July 29th

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Though he has been gone now for almost 6 years, hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of him.  Today is no exception.

It started this morning when I picked Kate up from basketball camp.  I could still see my dad in his suit and wing tip dress shoes standing in the corner of the gym watching me play.  He would be so excited to know that his Kate was beginning her own career as a basketball player.  If he were here, he would be screaming for her to “shoot it!” and getting technical fouls called on him from the sidelines. 

I was thinking about the birthday dinners my mom would make for him each year.   My dad would take his shirt off to eat his corn on the cob so that the pound of butter he put on each ear wouldn’t ruin his shirt.  My aunt Sue would bring over a batch of homemade ice cream that she made especially for “Donny”, and we would watch as he gave himself a brain freeze —over and over again. 

I thought of my dad today when I found out that my friend’s mother-in law was dying.  I remembered the last few months and the last few moments I spent with my dad.  I remembered the phone calls and the arrangements and the friends, family members, students, and players that lined up down the street in Bellbrook to pay their last respects.   

I thought of my dad tonight when I drank multiple Cokes at the restaurant where Jeff and I ate dinner.  The memories of Coke cans rattling around on the floor of his old car as he drove back and forth to the Junior High made me smile.

I thought of my Wade, and how much fun my dad would have had with him.  He never got the chance to meet him or my little nephew Henry.  My dad would have enjoyed watching his boy with his own little boy.  Greg is such a good dad.

He would be so proud of Ami and her husband Jim for starting up their own business.  And though he would have wanted her to wear her life jacket INSIDE , he would have loved her house on the lake.

I thought of my mom tonight.  She had all 3 grandchildren at her house today….. her new house….the one my dad grew up in.  It was a beautiful evening, and they played outside until dark.  It was a nice way for her to spend her day.  She was surrounded by laughter and giggling.  I know my dad would have loved that.

It’s hard to imagine that he’s been gone for almost 6 years.  It seems like just yesterday he was tucking me into my bed and telling me “goodnight”.   How I’d love to hear him call me “Suzanne” just one more time.

Headed to Lexington!

This Sunday Rhyland will make his debut at his first “starter” event.  We are headed to Lexington to a mini-trial at Masterson Station Park.  Adria will be riding Lucky in her first ever event.  Michelle and Oreo are doing  Beginner Novice.  Rhyland I will hopefully make our way through the starter courses, and Gus is doing a Preliminary dressage test in the Percentage class. 

I am hoping to get through the cross country with little or no problems.  It could be interesting!  Things are going well with Gus and the sitting trot, and I am hoping to have made progress with him these last few months.

Day 1 of Gemwood Horse Trials

Team Wetherbrooke “came to ride” on day one of the Gemwood Horse Trials.  All four of our riders are riding at the Beginner Novice level this weekend.   Michelle and Oreo started the day off with a really nice ride, putting in a score of 43.8 ( 56.2%).  That score put Michelle and Oreo into 9th place after dressage.  Jessica and Aragon had yet another consistent dressage test which gave them a score of 36.7 (63.3%), putting the pair into 1st place after dressage.  The two riders both had fantastic stadium rides.  Michelle had a clear round with 1 time penalty, giving her a one day score of 48.8.  Michelle moved up to 7th place after stadium.  Jessica and Aragon put in a double clear round, ending the day in first place on their dressage score of 36.7. Way to go!!!!

Julie and “the wonder pony” performed well, as usual, in the dressage arena.  Though Sapphie barely had enough energy to make it all the way through the test, she ended up in first place with a score of 38.1 (61.9%).  Elizabeth and McCrae also had a great dressage test.  No swirling, no twirling, no balking, and no backing up across the field.  McCrae turned into a big boy at this show and got right down to business.  Elizabeth and McCrae earned a score of 41.0 (59%)  which put the pair into 3rd place after dressage.  Julie and Sapphie stayed in first place after having  a clean round with only 3 time penalties in the stadium.  Elizabeth and McCrae rode their best course to date, having one “green bean” moment at the 2 stride oxer combination —the last fence of the course.  He just didn’t understand what he was supposed to do with the second fence!  After circling back, he jumped the combination perfectly, gaining 4  jump penalties and 20 time penalties.  Elizabeth moved down to 11th place with a 1 day score of 66.0.  Great riding!!!!

Cross country tomorrow!  See you at the start box, girls!


I just wanted to say thank you to all of our great volunteers over the last few weeks.  From barn painting to jump building to hours of setting up and tearing down……..you guys were fantastic!!!!  It is such a huge undertaking to put on a show that without you all it wouldn’t be possible.  Thank you!!  We really appreciate all of the time and effort you put in to making this past weekend a huge success. 

Julie,Jessica, Elizabeth, Michelle, Jen, Eric, Adria, Kate, Morgan, Michael, Bill, Julia, Jennifer W., Kelli, Jim V., Justin, the Papanek crew, Greg, and all of the others who pitched in to help out in many ways.  You are the best!


Jeff and Joy

A successful weekend for Team Wetherbrooke!

Well, we made it through through a very long weekend of horse shows here at Wetherbrooke Farm.  After 2 REALLY LONG weeks of weedwacking, mowing, barn painting, cleaning, dragging arenas,  setting up, and doing paperwork…..we finally made it to 8 am Saturday morning.  We ended up with over 65 dressage rides on Saturday.  Everything went smoothly, and ran on time most of the day.   Overall, the day was a huge success , and the Wetherbrooke girls did extremely well in all of their tests. 

Kate Von Handorf — 3rd place in Intro. Test A Jr. AND 6th place in Training Level Test 1 Jr.

Elizabeth Montgomery —6th place in Intro. Test B Sr. AND 5th place in — USEA BN test B

Jessica Orme —1st place in — USEA BN Test A AND 2nd place in — USEA BN test B

Adria Wenning —2nd place in Training Level Test 1 Jr. AND 2nd place in Training Level Test 2

Julie Hooper —place in Training Level Test 3 AND 2nd place in Training Level Test 3

The first half of the Hunter show on Sunday was a bit stressfull.  For whatever reason, the morning classes had only a few riders in each of them.  Not only was I worried about making enough money to pay the judge, but I was worried that the morning classes were going so quickly that the afternoon riders wouldn’t make it to the farm in time to ride in their afternoon classes.  I was starting to get a bit concerned, but after a long lunch break, the afternoon riders started to pull into the farm.  The afternoon classes went better, and things got back on schedule.  All in all…. the day ended up going well.   Our Wetherbrooke girls did really well on Sunday too.  We even had a few students and horses make their show debut! 

Kate Von Handorf and Best Sensation—1st, 2nd, 3rd in Ground poles

Morgan Orme and Aragon—4th and 4th in Ground poles and 5th in w/t equitation

Corinthia Webster and Abe—6th, and 6th in Ground poles

Kelli Huesman and Cavalier—1st,2nd, and 2nd in Ground poles

Elizabeth Montgomery and Rhyland—2nd, 1st, and 1st in Cantering cross rails

Elizabeth Montgomery and McCrae—3rd, 3rd, and 4th in Baby Hunter AND 1st, 4th, and 2nd in Novice Hunter

Adria Wenning and Lucky—1st, 5th, and 1st in Baby Hunter

Michelle Richardson and Oreo—3rd,2nd, and 4th in Novice Hunter AND 3rd,1st, and3rd in Low Hunter

Jessica Orme and Aragon—1st, 3rd and 1st in Low Hunter

Lindsay Frost and Danny—-1st place in lead line

Congratulations, everyone!!!

Gearing up for a weekend of shows here at Wetherbrooke Farm

This Saturday and Sunday we will be hosting 2 shows here at Wetherbrooke Farm.  Our Dressage show will start at 8 am on Saturday, and the Hunter show will begin at 9am on Sunday.

On both days we will be having a tack sale.  There will also be an opportunity to participate in our raffle —-all monies raised will go directly toward the year end awards banquet.  Winners will be announced after the lunch break on both days.  You need not be present to win. 

Nicholas Studios will be photographing our shows again this year.  Thank you, Nick!

Dressage ride times will be posted by Wednesday night.

We look forward to seeing you all this weekend!

Pedro’s first trip to Wetherbrooke Farm—will it be his last?

This morning Jessica and I were out in the field fixing a board on the fence when the strangest thing happened….

Jessica looked up and said “What is that thing?  Is that a deer?”  Just as I looked up I noticed a very small donkey running down the hill toward our farm.   His little ears (well, BIG ears) were flopping  as he cantered? trotted? down the hill toward us.  He looked so cute and happy as he escaped from our neighbors, that we couldn’t help but laugh.  Our horses were not as thrilled to see “Pedro” (we felt that the name fit) as we were.  They ran and leaped and snorted –terrified of the little guy.  Jessica and I grabbed a lead rope and proceeded to try to rope the miniature donkey.  I couldn’t help but crack up at the sight of Jessica chasing him around the field.    With a whole lot of laughing, and several “ass” jokes, the two of us managed to pull Pedro to the top of the hill–leaving miniature drag marks behind him in the grass.  We made it within a few hundred feet of the barn when Pedro decided he would go no further.  Still cracking up, we were starting to have serious doubts about whether or not we were going to get him back to his stall.  How much can a small donkey weigh?  Can we just pick him up and carry him to the barn?  Should we go back and get the red wagon?    Jessica had the brilliant idea to get his friend “Poncho” (a horse) out and see if we could use him to convince his mini-friend to follow him into barn.  It worked brilliantly.  Pedro and Poncho made the last bit of the journey together.  Poncho hopped back into his stall, and Pedro “hopped” into his with one last heave from Jessica and me.  We locked the little sucker in the stall, and tied a lead rope around his stall door for good measure.  We headed back down the hill ….assless.