Monday, February 17, 2014

Para Competition Schedule & WEG Prep!

Excitement is brewing as the Para Riders gear up for the 2014 WEG Selection Trials.  Both Gigi and Becca's horses have shipped to Ocala in preparation for their first competition in the beginning of March.  Stay tuned for updates!!

Feb 15- Ship to Ocala!

March 1-2 Dressage at Canterbury

March 8-9 Ocala Dressage

March 13-16 CPEDI3* Global Dressage Festival, Wellington, FL

March 19 Horses fly to NL with Rachel Gross

April 4-6  CPEDI3 Deauville, FR

April 25-27 CPEDI3  Moorselles BE

June 1-2 Gladstone, NJ,  
National Championship and Selection Trials for 2014 World Equestrian Games 

Friday, February 14, 2014

David's Reflections From Down South!

Many thanks to David for this wonderful blog submission.  We can't wait to follow you and all the riders at BHF on their quest for personal best in 2014!!

Candid of David & Jess
Photo Credit Ashley Holzer
"As I enjoy the more seasonable weather in Ocala, I wonder why anyone thought Aiken would be a good place to winter.  Let's also not forget our friends who remain in Pennsylvania at BHF, who are just now digging out from another big winter storm!

Watching the Winter Olympics, I started thinking about my own Olympic quest.  Certainly, it started when I first sat on a horse all those years ago, but it wasn't until I came to Blue Hill Farm, 2 years ago, that I felt like I was really being directed in that route.  Between Missy and Jessica's championship successes, both as riders and coaches in Eventing, Dressage, and Para-Dressage, the barn caters to serious athletes.

There's a buzz in the air, as 2014 is going to be a very exciting year for BHF, with Becca and Gigi on fantastic new horses who are serious WEG medal contenders in the Para Dressage.  BG and Topper are headed to the Young Rider Championships, giving me the opportunity to be the first Young Rider to compete in 2 disciplines the same year!

I could not have made it here without Jessica and Missy:  Missy so graciously giving me the ride on BG, watching me muck things up along the way as he and I bonded.  Missy, always with a positive word and unwavering support, and Jessica, turning Topper and I from Eventing misfits to FEI Dressage winners.  This was no easy task I'll admit.  I could not have gotten my riding to this level without their support.

The biggest piece if advice I can give to fellow young riders, or professionals, or amateurs for that matter, is find that coach who will give you 110%.  Someone who will take pride in your successes, knowing that they helped make it happen.  In return, work hard towards your goals and appreciate all the time and effort that they have put into you!"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Despite Snow, Sleet and Power Outages - Paralympic Fundraiser A Fabulous Success!!

Forty five of the original 60 RSVPs struggled through a lot of ice and snow to attend last Thursday night's fundraiser for two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart and Paralympic hopeful, Margaret McIntosh! Martha and Daryl Thomas, Babsi Neidhardt Clark and her husband, Rick hosted the event in Kirkwood, PA at the Thomas' brightly lit and wonderfully warm house.

The evening began with wine, beer, and a delicious and extensive selection of hot and cold
hors d'oeuvres.  Babsi set the tone for the occasion with an earnest, well-documented description of the paradox facing the Para Equestrian discipline today. Briefly stated, the United States Olympic Committee and the competitive Equestrian organizations have cut off all funding for Para Equestrians because, despite very creditable performances, they have not produced medal-winning results. Para Equestrian competition at home and abroad is expensive but necessary in order to compete for medals so the riders need extensive private support.  She also hoped to raise awareness of the Para Equestrian competition as parallel to able-bodied Dressage, not to therapeutic riding or the Special Olympics.

Babsi's inspiring and enthusiastic introduction set the stage for video presentations highlighting Rebecca and Margaret's equine experience and involvement in the Para program. The videos served as a very intimate but succinct introduction to two remarkable women. After the videos, Rachel Gross, Assistant Trainer at Blue Hill Farm, helped  Rebecca and Margaret answer questions in a brief "Meet and Greet" session.

The overarching intent of the organizers was to establish an on-going community of both financial and emotional support, hopefully creating a wave of energy and enthusiasm to carry these riders to the World Equestrian Games in Normandy and beyond!

As a delightful post script and just one example, among many, of the enthusiasm Babsi and Martha envisioned, Sharon Clark and Liz Collard of Rigbie Farm in Darlington, MD were able to organize shipping the Para horses to Florida courtesy of D.J. Johnson Horse Transport!

Many thanks for their remarkable generosity, to the Clarks and Thomases and the community of local businesses and horsemen who are making this project an overwhelming success!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Road To The WEG and Beyond!!

Blue Hill Farm wishes to thank Daryl and Martha Thomas for generously hosting a fundraising event for our two Paralympic hopefuls, Becca Hart and Gigi McIntosh!!

The Thomas' already have over 60 people attending the event on February 6th in their home in Kirkwood, Pa.  This will be a a very special evening to develop a Community of Support for two very special women! 

Our own Paralympic Hopefuls:
Rebecca Hart -  5 time National Champion and 2 time Paralympian   

Becca and Romani
Margaret McIntosh - Former 4 star (Olympic level) event rider & Paralympic hopeful

Gigi and Rio
The evening is being held so our local community can come hear the stories of how these two inspirational women have dealt with their disabilities and have moved courageously forward on their personal quest to represent the USA on the international equestrian stage!

“Becca” and “Gigi” are currently participating in the run-up competitions for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France and then will be in pursuit of medals at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Yes, this is a fund-raising evening – but we welcome you all to contribute your support in any way possible; not only financial, but also emotional as we all join together to create a wave of energy and support for Becca and Gigi to ride to their goals.

We look forward to seeing those who are coming and invite you to contribute directly to the USPEA in support of either of these women.  Due to overwhelming response, we will also be throwing another fundraiser in the spring.  Many thanks to the Thomas' and to all who are showing support for our riders!!!  We will have pictures and news after the event.

If you are interested in donating to Becca and Gigi's cause, please go directly to and click on Donate Now down at the bottom of the home page.  Specify either or both riders names in the Paypal box and they're on their way to the qualifiers!!

Many thanks and stay tuned.............