Riders Bloom in Spring
Springtime at the barn--there is no better place to be! As the thermometer climbs above 50 and the daylight lingers ever longer, the opportunities to grow as a rider abound. This spring was particularly action-packed thanks to the dream team of Director of Riding Amy Phillips, Associate Director Ann Thal, and Assistant Director Margaret Swanson.
Spring began with four lucky riders, Libby ’19, Sydney ’20, Hadley ’22, and Annamarie ’23, heading to Aiken, SC, to compete at “A” March Madness II. The second week was spent exploring all the opportunities the equestrian town of Aiken has to offer, including riding through Hitchcock Woods and cross country schooling at several venues. Libby rode Magnitude through the Low Children’s Jumpers earning several ribbons including an 8th in a big Classic class. Anna rode Oldfields School’s Verdi II in the .9m jumpers earning ribbons, including blue ribbons. Sydney was Reserve Champion in the Low Children’s Hunter riding Oldfields School’s Umberto. Hadley rode Oldfields School’s Rrasmodias in the Low Children’s Hunter, earning top ribbons.
The ribbons were great, and Ann Thal shared that the most rewarding aspect was observing the riders learning to ride from feel. With each passing day, she could see the girls settle into their routines and grow as horsewomen.
It was an exhilarating and exhausting two weeks (the girls had to keep up with their regular studies!). The lessons learned in and out of the classroom were beyond valuable.
Oldfields was thrilled to have Julie Winkel, one of the foremost hunter/jumper/equestrian trainers,
judges, clinicians, and educators in the country, on campus for two days in April! Julie is an excellent instructor. She had so much to offer our girls! We can’t wait to have her back to Oldfields.
Our Top Turnout Clinic with top international Olympic groom and owner of Lucky Braids products, Ruthann Smith, gave the girls an opportunity to learn braiding skills and excellent tips on a variety of horse care topics and top grooming techniques.
As usual, the shows kept everyone busy most every weekend. Our dressage riders kicked off the spring season in early April. Charlie '19 and Eleni '21 competed at the Virginia Dressage Association Spring Dressage Show at Morven Park. Charlie earned a 9 on her center line in Training Level test 3! She and Oldfields School Casanova ISF walked away with a 4th and a 5th in competitive divisions against top professionals. Eleni and Oldfields School’s Allure earned a 2nd and a 3rd in classes competing against top riders.
The hunter/jumper riders competed at the Maryland National “A” Show in April. Annamarie ’23 earned top ribbons on Oldfields School’s Verdi II in the .9 jumpers. Lillie ’22 earned Champion of the .75m jumpers riding Oldfields School’s Little Zoe. Sydney ’20 riding Oldfields School’s Umberto and Hadley ‘22 both earned ribbons in the Low Children’s Hunter classes.
Stay tuned for more horse show news on the Oldfields School website in the Riding section! We are going nearly every weekend through April and May.
Just for Fun
The scenery in Maryland is breathtaking in the spring! Trips off campus to school on cross country courses or to ride through the beautiful Green Spring Valley occur nearly every week. The girls enjoyed learning more about the local horse country and the history of the area. The riders were able to see the best view of the Maryland Hunt Cup course just days before the race when everything was in full bloom.