News 2009
Click here to go to Phoebe's personal blog!

Congratulations to all of Thornridge's eventers for their successful 2009 show season. Several were able to find the time to volunteer with MCTA and therefore are 2009 Year End Award Recipients:

Mardi Herman and Zoe (pictured below)
Mardi Herman and Gilda
Anna Schmit and Liam
Caitlin Bryan and Maddy (partially sponsored by Thornridge Manor in 2009)

Congratulations Elizabeth Loundas and Feiner Flash Congratulations again this year to all of Thornridge Manor's Young Riders and Adult Amateurs for a successful 2009 show season. Our slew of young riders took home top final placings at the MDA Awards Banquet. Well done ladies!!!

Congratulations Elizabeth Loundas and Country Bumpkin

  • Grand Champion MDA Year End Award Training Level A YR
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement
  • High Score YR at MDA Finals Show on 10/11/09

Congratulations Elizabeth Loundas and Feiner Flash

  • Third Place MDA Year End Awards Training Level B YR
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement
  • This pair competed successfully at Recognized show in 2009

Congratulations Mateja Zdanis and Regina L
Remember, we predicted this pair would shine in 2009...and, they sure did!!

  • Reserve Champion MDA Year End Award Training Level B YR
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement
  • High Score YR at MDA Olney Farm on 5/16/09
  • High Score YR at Dressage at Heavenly Waters Recognized Show on 6/20/09
  • High Score YR at MDA Ships Quarters Farm on 9/20/09
  • Finalist at 2009 BLM Championships Training Level YR on 10/11/09 in NJ

Congratulations Brianne (Conway) Reynolds and Peppermint Patti

  • Fourth Place MDA year End Awards Training Level B
  • Bronze Medal Rider Achievement
  • Internally voted best big sister at Thornridge
  • Our amazing video guru -- thanks for all of your time!!
  • Now that the wedding is over, this pair will be competing more regularly in 2010

Congratulations Alix Day and Bionic Gun

  • Grand Champion MDA Year End Award First Level B YR
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement
  • Grand Champion MDA Finals for First Level
  • This pair competed successfully at recognized shows -- as a 20 yo TB, "Lordy" was often the oldest competing horse at the recognized shows!!!

Congratulations Mateja Zdanis and Felix

  • Reserve Champion MDA Year End Award First Level B YR
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement
  • This pair competed successfully at recognized shows in the 2009 season

Congratulations Anna Schmit and Liam

  • Grand Champion MDA Year End Award Second Level A YR
  • Silver Medal Rider Achievement
  • Recipient of MCTA Year End Award
  • Winner of the USEA JR/YR Writing Scholarship for 3K
  • This pair competes in both Second Level Dressage and at Training Level Eventing

Congratulations to Hanna Conway and Hershey
High Score YR at MDA Winterwind Schooling Show 10/25/09

Congratulations Erin Spencer and Silver King
Successful 2009 competitors at both recognized and MDA schooling shows at Second Level 3/4.

Congratulations to Hanna Conway and Hershey
High Score YR at MDA Winterwind Schooling Show 10/25/09

Twenty inches of December 09 snow brought out varying personalities that were some of life's special pleasure to capture...............

Romy rolled nearly non-stop.

Cole kept jumping the pathway bank.

We wish everyone a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday season. Looking forward to sharing new memories in 2010.

Dreamy kicked up his heels.

Windy played ostrich by burying her head.

In the fall of 2009, both Phoebe and Chuck were voted onto the board of the Long Green Land Trust.  This is a locally based group in the Valley that is concerned with land preservation.  They value farms, open space, wildlife habitats, and a life style that supports these elements of community.  We are looking forward to helping this organization grow and realize more green land in the Valley. 

For more information about our local conservancy, visit: Long Green Land Trust

Please consider a tax deductible donation and/or become a member. Thank you for your support.

True to past years, our riders always end their schooling show series with a bang at the MDA Finals Show in October.

  • Suzanne Veltri and Country Bumpkin won Intro A with a 62.5%
  • Lizzy Loundas and County Bumpkin won TR1 YR with a 69.3%
  • Lizzy Loundas and Feiner Flash placed 2nd in TR3 with a 63.2%
  • Claudia Kleinsmith rode Wallstreet Rising at his first show -- TR1 65.6% & TR2 68.2%
  • Aliz Day and Bionic Gun won 1st3 with a 65.7% and won 1st4 with a 63.9%
  • Anna Schmit and Liam won 2nd1 with a 63.09 and won 2nd2 with a 64.5%

Alix and "Lordy" were the MDA First Level Final Champions

Lizzy was High Score Young Rider for the day

Lizzy and Flash.  Very Cute.

Claudia on our sale horse "Wally"

On Oct 4,2009 Phoebe rode Feiner Flash thru the Valley to the neighboring church and Chuck crated up the Jacks in the back of the gator to attend The Blessing of the Animals.  This year marked the first time that horses and farm animals were present to be blessed.  We expressed  thankfulness for Flash's forgiving and educational nature, for Ceili's mothering instincts, and for Rerun's (Ceili's son) never ending sense of humor.  What a great experience that we will continue into the future years.

On Oct 2,2009, our friend/student/groom Brianne Conway wed Jeremy Reynolds.  The wedding incorporated from Land and from Sea as Brianne is all about horses and Jeremy is all about boating.....hmmm...sounds a bit like Phoebe and Chuck.  The wedding was a blast and the party was a blast and that Claudia sure can dance.....a good time had by all. 

September 09 brought us another breed inspection -- our most important to date.  Windsong FV, our 3 yo Holsteiner was presented to the American Holsteiner Horse Association.  We certainly think the world of her, but it was honestly nerve racking waiting for her scores.  Our princess did not disappoint as she received 50 bonit points, entering her into the Main Mare Premium Select Book, and was Site Champion.  In the AHHA publications, as of Nov 2009, there were only 4 Holsteiner mares across the US that received this prestigious of approval -- In 2008, only a total 6 mares were awarded MMPS in approvals.  We knew Windy could score into this top booking, but we were happy to finally hear the bonit scores confirming our expectations!!!  In addition to her approval status, we decided to participate in the optional free jumping.  Windy jumps the moon at home -- 4 ft square oxers with ease.  But with the lack of time to practice during Sept and a different set up without enough approach, Windy was a bit of a stinker at first.  She actually jumped out of the shoot at an angle over the 4' barrier (twice) before playing nice and jumping all three obstacles of the free jump!!!  Although this approach was quite a crowd pleaser, it did not allow the judges to get a clear picture of her innate jumping talent.  So, we walked away with 7 technique, 8 scope, and 6 willingness (that stinker!).  We have included her free jumping in an embedded link for everyone's viewing please....gotta love a mare....she had her own plans for the day.

In Sept 09, Chuck and Phoebe attended Sunny LS's OLD/NA Inspection with her new owners, the Day Family.  After a successful tour, she was branded and received her official registration papers.  Also at this time Sunny's breeders presented her dam, Dartmouth.  Not surprisingly, the very well bred mare (Trapper) was awarded Premium status with 106 pts.  It was an experience that we enjoyed sharing with the Day's as Sunny is their first warmblood.

Chuck presenting Sunny LS

Sunny and her owner, Alix Day.

Starting in the spring of 09, Phoebe has begun traveling for out of state clinics.  She goes to teach in the southern VT/NH area on a regular basis at Jess Systo's Locust Hill Farm -- for more information about lesson opportunities in the north east area of the US, please contact Jess directly at .  Phoebe has also been traveling to Lewes, DE at Dawn Beeche and Michelle Goodwin's Winswept Stables -- for more information, please contact Phoebe directly.  Both of these facilities are young rider, adult amateur, pony club, and eventing friendly.  Pictured below is Jess Systo jumping Ester and training one of our own sale horses, Sally.  Jess and Sally have been undefeated all 09 season with many scores into the 70%s.

In July 2009, Phoebe and Claudia helped organize and coach two teams representing the Maryland Dressage Association at the Young Rider Team Competition at Morven Park.  The weekend was full of camaraderie and established positive memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.  Both of our teams were mixed by age and level.  The MDA is proud of the fact that they were represented by two of the highest levels ridden at the show...2nd and 3rd lvl.  Phoebe and Claudia were certainly thrilled to be helping the future riders of our cherished sport......and watch out, because we will be back in full force with 2010 MDA teams.

Hanna and Hershey had some brilliant moments

Our reliable Feiner Flash and Erica Degele (MDA YR VP). This was the first time that that Erica competed above TR 1/2 and broke a 60% -- and boy did she slam it with a 66%!!!!

The "Party Ponies" L-R: Lizzy Loundas, Hanna Conway, Erin Worthington. Winners of the Cutest Theme in stable decorating.

The"Galloping Gamblers" L-R: Erica Degele, Anna Schmit, Sara Brooks

After a breed show season of winning, we arrived at Devon with our eyes wide open -- We were there for fun and know that we are only a minnow in a pond of big fish. Devon is a show for large breeders to show case their best of the best and, well, we certainly are not breeders!!! With that being said, our Wallstreet Prince was one of 8 horses qualified for the Colt Championship class prior to Devon. After a poor tour in the 3 yo colt/geld class early on Tues, Prince received some extra handling and arrived in his final championship with an obvious attitude adjustment. He did not place, but we were proud to have him represent us in this prestigious grouping of top quality young stock. Also on Tuesday am, Dressed to Kill strutted his fancy stuff to place 9th in the huge 09 colt/geld class with a score of 79+%. This actually qualified him to join our Prince in the Final Championship class later in the evening -- he placed 9th (out of almost 30 finalists) with a score of 76.4%. Wed was meant to be a fun day for us as our foal's dam, Wallstreet Romance and our Wallstreet Price are full siblings. Lauren Dearlove and her 5yo full sibling, Wrosette L, joined us in the Get of Sire and Produce of Dam class. We figured it would be our only chance to compete in theses classes, even if we were taking in a broodmare while other participants were taking in their best young related-offspring. Our goal was to score a 70% -- well, we did do that, and also scored a 71.5%. And, to our surprise, the judges were most complementary to our broodmare in both classes. On Thurs, Dressed To Kill placed 4th in the very large and tightly scored AHS IBC class -- his score of 78.7% actually tied him for 3rd place. Devon was very busy for us this year, but certainly worth the time commitment and expense. We are very proud to boast that not only are we new to the breed show scene, but 3 out of the 4 horses that we have shown have all qualified for Devon's prestigious East Coast Championships!!! That is a record worth toasting.

Our 3 waiting for the group classes

From broodmare to breed shows to now undersaddle.
Romy thrives with a job.

Lauren and Rose -- Next year, I'll
get her to smile LOL.

Three Full Siblings --
Romy, Rose, Prince

Chuck gets to foal sit Calvin.

Once we decided to take Prince to Devon.....we decided to splurge and take our amazing 09 foal to Devon, too.  Not knowing how Mom and foal would handle attending a show, we decided last minute to attend Stone Tavern Breed Show with both our foal and broodmare so that we would not have any unknows at Devon.  Well, there was noting to worry about because transport, stabling, and ring time were all completely unremarkable as both Wallstreet Romance and Dressed to Kill acted like seasoned troopers!!  Not surprisingly, Dressed To Kill won his 09 colt/geld class with 75% and Wallstreet Romance won her Broodmare class with 75%.  Dressed to Kill also took 2nd place in the AHS IBC class.  Our foal has brought our farm so much joy this summer that our camera has been clicking non are a few our our favorite shots from Stone Tavern. 

Our second breed show of the season took our travels to Fair Hill I&IIWindsong FV, always steady in the ring, placed in both of her 3 yo filly classes with scores up to 75%.  Yet again, Wallstreet Prince won both of his 3 yo colt/geld classes with scores up to 77+%. Along with his high qualifying score and his 3rd place finish in the Colt Championship class, Prince was destined for Devon's East Coast breed Championship Series in September.  After a change of horse, Chuck and our steadfast Windy found their grove in the AA Handler classes, taking home blues both days!!  But, beyond all the winning, our Thornridge crew had a blast hanging out and entertaining our breed show friends in our on-site live in trailer, new to us for the 09 show season.  We have met a whole new group of friends at these breed shows....and they sure do like to have fun!!


The VADA/NoVa Summer Breed Show I&II in June 2009 at Morven Park started our breed show season off with success. As always, our Windsong FV placed in the 3 yo filly classes with scores up to 73%. But this year, we wanted to get some mileage onto Wallstreet Prince by exposing him to competition atmospheres. He proved to be a star winning the 3 yo colt/geld classes and placing 2nd in the AHS IBC class with scores as high as 77+%. But, most excitingly, Chuck, competed for the first time in the Adult Amateur Handler classes -- he not only placed in his debut presentation, but learned valuable tips for future shows.

Chuck and Prince Chuck and Prince

Note From Phoebe:  While at the breed show, a professional handler approached me and commented "...he sure is handsome."  My reply was, "Which one?  My horse or my husband?" Lots of laughter followed.  I was so proud of Chuck and know how lucky I am that he enjoys and wants to be a part of the horses that are a constant in my life.

In the summer of 2009, Suzanne Veltri made her showing debut on Country Bumpkin. This was a huge step forward in Suzanne's progress and we are so very thrilled for her good sportsmanship. In preparation for the big debut, Suzanne attended most of the schooling shows with us and rode Country briefly after he had been in the arena with another rider. This tactic gave Suzanne confidence to do it herself -- and in Aug, she completed her first Intro test with a 62%. With a big smile on her face, Suzanne sure looks like she was having fun.

In the American Hanoverian Society 2009 Summer Inspection Tour, Thornridge Manor trainer, Claudia Kleinsmith, presented the Zdanis' 6 yo mare, Regina L. Already having a solid dressage training program, we began Regina's free jumping education months in advance so she was easy over the jumps, too. Not surprisingly, Regina's final MPT score was an impressive 7.55, including 8 on rideability. As her trainers, we were very pleased with this score.

Meet Elite Mare Candidate, EMC Regina L!!!

Since the fall of 2008, Phoebe has been traveling twice a month to Caves Farm for a few evening dressage lessons. Several of her students there have had a super competition series for 2009.

Angie and TB mare, Chocolate Princess, have ventured out of straight hunters into the eventing scene attending many large recognized horse trials, including Surfire. The pair has continued to improve their dressage scores at every event -- way to go!!

Raymond Venoski has been competing his wife's TB mare Backstreet Girl at the Novice Level. This pair has chosen very large, prestigious events to attend and has been in the top ribbons consistently -- their dressage scores have been as low as 23% penalty points!!

Sara Jo Light has not only been competing her Backstreet Girl at Beginner Novice events, but also attended her first dressage shows summer of 09. At her first MDA schooling show, she was High Score Rider with a score of 73.92%. She caught the showing bug and moved up a level to compete in additional schooling and recognized shows all season.

In Sept of 09, however, Ray and Sara Jo moved their mare to a farm that was just too far for Phoebe to travel. And, it comes with great sorrow to report the recent passing of Backstreet Girl aka "Chica". In a fluke field accident, at no fault to their new facility, Chica broke her leg and required immediate euthanasia. She was a wonderfully versatile mare that we will all miss and our heart is with Ray and SJ at this difficult time. It is times like these that we all remember how fragile our equine friends are.......

        Angie and Princess during a horse trials dressage test
Although a talented dressage horse, Chica loved to jump. We will miss you, Chica XOXO

To appreciate the full effects of this story, a listing of chronology is needed:

1) Beginning of April 2009 -- Thornridge's first attempt at breeding fails and Ridgley is euthanised at 48 hours old. Devastated, we forsee no breeding in our near future.

2) Middle of April 2009 -- Devon Heir offspring, Dorotea, arrives from CA to be broken and go in a full training program. We are exceptionally taken by this beautiful mare.

3) Beginning of May 2009 -- We cannot shake the feeling that we just wanted a foal at our own farm to love-on from start to finish. But know, Phoebe's biological clock still involves 4 legged creatures!!!

4) Middle of May 2009 -- Phoebe receives a phone call from Diane Vickory of Equanimity Farm that her husband has been ill and she needs to reduce her herd of exceptionally well bred offspring. Phoebe's interest has been peaked, and after looking at web site, she know what she will do before a visit to the farm!!

5) May 16,2009 -- After a long day of judging, Phoebe races over to Equanimity Farm to view multiple horses. She is most interested in the only mare that has not had her foal yet...due in 5 days. After all, the only way, at this stage, to have a foal at Thornridge to play with, means that we have to purchase the mare, too!! Wow, this is certainly out-of-the-box for us. Diane asks Phoebe..."before purchasing the mare wouldn't you like to see the foal first?" Her answer was no. Chuck thinks that Phoebe has certainly lost her mind when she arrives home with the news that there is to be another foal, who is not yet born...but is certain to be spectacular. Phoebe believes it is meant to be.

6) May 17,2009 -- Foal arrives and he is more than we could ever ask for. It would have been ok for him to be an ugly duckling....but somehow fate has stepped into our lives. But wait, the story gets better....

7) The dam is one of 6 full siblings to our already beloved Wallstreet Prince -- bred by Pat Limage of Bae Prid Farm. Phoebe knows this is a wonderful example of successful breeding in the USA!!

8) The sire is Devon Heir (thank you Denise and Dora for turning us onto him).

9) The day Phoebe bought Mare and foal cooking in mare was Preakness day. Coming from a family that bred race horses as a side hobby, this will mark the first time that Phoebe has missed the Preakenss, in person or on TV. Chuck was at a DeVoe Family's festivity to view race. I would say it was meant to be.

10) It gets better....About 10 days later...Phoebe calls Pat, breeder of Mare and our own Wallstreet Prince....she does not sound right like herself over the phone. Unfortunately, she is mourning the very same day loss of her special stallion , Wallstreet Kid. Kid is the sire of the new mare and our "Princy". Certainly a meant to be moment!! Our heart is with you, Pat.

So we present to you....Dressed To Kill aka "Calvin" out of Wallstreet Romance and by Devon Heir.

His name comes from not just because his markings are especially fancy, but from an old horror film that terrified Phoebe as a young child -- Dressed To Kill. His nick name comes from the idea to shorten his formal name into a fashion all related back to the formal name!! There were a ton of great options out there, but we stuck with Calvin (Klein)....after all, the winning Preakness jockey was named Calvin. So, indeed, our farm's foal and new mare, was just meant to be. Fate graced us!!!! He is adored by all...and gets so much attention it is beyond normal...but...we are having a blast and thrive for every moment with our own Calvin!!! Check back for more info on this special addition to our farm. We have a feeling that after such a huge fan base, Calvin might earn himself his own page.............

                   Calvin at several days old
Calvin's first night home at Thornridge!!

Congratulations to student Denise Girard on the recent purchase of her dream-mare. After two years of searching for her perfect package, Denise has certainly found it in Dorotea aka "Dora". Dora is a 3 yo AHS mare by Devon Heir -- she was bred by the stallions's owner, is from the stallions first foal crop, and shipped in all the way from CA. Denise and Dora have certainly turned us on to this spectacular up-and-coming stallion. Devon Heir just won his 4th level debut and has a bright future ahead of him.

Phoebe attended the 2009 USEF Judging Clinic in Lexington, KY during April. It was not only a wonderful educational experience but provided the opportunity to catch up with friends and fellow judges.

In addition to the clinic, Chuck and Phoebe spent a few extra days in KY allowing them the chance to tour the new USDF home building, visit the AHS office, place bets at Keenland Race Track, tour several bourbon distilleries, and drive around the stunning thoroughbred farms.

                   USDF Hall of Fame

                               AHS Office

               Bourbon-Barrel horse sculpture

                          "And They're Off'"

Ridgley TM
April 6, 2009 - April 8, 2009

Although this little colt's life was short, he was a fighter and left this world knowing that he was loved. Out of Pippa and by Rosenthal, this little foal was a deep dark bay/black with stripe and two tiny white feet. He had the most beautifully sculpted head that his sire is known for throwing. He was also very active and sported many gallop-figure- eights and changes around his stall. Unfortunately, even with the best of care, he struggled to pass his meconium. Short of impaction surgery at NBC, every effort, with around the clock attention, was made to save Ridgley's life. Ridgley, too, put tremendous effort into surviving, but once too painful, he was placed to rest. Fearful that Ridgley would suffer more complications and have life long effects from such a major surgery, Phoebe made this tremendously difficult decision.

What had started as a wish to just have fun with a foal certainly fell short. Thornridge is not a breeding facility, but we just wanted to breed our own mascot and love him to pieces. Named after the farm, Ridgley was meant to live with us forever -- his life stemmed from anything other than a business decision. After our heartbreaking experience, we will take a while before contemplating breeding again.

Thornridge Manor would like to thank particular individuals who placed tremendous effort into bringing Ridgley alive and helping to sustain his life:

Leeandra Wesley for Pippa and all the breeding and pre-foaling mare care -- Pippa was a wonderful mom!!

Cordelia Stables for their top of the line foaling station -- and staff that tried so hard.

Dr Charles Haugh, our long term vet, who's passion is breeding and foaling -- we know you did not get much sleep.

Claudia -- For simply loving Ridgley and helping us make the right decision for him while in KY. You are the best.

Late winter and early spring 2009 was exciting around Thornridge Manor -- our "babies" were prepared and broken to ride. All three of our 3yos were exceptionally easy both mentally and physically. It shows that correct handling from the start is the way to go. Windy, Prince, and Cliff were the very first weanlings that Phoebe purchased -- we could not be more proud of our kids!!!! They have exciting performance careers ahead.

Windsong FV -- day 3 undersaddle
Wallstreet Prince -- day 2 undersaddle

Clifford FV -- day 1 undersaddle

A big hit in the winter of 2009, we hosted "Movie Night" in the tackroom office. About every 6 weeks, the gang gathered together to view horsy related educational videos....and, of course to eat and drink. Did I mention that one of our customers used to be a gourmet caterer....yes, the food was remarkable!!! I think we are all ready for winter to come again just so that we can continue this tradition.

Claudia and Phoebe gave a seminar at the 2009 Horse World Expo in January. Titled Dreams of Dressage, their presentation centered around how to get started in dressage. Thanks in part to our network of friends and supporters, we pulled in quite a large crowd!!! A special thank you goes out to Brianne Conway and her soon to be husband, Jeremy Reynold, for creating the super power point presentation for our seminar. Although a good experience, I am all too sure that Claudia will be less than thrilled to do this again -- for someone with a larger than life personality, her nerves sure got the best of her -- many laughs and memories. While at the Expo, Claudia and Phoebe had the chance to volunteer at the MDA booth -- together, they raised tons of money for the young riders.

Website by Harford Design

Unless otherwise denoted: ALL Photography is Property of Thornridge Manor