Phyllis and Star Bright
competing at the Foxhall Cup ***.
New Webpage addition:
Find your way around
with the Site Map.
about Phyllis' trip to Ireland in January 2001.
the groom's account of The Inaugural Foxhall Cup *** Three Day Event.
Phyllis' journal from her trip to Africa
in January 2000.
May 23, 2001
The Commonwealth Three-Day Event at Great Meadows begins tomorrow, I am riding Enniskerry Imp in the CCI**.
Melissa Hunsberger is also competing, she is riding Snowy River in the CCI*.
With Natalie Compton, Megan Hansen and Kathleen Dingus all in the Two-star, Windchase riders will be well represented!
We finally got some rain this week, so the ground should be good, and we expect to have a fun week!
Imp is certainly looking forward to it, he is too fit for his own good, and bored out of his mind.
I hope the competition will give him something to amuse himself with, at least he will be the center of attention, which always makes him happy!
In the meantime, I have been enjoying working with the three new Kiwi horses.
They have proved to be quite lovely, a real treat to ride.
In fact, one of them I would like to keep and compete myself!
One of them has been sold already, however, and I expect the others to go fast, so I probably will not get the opportunity.
I am still eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new Irish horse.
The shipping date keeps getting postponed, but the last word I had has him arriving during the first week in June, so I will keep my fingers crossed.
We are eagerly awaiting the next of Windstar's foals, due this weekend, but I am hoping the mare will wait until next week, when I am back from my Event.
Of course, so far, I have been away for both foals born this year, so we will see.
Until next time,
Messenger, New Zealand Event
Horse offered for sale.
May 14, 2001
Jineen has a new horse! Cartel had a beautiful bay filly on Saturday evening, which I had promised to Jineen for her 50th birthday.
She has named her Starburst, as she has a great big perfect star on her forehead, and she did just sort of burst onto the scene!
The bad news of the week was that Escapade, the mare that foaled three weeks ago, developed a serious case of colic last Wednesday, and had to have surgery.
She seems to be doing well (knock on wood), and came home today.
Her filly, Starshine, seems no worse for the adventure, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that Escapade will continue to improve and be perfectly fine in short order.
I went to the new Event at Plantation Field, in Unionville, PA this past weekend.
It was a really fabulous new course, quite difficult, but really nice.
Imp went very well for the most part, but unfortunately had a stop going into the water jump, which is the one type of fence that he has been a little green at.
He apologized and promised to do better next time, and indeed, was perfect around the rest of the demanding cross country course.
It was a good prep for the Commonwealth CCI** at Great Meadows in two weeks, which is our main goal for the season.
Congratulations to Kathleen Dingus, who finished third in the Intermediate on her Springcroft Tia Maria with an excellent performance in all three phases.
These two have a bright future together! Also, congratulations to Liz Patrick of Water's Edge Farm, for finishing second on her exceptional mare Blue Yonder, whom she purchased through Windchase this past winter.
Another horse we sold last winter, Smartalic, had a super round with new owner Erin Hurley.
It is always great to see former Windchase horses have success with their new owners!
Until next time,
Starburst, Jineen's new
May 8, 2001
No competitions for me this past weekend, put we had a great party on Sunday, to celebrate Jineen's 50th birthday!
We had a big turnout for a pot luck dinner, and the working students had decorated the patio appropriately.
I gave Jineen a card with a clue in it, and she then had to follow a series of rhymes, each one leading to the next clue, until she found her gift.
When the final clue took her to the stall that my broodmare Cartel was in, she learned that Cartel's foal, which should be born within the next week, is her Birthday gift!
Several of Windchase's students competed at Difficult Run, and did well.
Petra Buc finished third on Kentucky Courage in the Novice, Casey Geyer was second in Training and Katie Willis had a good go with her mare Ebony, placing third.
The Preliminary Young Rider division was won by Caroline Kjellman on Another World, the excellent New Zealand horse that she bought recently at Windchase.
The three new Kiwi horses from New Zealand are excellent!
I have been working with them the past week, and I am extremely pleased with their quality and attitudes.
They are all quite talented, with good competition records. I think they will be quite successful here in the northern hemisphere!
We are all really delighted to have Siobhain O'Connor from Canada and her excellent horse Flying Advance back at Windchase.
They look forward to competing where there is not snow on the ground!
My new horse from Ireland will not arrive this week as planned, because the flight he was supposed to be on got canceled.
I hope he will arrive before long, we will just have to wait and see.
We'll be off to the new event at Plantation Field in PA this weekend.
Though it was quite wet earlier in the spring, the ground is getting hard now, so we are hoping to get some rain before then.
Until next time,
April 30, 2001
The Kiwi's are here! The second batch of three New Zealand horses owned by Pedro
Gutierrez arrived at Windchase today. They are a little tired after their travels, but look well, and seem to have arrived in good shape.
They are all seven-year-old Thoroughbreds that have competed well at the Preliminary level in New Zealand.
I am looking forward to working with them and offering them for sale. The last group of Kiwis we brought in turned out to be a raging success, with 'Another World' and 'Far and Wide' cleaning up in the Open Preliminary and Young Rider's divisions on the east coast, and 'Ransom' doing well in Texas.
This lot looks to be at least as special!
I also have another new toy coming.
I have bought an additional horse in Ireland, and he should be arriving in early May.
When I was over there in January, I saw a lovely bay five-year-old I liked a whole lot, but I was not able to make a deal on him at the time.
Since the horses that I imported were so nice and sold very quickly, I called over to the owner and was able to arrange to purchase him now, and have him sent over.
He is quite lovely, and I am looking forward to his arrival.
I have not named him yet (typically horses in Ireland are not named until they begin to compete), so let me know if you have any good suggestions!
The new horse from Ireland.
I was supposed to compete this weekend at Pleasant Hollow with three horses, but unfortunately they had to cancel the competition due to an outbreak on rhinopneumonitis in their stable.
Of course I am disappointed to not get to attend their excellent Event, but more than that, I really feel bad for Jane Corey and the folks at Pleasant Hollow for having to deal with so many sick horses, they have been having a tough time of it.
I wish them the best!
Not having a competition to do this weekend did not keep Enniskerry Imp from having a little excitement this week.
I was out hacking on some neighboring property when Imp was attacked! By a butterfly!
He wheeled and bucked and neatly deposited me on the ground. (In his defense, Imp did later tell me he was convinced the butterfly was rabid!)
I tried to hold on to the reins to prevent him from running loose, though even as I was clutching them I was thinking of how dangerous that could be, and remembering that old saying, "There are fools, there are damn fools, and there are those who won't let go of the reins".
But just as I was hoping to get him under control before he dragged me across the field, the reins broke, and Imp took off.
And I mean REALLY took off, at about 800 meters per minute. He ran across a field full of Ground Hog holes, around a sharp bend with metal gate posts sticking out, down a hill on a gravel lane, up Kidwell Road, and then up our gravel driveway, all at top speed.
He left me, with a sprained ankle, to hobble home in my own good time!
(Fortunately, when Imp arrived home without me, Melissa came looking for me in the car.)
By some miracle, Imp did manage to make it home safely, without injury, so I think we lucked out on this one.
I have been hobbling around the last few days with an ice pack on my ankle, but it could have been a lot worse!
"Bad Imp! Bad Imp!" Hopefully I can find a way to keep his mind occupied and his boredom under control until his next competition, which is Plantation Field in two weeks.
Until next time,
April 23, 2001
The Fair Hill International Horse Trials was a success for us!
It was a lovely weekend, a very nice Event, as usual, and most of the Windchase trained horses went really well.
I rode Enniskerry Imp in the Open Intermediate division, and he put in a good performance.
I misjudged my dressage warm-up and rode him too long, so our test was a bit disappointing, as he was tired and cranky by the time we got in the ring.
Imp redeemed himself nicely by putting in a super show jumping round, and then going clear around the cross-country in really good style.
It was great to finally get to run him in an Intermediate, as I had entered five Intermediate events this spring, and so far three of them have been cancelled!
This makes qualifying for the CCI** at CDCTA a bit difficult, as I need four clear XC rounds at Intermediate before May 1.
I had two from last autumn, but because of the cancellations, Fair Hill is the only one I will be able to do this year before the end of April, so I will have to ask for special permission.
Hopefully this will be granted.
Imp in the Show Jumping at
Several other Windchase students put in outstanding performances this weekend at Fair Hill. Natalie Compton rode
High Tech in the Advanced division, finishing 8th with a lovely clear cross-country round. We are extremely proud of her!
Melissa Hunsberger did a super job with Snowy River, putting in a credible dressage test and really nice double clear rounds in cross-country and show jumping. Snowy is extremely talented, but not the easiest horse to ride, so it is really great to see the two of them developing into such a good partnership. Kathleen Dingus had a great performance on her mare Springcroft Tia Maria in the Intermediate, with a terrific cross-country round. Pedro Gutierrez of Mexico also did well with his nice mare Almazara, who is in good form and preparing to go to the CCI* at Lexington, VA in May.
It is great to watch the success of the New Zealand horses that Pedro imported last autumn. Far and Wide again went around the Preliminary cross-country like it was a piece of cake for his rider Sara Davis. Another World, ridden by his new owner Caroline Kjellman, had an incredibly successful outing, finishing 2nd in the CIC*. The really exciting thing is, we have another batch of nice Kiwi horses on the way. In fact, they arrived on American soil on Sunday, and should be at Windchase by next weekend. They are all young Thoroughbreds that have competed successfully at the Preliminary level. I am
eager to see them, if they are half as good as the last bunch, they should really be a lot of fun! They will be offered for sale this summer at Windchase.
Escapade with her new filly.
The other big news is, we have a new foal! Escapade, our most sneaky broodmare, managed to have her baby out in the field away from watchful eyes for the second year in a row!
On Saturday morning, Jineen did the milk-calcium test on her, which is generally a good indicator of when foaling will occur.
She was not even on the scale yet, which meant that she should not foal for a least three or four more days. By three o'clock that afternoon, she had a lovely filly running around by her side! The foal is very sweet and beautiful. She looks like she will be gray, as she has some white hairs around her tail, and she has a large white blaze. I am delighted with her. The next mare is due in early May. I love springtime!
Until next time,
April 16, 2001
Happy Easter! What a beautiful weekend we had here, it was truly beautiful out, sunny and warm, with all the flowering trees at their best.
I had a quiet relaxed weekend, since the Event I was originally supposed to do this weekend (Plantation Field) was cancelled, and although I was on the waiting list for Marlborough, I never got in.
So I spent the lovely weekend, unexpectedly free of obligations, riding, hacking, and going to the races!
Easter Sunday morning, I had a great gallop with Imp over at Shelbourne Glebe.
This nearby farm is spectacularly beautiful, with a large lake overlooked by rolling hills, and it is always a treat to get to ride there.
There is a quite long and fairly steep hill there, so I was able to put a bit of serious work into Imp.
This was good for him, because he is feeling quite fit and looking for ways to entertain himself, such as spooking and bucking when we go out
for a hack! He is fit enough now that it is hard to do enough of a gallop to
tire him out a bit without a serious hill.
Sunday afternoon, Mom and I joined Dr. Howard, our long-time friend and Veterinarian, at his Patron's Box at the Loudoun Hunt Races, at Oatlands
Plantation in Leesburg. We had a lot of fun; I always enjoy watching the steeplechase races, and we saw a lot of old friends there.
And the food was excellent, too!
Off to Fair Hill this weekend, we have a whole crew of Windchase
riders competing there, from Preliminary through Advanced, so it should be a entertaining weekend!
Until next time,
April 9, 2001
Windchase had a great weekend at the Loudoun Horse Trials. We had over a dozen Windchase horses or students competing there. It's always the most fun when we have a large group of friends to watch at the Events!
After the cross-country getting rained out for the Intermediate division last weekend at Morven Park, Enniskerry Imp and I were feeling like it was going to be an awfully long time until Fair Hill April 20. Imp is very fit and ready to run, so I decided to see if I could get him in to the Open Preliminary division at Loudoun. We were put on the waiting list, and found out Saturday morning that we did in fact get a spot when someone scratched at the last minute. Imp was delighted to get to compete, as he particularly likes to go to competitions so he can get extra treats to eat! This weekend he feasted on blueberry muffins as well as his usual peppermints.
Imp did a much improved Dressage test. Now that he has been out to a few competitions this year, he is starting to grow up and concentrate on his work a little more, and to become more relaxed. He is a beautiful mover with great presence, and goes really well at home, but sometimes he likes to play around and be a bit of a clown when he has an audience. On this occasion, he settled and put in a really good test. He show-jumped perfectly, and we had a blast cross-country, and we won our division handily. Much to Imp's delight, he won a nice wool cooler, in our dark blue and light blue colors!
Better Angel, known as Halo around the stable, also went really well, and won her division of Training Horse. This was her third Training level, and she has won
all three, not a bad record! She is scheduled to move up to Preliminary at the end of the month, so I was glad that she jumped around the course easily. Now she really thinks she is a princess, because she earned a cooler as well!
Congratulations to Jean Bowman, who won her division of Training with her lovely horse Mullingar. It has been really fun watching them form a partnership. Pedro Gutierrez put in a super performance on his mare Almazara, to finish 7th in the Open Preliminary. Melissa Hunsberger did a good job of riding Petra Buc's excellent youngster Kentucky Courage in his first Training level event, and Casey Geyer had a very good event on her horse in the Training division, finishing fourth. It was also fun to see Far and Wide, one of the New Zealand imports that we sold last autumn, go around the Preliminary course in the Young Riders division in great style!
Spring is finally in full swing; the weather is becoming warm, the flowers are starting to bloom, and the grass is getting green. I love this time of year the best, when all the trees are just starting to bud, the spring peepers are out, and everything is fresh and new. It always makes me think of this
wonderful poem by Robert Frost:
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 in grief,
And dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.
Until next time,
March 31, 2001
Rain, rain, nothing but rain! The Morven Park Horse Trials were held this weekend, with Dressage and Show Jumping today, and cross-country scheduled for tomorrow.
But unfortunately, due to the excessive rain, the cross-country phase had to be cancelled.
I was really disappointed to not get the run, but Morven Park was as wet as I have ever seen it and the footing was truly unsafe.
Enniskerry Imp did a pretty good dressage test in the Intermediate CIC**, much improved over last week, and show jumped perfectly, never touching a fence, to finish in eighth place.
I was happy with his performance, but I really regret not getting to do the cross-country, as his next event will not be for another three weeks.
Getting qualified for the Two-star at CDCTA will be a challenge!
Imp looked quite amazing today, due to the efforts of Amanda Draper and Emily Curtis, who had him perfectly turned out.
He is a very beautiful horse, and quite conceited about it. He is also quite spoiled, having spent the day eating Peanut butter cookies, Goldfish crackers, Granola bars and about a hundred peppermints!
Other Windchase students also had a successful day.
Natalie Compton of Water's Edge Farm won her division of the CIC** on High Tech, and Megan Hansen had a good performance on her Razzamatazz.
We have enjoyed having Megan back at Windchase for the last couple of weeks, she came down from her home in New Hampshire, where they still have three feet of snow!
Kathleen Dingus did well with both of her horses, one in the CIC** and one in the Intermediate.
Megan, Natalie and Kathleen all had really lovely show jumping rounds, which was satisfying, since the course had been moved to the indoor arena because of the rain, and the tight turns and related distances caused plenty of problems in the division.
It's nice when the homework pays off!
Until next time,
March 25, 2001
Event Season at last! A lot of the Event competitors go south for the winter, and train in Florida or the Carolinas, but I have always stayed at home.
I am lucky to have a nice indoor arena, and really the winters in Virginia are not normally so bad that you can't get out in February and
do some gallops. I do not like to be away from home for long periods of time, and I have a business to run here on the farm, so spending the
winter in Florida is not feasible for me. But I do always feel a little behind at this time of year, as so many of the riders have already done half a dozen events and are in full swing when my season is just starting out!
Middletown Horse Trials were yesterday, and I had a good first run of the season on Enniskerry Imp in the Open Preliminary.
He was a bit over-exuberant in the dressage, but was very good cross-country, and
it served as a good warm-up for the CIC** next weekend at Morven Park.
I also had the ride on the really nice New Zealand horse Another World, imported recently by Pedro Gutierrez.
He went super as well, and I am kind of sorry I won't be riding him the rest of the season, as he has been sold.
Pedro also came up for the weekend from Mexico to ride his nice mare Almazara, and we were lucky to have nice (though chilly) weather and excellent footing.
Windchase students Megan Hansen, Natalie Compton, Kathleen Dingus and Joerg Eichmann also had great rides to start out the spring, so it was a fun first competition all around.
I am having a great time riding the new Irish horses, but I am selling them so fast I hardly get to do anything with them!
I don't have too many horses to compete this season, as several of the ones I was planning to event have already been sold.
I guess I can't complain, as that was the intention when I imported them.
I am looking into going back to Ireland and getting another batch already!
Imp and I will practice our relaxation and obedience in dressage this week, and it is off to Morven Park this coming weekend.
Until next time,
March 10, 2001
I love playing with my new toys! I have been having a really fun time riding my new Irish horses, and they are great!
Ballyhoo is the most experienced of the lot, and he will start eventing at Loudoun in April.
I cross-country schooled him today, and he is terrific. He is an absolute joy to ride, and I can hardly wait to compete him.
He will move up to Preliminary level very soon. Dunraven is learning quickly. He knows all about jumping, but typical of the Irish horses, is quite green in dressage, but
he is improving really fast. He should be ready to event soon, and I enjoy him more each time I ride him!
Regal Dare is going really well, I just love him, but he is already sold!
Business wise, this is a good thing, since resale was my intention for the Irish horses, but I like him so much, I am actually sorry to see him sold, as I think he is really special.
And Cahir, the greenest of the lot, is really an exceptional horse.
He is a bit shy and insecure, and I will take my time with him, but potentially he can be a top class superstar, so I am really enjoying working with him.
This is definitely the best bunch of Irish horses I have imported yet!
We had a fairly severe winter, December and January were quite frozen and miserable.
Fortunately though, February has been relatively mild, and the much advertised 'March Lion' storm missed us, so we have been able to get out of the indoor arena and gallop, jump and go cross-country a fair bit.
The Event season for us starts up in two weeks at Middletown, Delaware, and I am really looking forward to it.
I will be riding Enniskerry Imp and Another World, both in the Open Preliminary division, as a good warm-up for the season.
Then it will be competitions almost every weekend until mid-June! Life in the fast lane!
Until next time,
February 22, 2001
The new Irish horses are here! I picked them up at the quarantine in Newburgh, New York, last Monday, and they are settling in nicely.
What wonderful boys they are, I like them even more than I did when I saw them in Ireland!
Typical of Irish horses, they are really nice to ride and handle, but somewhat green in the dressage phase, though they will jump large fences in great style.
I have started riding them this week, and I have been delighted with their temperaments and their intelligence.
It is like having four wonderful new toys! The only problem I am having is, I like them so much I hate the thought of selling them, though that was the purpose in buying them, and they will be offered
for sale. I think this is the best batch of Irish horses I have imported yet!
Another exciting development is, I now have the really special New Zealand horse Another World in my stable preparing for competition.
He will make his American eventing debut at Loudoun in April. I am excited about the prospect of competing this horse, as I have admired him since he was imported last October.
Last week, I got a bit of culture! Melissa Hunsberger, our rider/assistant trainer, gave me and Jineen a wonderful present for Christmas.
She presented us with tickets to see 'The Lion King" on Broadway! As much as I have
traveled, I have never had the opportunity to go to New York City, so that was an experience in itself.
Jineen, Melissa and I had a super time walking around town before the show, and the play itself was phenomenal.
The costumes and props were really incredible, and it was a unique experience for a country girl like me!
Until next time,
January 29, 2001
I got back my pictures from my Ireland trip this past week, so I included them in an account of our adventure.
We are working out the details on shipping the new horses, and I am looking forward to their arrival.
I just got back from doing a really fun clinic in Wisconsin.
Sue Raifenrath had me to her Avalon Stables, and it was a great bunch of horses and riders participating.
I t was pretty cold there after all, with lots of snow, but Sue has a nice indoor arena, and we didn't freeze too much.
And also, I learned about ice fishing.
You see, I always thought ice fishing sounded really dull and miserable. You cut a hole in the ice, and freeze to death waiting for the fish to bite.
Well, I am glad to say, I have learned that there have been new technological advances in the field of ice fishing.
Now what you do is, you cut a hole in the ice, you put a tripod over it that holds your line, and it holds an
electronic pager device. Then you go in the bar and drink.
When a fish bites, it pulls on the line, which triggers a lever, which activates the pager, which makes your
belt loop beeper go off. Then you go out and pull in your fish, and then return to the bar for another drink. Sounds pretty civilized to me!
Until next time,
January 25, 2001
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new horses from Ireland.
There are four that I have purchased, and they will be arriving in mid-February.
They are all bay or dark brown geldings, three of them are five year olds, and one is a six year old.
I think they are really super, and I can hardly wait to start to working with them!
Here at home, we are all snowed under again,
as we had about a foot of snow last weekend. We have been stuck in the indoor arena since early December, and the horses are getting a little bored with it.
But it is better than the alternative; to not have one!
Enniskerry Imp, Sirius, Temair and Better Angel are all getting ready for the spring Event season, and are feeling quite full of themselves.
It will be nice to be able to hack them out if the snow ever melts!
Imp in particular thinks the indoor is a little dull, and is quite good at thinking up ways to entertain himself, usually involving spooking and bucking.
Working students Roberta D'Ascoli and Meri Hyoky have both moved on now, as they had been here more than a year and their time
commitment is up. We are glad to have Corrine Janowiak from Virginia Beach here now, and Daniela Moguel from Mexico will be joining us hopefully next week, as soon as the authorities let her horse across the border!
I am off to a clinic in Wisconsin this weekend, it should be fun, as they assured me it won't be cold this time of year!
Until next time,
The Rock of Cashel, County
January 14, 2001
What an awesome trip to Ireland! Jineen, my sister Patty and I spent a week looking at horses, castles, and the beautiful Irish countryside.
One of my favorite things about Ireland is the castles.
There are many huge old castles that are absolutely magnificent, like something out of a fairy tale.
There are also thousands of small 'everyday' castles, dotting the countryside everywhere you look.
In the time period when they were built, which ranged from the twelfth
to the fifteenth centuries, every minor lord had a castle with a fortified 'keep', built of stone with incredibly thick walls and only small arrow slots for windows.
This is where the people went for protection when attacked by their enemies.
These 'keeps' were built to endure, so most of them still stand today, often you see them out in the middle of some farmer's field.
We stayed near Cashel, in County Tipperary, which is overlooked by the
magnificent 'Rock of Cashel', a castle and religious fortress built in 1101.
We visited this, as well as Cahir Castle and Blarney Castle, both mostly restored, and just incredible.
We explored every little room, secret passage and dungeon. We kissed the Blarney Stone, which is said to bestow the 'gift of eloquence'.
We explored the Hore Abbey at Cashel in the dark after visiting the pubs and having a few pints of
Guinness, visited churches and graveyards in the moonlight, and hunted for artifacts in an ancient castle keep.
We drove around the countryside quite a lot, as we
traveled all over the south of Ireland looking at horses. We especially loved the drive up over the 'Vee', a fabulous mountain pass with incredible scenery.
We went to the Lisgoold Point to Point races, Patty said she felt like she was living in a Dick Francis novel.
And the horses! We saw plenty of fabulous horses.
Our agent, Clare, had pre-selected the horses for us to look at, so we were only seeing the top quality prospects.
This is important, because while Ireland has many really excellent horses, there are also a lot of plain or mediocre ones there as well, and if you don't know the right places to look, you could spend a week, or even a month, scouting out horses without finding the special ones with top potential.
Fortunately, Clare had done her homework well, and I found some horses I really thought were special.
The problem is, I had intended to buy two, maybe three nice young horses to bring home, train a while, and then sell on.
But I ended up finding five that I couldn't leave behind, because I liked them so
well! I don't know where I am going to put them, because I don't have that many stalls available!
I will have to sell several of them as soon as they arrive, but I have until the middle of February to sort that out, as that is when they will arrive.
I can hardly wait!
Until next time,