. The first two due, Cartel and Lucy, we have brought up to
the barn and have been checking closely. They are both late, and we
have been watching them expectantly.
Then this morning, I got a call from my
friend and next-door neighbor Nancy Mountz, saying she had a foal in her
front yard! The third mare due, Escapade, had a lovely bay colt out in
the field at about 5:00 this morning, she was two weeks early, and we hadn't
even started monitoring her too closely yet, as she was showing no signs of
being close. What a surprise!
I love this time of year, despite the rain,
with all the flowers blooming, the leaves just coming out on the trees, and
everything seeming fresh and new. We have a Canadian Goose who has
been nesting on our lake down by the water jump, accompanied by her husband,
the Attack Goose. He fiercely defends his mate, chasing off anything
that comes near her while she is sitting on her eggs, including other geese,
herons, dogs, people, cars, and horses attempting to jump the water jump.
Then, a few days ago, she hatched out six adorable baby geese, they are
absolutely incredible. The parents proudly parade them all over the
yard, and now that they are hatched, the father allows the other geese to
land on the lake and admire his babies.
I am hoping that the next two foals will be
born this week, and then it is off to Georgia for the Three Day Event next
Monday. Star Bright seems to be fit and in good form, and I am looking
forward to going down to attend the first CCI*** at Foxhall.
Until next time,
This weekend was the Fair Hill at
Menfelt Horse Trials, and a good time was had by all! I
ran three horses, Star Bright in the Advanced, Sirius in
the Intermediate, and Enniskerry Imp Preliminary. They all
went well, and it was a satisfying weekend. All three had
fairly good, but not brilliant,
dressage tests, Sirius in particular was much improved over her
last outing. At Morven, she was quite tense, and refused to
stand on her halts, so we had
worked very hard the last two weeks to improve on this.
Bright and Imp show jumped well, but Sirius uncharacteristically
had two rails down, she is
usually quite a clean jumper. All three horses went really
well on cross-country. I did not try to go especially
fast, as they compete again next weekend at Fair Hill International, but they all jumped
superbly, and I was quite pleased with the weekend.
My working student Melissa Hunsberger,
who is leasing Snowy River, had an excellent run on him in the
Preliminary. They seem to be developing a promising partnership! Susan Dooling had a good go with
her mare Blue Yonder, to finish 6th. And congratulations
to Natalie Compton, who had a successful outing in her first Advanced on High Tech!
I am excited to have six mares due to
foal to our Irish stallion Brandenburg's Windstar this spring,
and the first two are due this coming week! I am really looking forward to some new babies!
Until next time,