Invest in the Journey, not the Destination.
(Archive: October 6, 2017 - November 7, 2018)
Notes from Phyllis


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Canada 2010

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Windchase Quotes:

To ride a horse is to ride the sky.
~ Unknown Author ~ 


November 7, 2018
     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 and Windchase Alcor

         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 levels.

     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.
     I 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.

Morgan and Mizz Indycat

     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.


October 18, 2018
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 Ireland. 

Windchase 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

Congratulations 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)


September 30, 2017
     Cindy Anderson-Blank and Windchase are happy to announce the formation of The Windchase Syndicate, 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 terrific partnership.

Cindy and MHS Cooley Vegas are already forming a terrific partneship.

     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!

     If 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!


September 29, 2018
     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.
     Cindy 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.

Cindy Anderson-Blank and The Windchase Syndicate's MHS Cooley Vegas placed 5th in the CIC* at Plantation Fields.

     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.


September 11, 2018
     As 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!


August 27, 2018
     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.

Morgan McGrath schooling Tyrion - see this lovely Irish Sport Horse on our Horses for Sale page.

     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 much energy!

Grainne and Rae


June 4, 2018

     We 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:

Windchase Pegasus, and his dam Smart Notion.

Filly by Goldmaker (not yet named), with her dam Gonna Storm.

Unnamed colt out of Gold Trinket.


May 22, 2018
     Will it 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!

     In the 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 her with.
     Well, no 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!  


     But now 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 great-great-grandfather.  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!


April 21, 2018
    Love the babies! I have named this lovely colt Windchase Pegasus. Two more on the way!


April 14, 2018

     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.

Galerna Campari Mail, offered for sale.


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 jump.


February 27, 2018
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.


January 30, 2018
     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. 
     Yesterday the sunset filled the evening sky and the lake with color; it was Windchase Magic at its best.  


December 22, 2017

We have been e
njoying 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.


November 23, 2017
     Happy Thanksgiving!
     As 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.    

Coming in 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: 

Lord, 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.


November 2, 2017
     Windchase 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

     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

     In 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 season.    


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 first time!


For past news from Phyllis and the crew at Windchase, go to the