I feel very lucky to be part of a large and
close-knit family, and I got the chance to really
appreciate it last weekend while hosting fifty family
members and friends for the Dawson/Jarman Family Reunion.
We enjoyed great food, excellent music, family stories,
and most of all just getting together with four
generations of relatives.
Dawsons are nothing if not competitive, so the
Amazing Grace Team Challenge was a great hit.
The Relay Race involved stilt walking, wheelbarrow
racing, obstacle courses, flipper races, and ferrying the
team across the lake in the rowboat.
The Family Feud Trivia test brought back many fond
memories of family history. Windchase
riders Cindy and Heidi excelled in the wheelbarrow
cross-country event, and the kids in the family did a
great job with the obstacle course.
In the end, the girls team edged out the boys team
by a narrow margin despite their sinking the boat.
How great it was to watch the kids, as this
youngest generation of cousins bonded and formed
friendships that hopefully will last them a lifetime.
Our family has managed to stay close even though
separated by distance, and when we all get together it is
a really special time.
Visit the gallery of photos from
the Dawson/Jarman Family
e 26, 2013
Summer is here!
We finished up the Event Season with a win for
Astrana de la Galerna at Seneca Valley and a second for
Aquilla at Surefire, both ridden in the Novice by Cindy.
Now it is time for a bit of a break from
competition, where we enjoy family time and work on
starting the young homebreds.
coming weekend is the annual Dawson Family Reunion, and it
is my turn to host it.
I have about fifty family members coming, so I
better start cooking now!
Things have been busy here at Windchase as we go
through the spring Eventing season, taking the young
horses and the students out to gain mileage at as many
competitions as possible.
As with any event season there have been ups and
downs, but on the whole the horses have been going well
and moving up the levels.
And we have a super group of talented youngster
horses at home preparing for their turn!
can be a risky sport, but accidents can happen anywhere
– sadly our working student Sara Koebel got kicked in
the pasture and fractured her elbow, resulting in surgery.
Fortunately Sara will be fine, but she has had to
cut her time at Windchase short to return home to recover.
We will miss Sara and her excellent mare Lady
well soon Sara!
and Lady Liberty
The weather has stayed mostly cool all during May,
prolonging the beauty of spring.
The blossoming flowers and shrubs have been
spectacular, and each day brings something new.
We have four lovely foals
on the ground, two colts and two fillies.
What fun to watch them frolic in the field, and
dream of what they may be doing seven or eight years from
We took a whole troop of young horses to the
unrecognized horse trials at Loch Moy yesterday.
The weather was lovely, the horses went well, and
we had a great (if long) day.
Cindy won a division of Novice with the fancy
homebred Aquilla, and I was second on his brother, Phoenix
Star. In the
BN, Heidi Wardle cleaned up, winning with Nicola
Hasling’s lovely TB Reiver, and getting a 2nd
place on Wendy Jones’ Katie Belle.
Cindy placed 2nd in the Training with
Shocolatine, and Rachel Nymeyer was 2nd in the
Elementary riding Ballygrace Laralai.
Not bad, half a dozen top two placings out of nine
May 5, 2013
Congratulations to Cindy and her talented
Thoroughbred Windsor; they were superstars in the Open
Intermediate division at the MCTA Horse Trials today,
jumping a superb clear XC round over a big course, and
Cindy and Windsor at MCTA
April 30, 2013
The trees are in leaf now, though still a few weeks
behind where they normally would be this time of year.
The pink trees in my yard are in full bloom, and
the lawn is covered in violets.
New baby geese on the lake, and a pair of wild wood
ducks have started coming up on the lawn looking for corn.
Riding through the trails, the woods are carpeted
with wildflowers, like a place for fairies.
The good thing about the cold spring we have had is
that these magical spring days last longer.
Loudoun Horse Trials were this past weekend, and we
had a great time there with the young horses.
Cindy Anderson-Blank was tied for first in the
Novice with Astrana de la Galerna, and placed sixth with
Aquilla in his recognized competition debut.
Cindy does a fabulous job riding them, and both of
these talented young horses have a bright upper-level
Working student Hannah Milne had a great ride on
Scooter, jumping double clear to finish 6th in
the Training division, and Sara Koebel had a good run in
the Novice with Lady Liberty, marred only by the mare
hesitating at the water.
We have had two new foals
in recent weeks at Windchase, with two more on the way
later in the spring. Dreams
for the future!
We had a super day at Loch Moy for the starter
trial on April 14. I
rode my homebred ISH Phoenix Star in the Beginner Novice
and Cindy had the ride on Aquilla, and both of these
talented 5 year olds went great.
Emma Dixon won the Novice with her mare Stella,
Cindy was 3rd with Astrana, and Sara Koebel was
8th with her Lady Liberty.
Milne put in a great performance with Jump for Joy,
finishing 5th in the Training division.
Jessica Gebbet placed 2nd in the
Elementary with Wendy Jones’s young Connemara Katie
Belle, and Heidi Wardle was 6th with Jim
Bewley’s nice young thoroughbred, Ned Kelly.
this past weekend, Cindy rode her own talented but
somewhat temperamental thoroughbred Windsor at Fair Hill;
they had a super outing, placing 5th in the
In the meantime, after the seemingly endless
winter, spring is magnificent. The
world is once again rich with color.
The trees are covered with fresh new leaves, the
grass is growing so fast you can almost watch it, and
flowers are in bloom everywhere.
Riding around the farm is always a treat, but in a
clear sunny day in April it is sheer heaven.
April 13, 2013
It seemed winter would never end, but at last
better weather is here.
It finally warmed up, and after a good rain
yesterday, the grass grew about six inches overnight.
I even got to mow my lawn this evening!
I just love
this time of year; the early days of spring, when the
trees are budding out and everything is fresh and new and
full of promise. It
always brings to mind one of my favorite poems by Robert
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
March certainly didn’t go out like a lamb, but
April came in like an icy blast.
Spring has been a long time coming, and still no
leaves on the trees. It
was sunny and the warmest it has been all year, but
temperatures are predicted to be back in the twenties
For April Fool’s Day the working students
apparently hung me in effigy; when I went to the barn in
the morning I found the likeness of a dead body, wearing a
Windchase sweatshirt, swinging from a tree limb.
I didn’t delve too deeply into the intended
symbolism; there are some things you just don’t want to
We celebrated April 1 with a Windchase Gymkhana.
The working students, mounted on Windchase horses,
contested the egg and spoon race, barrel racing, a
ride-a-buck obstacle course, pole-bending, crepe paper
(actually toilet paper) pairs, and a competitive game of
Simon Says. How
many ways there are to have fun on a horse!
March 31, 2013
spring Event Season is off to a good start.
Windchase trainer Cindy Anderson-Blank had a great
run today in the Preliminary at Morven Park with Windsor.
This follows up her win last weekend at Loch Moy
with Gandara in the Novice, so things are looking good.
say the same for the weather.
Yesterday was pretty nice, but it was cold and
rainy again today. Hopefully
this week will finally bring some much-awaited springtime
photos below show a comparison of spring a year ago with
March 30, 2012, compared to March
we had a good day, with the Windchase staff getting
together for Easter Brunch after we got back from the
horse trials. Nothing
like a good meal and some Easter Egg decorating with
March 23, 2013
This is getting ridiculous!
It is supposed to be spring, but the temperatures
remain below freezing and snow is predicted for Sunday
night and Monday. My
poor little daffodil buds have had their little heads
frozen off. Not
what we expect from Global Warming; surely it will warm up
spent Saturday over at Loch Moy for the Combined Test, a
good way to knock off the winter rust.
Cindy rode her talented thoroughbred Windsor in the
Preliminary and Sport in the Training, and both went
was in the ribbons with Bling in Beginner Novice, and
placed 2nd in the Elementary with Jim
Bewley’s new horse Ned Kelly, a great result for his
first outing. Working
student Sara Koebel had a great debut with her
lovely mare Libby, ending the round well after starting
with a brief parting of company.
A good day, and back over there Sunday with some
Novice horses for the starter trials.
Maybe the snow will hold off.
riding Ned Kelly, and Sara Koebel on Libby
And the Top of the Mornin’ to Ye!
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day from Windchase.
especially appreciate this holiday after my vacation last
summer, when Jineen and I visited Connemara, Ireland, and
hiked up to St. Patrick’s Chapel on Maumeen Pass.
This place of worship was founded by Saint Patrick
in the year 432 - over a thousand years before Columbus
discovered America. To
stand on such hallowed ground and look out over the
mountains and valleys is an experience not to be
Patrick's Chapel, Maumeen, Ireland
Springtime is coming round slowly. Along
with all the other flowers and trees, my daffodils are on
hold: they came peeking out of the ground weeks ago,
budded out and just waiting for the warm sunny days
heralding spring. They
are still waiting. It
is like Mother Nature decided to put Spring back in the
in like a lion and out like a lamb?
More like a polar bear!
or not, we started our competition season today.
We took a bunch of horses to the Jumping Derby at
Loch Moy Farm, and really had a fun time.
The course was a combination of Show Jumping and
Cross-Country, all on good all-weather footing.
American Fable, Gandara and Bling all went great;
look for these horses on the For Sale page.
March 10, 2013
a difference three days can make.
On Wednesday we had eight inches of snow (and if it
had been three degrees colder it could easily have been
eighteen), and today it was sunny and high fifties.
The daffodils buds are ready to unfurl, and today I
heard the first chorus of the spring peepers. What
a delight, to ride good horses around the farm on the
first spring-like day of the year!
Event Season, here we come.
March 1, 2013
March already; can you believe it? In another couple weeks winter will be over. I love the change of seasons, but I must admit I enjoy some seasons more than others. Spring is my favorite! This time of year is always special; we are poised at the end of winter with all the glories of spring just ahead of us. My daffodils buds have been peeking out of the ground for weeks, in suspended animation, waiting for the warm weather when they will unfurl.
Things are good here, as we prepare for spring. We have an exciting bunch of young horses in training, and have spent a productive winter working with them. We also have a great group of working students and a terrific staff. We are really looking forward to the start of the season.
We have a few stalls available, so if you need a place to train out of, contact us. Our complete facilities make it easy to prepare for the events, and we have hundreds of cross-country fences right here on the farm. Come Eventing with us!
I went to Florida last week and participated in a
photography workshop, something I have wanted to do for a
theme of the workshop was Birds and Gators, and we got the
chance to see and photograph plenty of both.
I had a lot of fun and it was a great learning
this link to see some of my Florida
February 14, 2013
Happy Valentine's Day!
February 4, 2013
The temperature has been going up and down like a
yo-yo; last week we went from seventy degrees down to
seven in three days. Over
the last month we keep bouncing back and forth between
amazingly warm spells where the flowers start to bloom,
and then bitter windy cold with snow.
Not complaining though – it’s better than it
just staying cold all the time!
can actually get adjusted to the cold pretty well though;
after a prolonged cold snap the frigid weather doesn’t
bother me too much. Only
problem is, it takes me about a week to get adjusted to
the cold weather, and only an hour to get adjusted back to
Speaking of warm, I am
heading down to Florida this week to attend a photography
workshop, something I have always wanted to do.
Then I will be home for a week before heading back
down to Florida again for the ICP Symposium in Ocala.
Back and forth to Florida twice within 10 days –
that should help my winter weather adjustment!
ICP Symposium should be fabulous, and I would encourage
everyone who can to attend.
British Eventing coach Yogi Breisner, dressage guru
Linda Zang, and the new US Eventing coach David O’Connor
will be presenting a teaching seminar, with some of our
top Eventers participating as demo riders. It
is open to all, and should be a great educational
more information, go to this link: http://useventing.com/news/learn-best-annual-ocala-symposium-david-oconnor-linda-zang-and-yogi-breisner.
It is hard to bring it to mind when it is five
Cold weather this week aside, the winter has not
been too bad so far (knock on wood), and we have been
having a good time getting the young horses up and going.
The three year olds are now four, and they are
ready to get serious in their training.
We have a great selection of youngsters, and we are
tuning up the competition horses for the 2013 spring Event
Now is the time to be
finding your horse for the spring competition season, so
if you are shopping for a new equine partner, get in
touch, we have a great group of horses available.
And if your current horse is not what you need and
you want to find him a new home, let me know – we accept
horses on consignment, and have already sold three in
are having a lot of fun with the Sunday Jumping clinics
here at Windchase. They
are fun and informal, and we have groups from
beginner/elementary up through Preliminary.
Sign up by Thursday each week to jump on Sunday.
For more information, go to http://www.teamwindchase.com/MiniClinics.htm.
Drop me an Email at email@example.com
if you want to be included on the mailing list.
It has been a long
time coming, but I have finally posted the journal and photos from the
trip to Ireland in August 2012
that Jineen and I took this past August.
Have a look!
Happy New Year!
Working Students celebrated the New Year by doing a polar dive off
the dock into the lake today.
It was particularly invigorating, as they had to break the
ice off the water before making the jump. I have
photographic proof: Rachel was first into the water, but Jessica
was the first one out.