News 2008
Click here to go to Phoebe's personal blog!

Thornridge Manor wishes all of our friends and family a wonderful Holiday Season 2008.

WOW!! Yadira, that doggie is bigger than you are!!!!

Rerun and Ceili celebrate the holidays!!

In November 2008, we broke ground on our new outdoor arena. In just five days, a small turnout area was transformed into a standard size dressage arena -- during the year's first snow storm and all!! The arena base will be left to settle until spring 2009. Check back to view the completed arena with custom built gazebo plans.

A whole crew of us got together to tailgate at the Thanksgiving Day, St James Church, Blessing of The Hounds and Elkridge Harford Hunt this fall. Phoebe and Chuck go every year, as this is where they first met each other. Thank you to all for sharing this special day with us and for all the fantastic food and drinks. We'll be planning an even larger open invitation in 2009

Congratulations:Thornridge Manor Trainer Claudia Kleinsmith for winning 2008 MDA Instructor Of The Year with a whopping 40 points!!!

The show season was certainly busy for Thornridge and we want to give a huge hand of applause to all of the following award recipients who volunteered above and beyond the minimum requirement to receive an award. There are a few MDA shows that come to mind where the only volunteers to be seen were our young riders in a rainbow of Thornridge shirts and baseball caps. The MDA is a volunteer run organization and it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm from our young riders as you are the future generation of the club!!!

Thank you, as always to Chuck for all he does to help Claudia and Phoebe get off to the shows almost every weekend. Thank you to all our young rider's parents who are amazingly involved and come with the best lunch spreads in town. Success at shows comes not only in the ribbons but also in the good friendships and memories that are formed along the way.

Top Row: Anna, Brianne, Claudia, Phoebe, Kenny, Erin, Mateja Bottom Row: Hanna, Barb, Lizzy
The Thornridge Team: Claudia, Chuck, Phoebe. We are so very fortunate to have such a great group of students and horses at our facility. We congratulate all of you for your tremendous accomplishments in 2008!!

Congratulations Erin Spencer and Silver King for their great MDA 2008 Year End Results:
  • Grand Champion YR Second Level B (Tests 3 &4)
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement

Erin and King also competed in multiple recognized shows at this level in 2008. The pair for a fourth year in a row qualified for Regional Championships.

Congratulations Anna Schmitt and Liam for their great MDA 2008 Year End Results:
  • Grand Champion First Level B (Tests 3 & 4)
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement

Anna and Liam also competed successfully in recognized shows during 2008. This pair also made a move from Novice Level Eventing into Training Level Eventing during the 2008 season -- although their jumping record got off to a slow start in the beginning of the season, this pair always pulled in very low penalty points in their dressage test!!!!

Congratulations Mateja Zdanis and Felix for their great MDA 2008 Year End Results:
  • Reserve Champion YR First Level B (Tests 3 & 4)
  • Bronze Medal Rider Achievement

Congratulations Elizabeth Loundas and Fox Trot for their great MDA 2008 Year End Results:
  • Reserve Champion Training Level A (Tests 1 & 2)
  • Gold Medal Rider Achievement
  • Lizzy and Foxy also competed successfully in many recognized shows during 2008.

Congratulations Elizabeth Loundas and Feiner Flash for their great MDA 2008 Year End Results:
  • 4th Place Training Level A (Tests 1 & 2)
  • Bronze Medal Rider Achievement
  • Lizzy and Flash also competed at multiple recognized shows in 2008

In addition to competing Fox Trot and Feiner Flash at recognized shows, 11 yo Lizzy also rode Country Bumpkin at Dressage at Foxcroft in Training Level, winning one of her classes. How can she not win on cuteness factor alone...after all, her saddle pad had daisys sewn around the border!!!!!!!!! Even the video-man of the day gave her a free disc after that ride.

Congratulations Barbara Henschel and Country Bumpkin for their great MDA 2008 Year End Results:
  • Reserve Champion UDSF Intro Level
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement

Congratulation Hanna Conway and Country Bumpkin for their great MDA 2008 Year End Results:
  • 3rd Place YR Intro Level
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement

Congratulations Brianne Conway and Feiner Flash for their great MDA 2008 Year End Results:
  • 3rd Place Adult Training Level B (Tests 3 & 4)
  • Bronze Medal Rider Achievement

Although we sure do show alot at Thornridge Manor, the friendships that are formed are priceless. Always supportive and encouraging, our young riders are exceptional young ladies in the making

Hanna gives a message of good luck to Barb before she enters the ring. 11 yo Hanna had tears in her eyes when she found out Barb was 19 yo -- just too cute!!!

The ever talented mare, Regina L, and Mateja Zdanis inched their way up the score board in 2008....still figuring each other out in 2008. But watch out for this pair in 2009 as they are sure to pull in some high scores after another winter of training. The future is bright for this young pair.

Loretta Krach, and her new horse, Repete, did a super job in the 2008 show season at Training Level -- they boast scores into the very high 60's. Loretta did not apply for year end awards. Look for this pair at both schooling and recognized shows in 2009.

Hessel's owner, Liz Nuttle, certainly has a lot to smile about. Claudia Kleinsmith rode this fantastic Friesian to a nearly undefeated 2008 show record in his first season to compete.

We teach a lot of trailer-in dressage lessons to "event riders" at Thornridge Manor. From the Elementary level to the Intermediate level our students have had a very successful 2008 show season -- congratulations to all!! Many students have reported a successful season with MCTA Year End Results. These riders have volunteered their time to this organization to be eligible for because of you, shows can be successful.

      Rachel is Champion
      Eliza is Reserve Champion

             Mardi is Champion
             Heather has placed 4th

Congratulations to Mardi Herman and Go Gilda, who started in Beginner Novice and moved up to Novice
  • 2008 MCTA Grand Champion Federal Hill Horse Trophy for horse in their first year competing

Congratulations to Mardi Herman and Zoe, who started their season at Training and moved up to Preliminary:

  • 2008 MCTA Grand Champion Castle Bar Memorial Horse Trophy
  • 2008 MCTA Grand Champion Laubach Rider Trophy

  • (Maybe you should rename your mare "Zoom Zoe")

Congratulations Heather Vinson and Foreign Dance for their great MCTA 2008 Year End Results:
  • 4th Place Federal Hill Trophy for horse in their first year competing
  • 6th Place Rider Below Beginner Novice Level

Foreign Dance also attended the Oldenburg NA Inspection with Thornridge Manor to receive Premium mare Status -- "Ally" is a wonderful TB mare that Heather eventually plans to breed!!!



Congratulations Rachel Gale and Auto Pilot for their great MCTA 2008 Year End Results:
  • Grand Champion Rider Below Beginner Novice Level
  • Grand Champion Horse Below Beginner Novice Level


Congratulations Eliza Alexander and Playing With Fire for their great MCTA 2008 Year End Results:
  • Reserve Champion Rider Below Beginner Novice Level
  • Reserve Champion Horse Below Beginner Novice Level


2008 Year End news in from Heather Stiffle and It's All Love:
The pair completed their Summer Schooling Show Series in Southern Maryland with three 2nd place finishes in Intro B, TR1, and TR2. They also received High Score Award for the day and Reserve Champion at Intro Level for the series. Well Done...keep the news coming!!!

Well, Chuck and I have to admit that our current news updates have been virtually non-existent for the bulk of the last year. Every time we have attended a horse show over the course of 2008, all of our friends very carefully ask us about Matica...not just because she is very special to our heart, but because, she has touched so many people in the near 17 years of her life. All of our friends have known that Matica was diagnosed with advanced heart failure at the age of 13 and given an estimated 6 months to live...we were devastated, to say the least, and determined to beat her odds. The good news is that we smashed those odds and had ten days shy of 4 more years with our "little girl." For that we will always be thankful, but, certainly that does not make Matica's loss any easier. Not a day goes by that we do not shed tears and talk about wonderful memories with our front and center special friend and family member........

July 4, 1991 -- June 2008 Always Front and Center Matica was famous for the most special ears/radar ever!!!

OK, so we got a lot of questions about her prick ears, but the most frequently asked question was...."that's an interesting name, where did you come up with it?" So, for those of you that still do not know, Matica came to find her name in two equally important ways....1) For DRAMATIC, as the very day I brought Matica home, I decided to 100% dedicate myself to dressage and horses for the rest of my life, wherever that may lead me, and...... 2) For TRAUMATIC, because the day I brought Matica home, and told my especially well-educated parents that I was not going back to college at Randolph Macon.....I realized they were especially traumatized!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, Matica came into my life much by fate, and certainly has represented a pivotal turning point in my life. I could not feel more blessed than to have shared this life changing experience with my "little girl." My heart will always ache.

We are thrilled to announce that in 2008 Sue Springer and Bismark have been awarded their USDF Bronze Medal. This award is especially cherished as Sue earned all of her scores on a mount that she has owned for 15 years -- Bismark is currently 18 years old!!!

Sue and Bismark
Sue and Nektor

2008 also marked the fulfillment of a life long dream for Sue as she has made her debut into the FEI ring with her second horse, Nektor. Keep a look-out for this up and coming pair!!!

Celebrating a champagne toast after Sue's final score is earned

Windsong FV continues her success at Dressage at Devon 2008:

  • 2 YO Filly Class -- 9th out of 40 horses with a 77.9%
  • East Coast Filly Championships -- 12th with a 72.25%
  • IBC Holsteiner Class -- 4th with a 74.1% against all mature breeding stallions

Windsong FV 2008 Year End Awards Includes:

  • 1st Place American Holsteiner Horse Association for 2 YO Fillies in USDF/DSHB All Breeds
  • 15th Place for Open 2 YO Filly HOY Award.
This makes Windsong the highest filly in Region 1. The next highest placing filly from Region 1 was ranked 30th place across the nation!!

While at Devon, Windsong Fv was unexpectedly invited to join the Florida based, Flying Lion Farm, in the very prestigious Get of Sire Class. She joined the weanlings Le Andros and Isabella in a touching tribute to the recently deceased sire LeSantos. This was the first time in the history of Devon that the legendary Holsteiner stallion has been represented.

Notably, Le Andros ended up #1 2008 Weser-Ems Pony or Small German Riding Horse for USDF/DSHB All Breeds weanling colt. And, Isabella ended up #1 2008 German Oldenburg Verband USDF/DSHB All Breeds weanling filly. It looks like the last of sire LeSanto's offspring are doing well this year.

Visit Flying Lion Farm and owners Juliana Whittenburg and Gary Ellebracht.

We are so proud of Windsong FV. At only 2 yo, she is already quite the competitor:

May 17, 2008 -- Too Hot To Trot I
  • First Place -- 2 yo filly class -- 75% from Barbara Richardson Grand Champion Mare
  • GAIG/USDF East Coast Series Championship -- Qualified at first show
June 18, 2008 -- VADA/Nova Summer Breed I
  • Third Place -- 2 yo filly class --74.7% from Gerd Zuther
June 19,2008 -- VADA/Nova Summer Breed II
  • First Place -- 2 yo filly class --74.4% from William Solyntjes
  • Awarded High Score American Holsteiner Horse Association for the show Solyntes did not pin Champion to previously qualified horses. Windy was qualified in May.

Planning to attend: Fair Hill Breed Show in Aug and DAD in September. In addition to the series finals, we are looking forward to competing in the AHHA IBC class offered at Devon. Unfortunately, it is the only show that offers a Holsteiner IBC class this year.


In Loving Memory Of
Lester, KWPN
1982 - March 28, 2008

Together for 16 years, the special partnership of Lester and Phoebe was a storybook tale. First meeting each other at INSPO, Lester clearly chose Phoebe as his person. The pattern only continued...observers would joke about their relationship and how well trained and in command Lester was of Phoebe's every move.

Lester and Phoebe shared many memories over the years: 1993 NAYRC, 1996 Dressage at Devon, multiple GAIG and BLM FEI Championship classes, multiple seasons in FL, and just too many ribbons and trophies to list. But beyond competition, Lester had an unusual talent for pulling Phoebe's ponytail holder out -- never once did he tug a strand of hair! An extremely affectionate horse, he would squeeze the breath out of Phoebe with his famous neck-hug. Everyone knew that they had passed the Lester test if he graced you with this enormous embrace.

To this day, there are still stories of Lester in Region 1. The most notable was from Lester's stallion days when he fixated on T.Bryant's stallion Equatanious in the warm up ring and waged an all out war. Earning the name, Lester the Molester, there were even riddles created about his antics. Anyone who met Lester was instantaneously drawn to his charisma and sleepy bedroom eyes.He was just a special horse that left his mark in life.

From Phoebe: Thank you to my mom and dad and all the powers that be that blessed my life with Lester. He was a true testament that dreams do come true. To be honest, my life will never be the same without my larger than life best friend to share it with. Horses like Lester only come around once in a lifetime. Thank you to all my friends for the flooding of sympathy cards, emails, and card. A special thank you for the donations that have been made to Days End Horse Rescue in memory of Lester and Frenchie. I know that both of my great friends have reunited and are galloping over the hills still arguing over who is the biggest and the best.

Congratulations to Loretta Krach on the recent purchase of Repete, 9 yo Oldenburg by For the Future. Phoebe had known Pete as a yearling and was excited to hear that he was on the market -- within days, the match to Loretta had been made. This elegant pair has already begun to compete at MDA schooling shows successfully and plans to attend Dressage at Foxcroft in August 2008 as their first recognized show. Best of luck together!!!

Phoebe had a real treat running into William B at Swan Lake on Mother's Day 2008. His sale in 2007 was a very difficult decision, but she is very happy to report that Willy has a super life and is absolutely adored. Trainer, Renee Kidd, reports that Willy is the current leader of Pre Green in the state of MD and Pa. This picture is of the pair in 2007 at Washington International Local Day -- they were Reserve Champion. Just exceptional for a horse that had only been jumped for 6 month prior to the WIHS!!!

Pictured here at Garrison Forest School, Allysa Peddicord and our 2007 sale horse, Beth Ellen. We are so pleased to report that the pair, who is training at Columbia Horse Center, has won multiple championships in children's hunters. Congratulations Allysa!!!


2008 Year End Report:
Alyssa and Beth Ellen closed up the show season winning 2008 HCHSH Grand Champion Children's Hunter, Reserve Champion Junior Equitation 14 and over, and 4th overall in the Junior Benefit Hack. Congratulations!!!

We are pleased to report that Mardi Herman and her magical mare, Zoe, have had yet another stellar year in 2007!!! The pair was Reserve Champion for the Castlebar Memorial Trophy at the Preliminary Level presented by MCTA. Additionally, Mardi was the Champion at the Preliminary Division for the Laubach Rider Trophy. Congratulations to this stellar partnership and may your success continue into 2008. You are both a true testament that dedicated training certainly has its rewards.

It is always so nice to hear about how our sale horse are doing in their new home. Off the track TB, It's All Love, sold in 2007 to Heather Stiffel, is as his name implies....very well loved. Congratulations Heater for competing in your first hunter show ever. This pair is so well suited.


Just Jeeves Remembered

Our condolences go out to Mardi Herman on the loss of her very talented young eventer, Just Jeeves. This duo had a very successful partnership in 2007. After only a few competitions, Jeeves was awarded third place Novice Horse for MCTA Year End Awards. The pair was prepping for training level when Jeeves succumbed to a fluke field injury. In her grief, Mardi, has established a MCTA perpetual Trophy in Jeeves honor to be awarded to the highest placing breeder-rider-owner combination. To us at Thornridge Manor, Jeeves will always be remembered as an incredibly talented eventer with undeniable potential....but most of all, we will remember his curious personality that captured all of our hearts.

It is wonderful to receive these photographs of Pippa meeting her new friends at Legacy Stables. In addition to continuing in dressage training, Pippa is getting bred this year. But, most importantly, Thornridge Manor has been allowed first right of refusal on what is sure to be a spectacular foal.


In Loving Memory of Renoir
"Frenchie" 1979-2008

After 17 years of a friendship with Phoebe, it is with a very heavy heart that we report the humane passing of Frenchie. Bred in France, Frenchie began his performance career as an International Grand Prix Jumper. After his importation into the US, Frenchie was trained in dressage and was winning in Wellington, FL at the Grand Prix Dressage Level within three years. It takes a special athlete to boast of GP wins in both jumping and dressage!! Purchased in 1991, Frenchie brought many firsts into Phoebe's life: he was her first warmblood (Selle Francais), he was her first FEI mount, he was the first horse that took her south to the FL circuit to compete. After retirement from competition, Frenchie's kind and forgiving nature as a schoolmaster-lesson horse touched the lives of many adult amateurs at Thornridge Manor. He will be remembered fondly by all who had the great pleasure of knowing him. We will always cherish our memories of "the Frenchman".

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