February 22, 2018

Local News around the Delaware Valley

An Inside Look at the Delaware State Mounted Patrol

By: Samantha Facciolo

DPS6The unassuming, blue and white structure off Smyrna Landing Road is bordered on one side by the Central Violation of Probation Center and by the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on another. A quiet, two-lane road runs in front of the property, separating it from the cornfields stretching into the distance. Here, on eight acres donated by the Department of Corrections, the six horses of the Delaware State Police Mounted Patrol live and train.DPS5

Thanks to the hard work of Master Corporal Alison Meadows, the horses and their lodgings are immaculate. The aisle is swept clean, the stalls are freshly bedded and not a buckle or strap in the tack room is out of place. Whether it’s police instinct or equine habit, discipline and attention to detail are evident in every facet of these horses’ care. The donated Percheron and Shire horses stabled here are the heart of this facility and as such, are treated accordingly. Though on the morning I visit, they’re dozing or munching hay in their stalls, happy for a head scratch or a pat on the nose, these horses and their riders, veteran State Troopers, are well trained in all aspects of mounted duty.

In 2012, when Master Corporal Alison Meadows launched the state’s mounted patrol, she was operating it as a part-time unit forged from the cooperation of several organizations, including the Department of Corrections, the Department of Agriculture, New Castle and Kent Counties and donations from multiple individuals. A lifelong horsewoman, Meadows reached out to several established units, including the NYPD and mounted patrols in New Castle County, Pennsylvania, Florida, and California for guidance and training. The fledgling unit, which at the time included an off the track Thoroughbred, had its first patrol on Memorial Day weekend in Dewey, not exactly the calmest of places. However, the horses were champs, and the mounted patrol was born.

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2018 RRP Makeover Applications on the Rise

Applications for the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover opened on Dec. 1, and we’re about midway through the application period. So far, we’ve received 347 applications, up slightly from last year’s total of 330 at this time. A little more than one-third of applicants are returning competitors, meaning they were also accepted to compete in a prior Makeover. And 12 of them have competed in all three Makeovers held at the Kentucky Horse Park, and are applying to return for a fourth time! Forty-seven trainers have applied to compete with two horses.


We’ve received applications from 39 states and two Canadian provinces (including our first-ever application from Saskatchewan). As usual, Eventing is the most popular primary discipline selected by applicants, followed by Show Hunters and Show Jumping.

In 2017, applications were accepted on a rolling basis, and by the end of the application period we had accepted 578 trainers. Due to the uncertain nature of training green horses, however, many of the accepted trainers drop out before the competition; about 300 actually made it to Kentucky to compete.

This year, applications will be accepted through Jan. 15, and will then be evaluated and acceptances will be announced on Feb. 1.

For more information about the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover, or to apply, click here.

Summer Equine Fashion Round Up at Dover

By Samantha Faciolo-August 2017

Fall is on the horizon, meaning cooler temperatures for both you and your horse, but tack shop sales are heating up. Now’s the perfect time to stock up on warm weather riding gear for those last dog days of summer.

Equestrianlist spoke to Kristina, a saleswoman at Dover Saddlery in Hockessin, Delaware, and to Jacob Pope, a young, professional rider currently with Team Rakowsky Equestrian in Wellington, FL to find out what’s hot in summer riding.jjsam

Several equine brands, following the lead of mainstream athletic apparel companies, have incorporated new technology into their clothing. Ariat, Tailored Sportsman, Riding Sport and others offer summer gear with features like UV protection, wicking fabrics and mesh. Many also offer long sleeved varieties of their popular short sleeved and tank tops. Kristina explained that while most people reach for sleeveless shirts in the summer months, several of these new, long sleeved shirts utilize cooling and wicking materials while providing protection from the sun.

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Radnor Round Up

By: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.- May 21, 2017

rru4The Radnor Hunt Races, now in its 87th year,  are about land as much as they are about horses, and Saturday was a celebration of both. Hundreds of hat-bedecked picnickers gathered to watch horses and riders compete in the six races of the annual event, all in support of the Brandywine Conservancy. The Conservancy, the brainchild of the late George A. Frolic Weymouth, is a land trust dedicated to preserving open spaces in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

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Plantation Field International Horse Trials pairs up with RRProject

UNIONVILLE, PA (April 4, 2017) - Plantation Field International Horse Trials will celebrate its 10th anniversary by kicking off a multi-year partnership with the Retired Racehorse Project. This year's event, held Sept. 14-17, 2017 in beautiful Unionville, will celebrate excellence in the sport of eventing and Thoroughbred racing culture.icabod

Top names in Thoroughbred racing like Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Graham Motion will team up with top eventers like Rio Olympic individual bronze medalist Phillip Dutton to showcase second careers for former racehorses.

Steuart Pittman, president of the Retired Racehorse Project, said he is thrilled to be involved in this new multi-year partnership with Plantation Field, which has steadily grown to be one of the most prestigious horse trials on the fall eventing calendar.

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Devon Horse Show & Country Fair Showcases Facility Improvements for 2017

Devon, PA - April 11, 2017 - Exhibitors and spectators for the 2017 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will notice major renovations to the historic show grounds when they come in May.  Many projects have been ongoing throughout the past year and will be completed in time for the 2017 season, creating the perfect atmosphere for the annual event "Where Champions Meet."

Upgrades to the facility are numerous and include completion of significant renovations of stall interiors. Supporters of the restoration program for the Devon Back Barns receive a horseshoe plaque displayed for 10 years on the Wall of Honor to recognize their gracious donations.dev2017

Lighting in the Dixon Oval and Gold Ring has been improved with additional lighting and backlit cupolas that will be lit from underneath. Two large LED sign boards has been added that will be visible in the country fair section of the grounds.

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The Blanket Lady

What an appropriate name for Tandy Joy Hufford who operates "The Blanket Lady LLC" in Coatesville, PA. Recently, EquestrianList sat down with Tandy to learn more about her company.

Q: Can you tell us about how you got started in the blanket cleaning business?tandyc
Tandy: I started this business about 23 years ago. I wanted a change from my job in corporate America. I wanted to do something horse related that didn’t involve actually having horses, other than my own. I wrote a business plan, presented it to a bank (what a great way to get an independent opinion on the validity of the business), hired someone with expertise and got after it!
Q: What’s unique about your business?
Tandy: I take great pride in my blanket cleaning process. I make sure I use environmentally sound cleaning methods and equipment, I use proper cleaning products, have installed solar panels to generate electricity and have learned a lot about proper wastewater treatment!
The Blanket Lady LLC has a flexible work force depending on the time of year and schedules. Aside from myself, my main helper is someone who retired from 20 years of professional grooming, with a Olympian Event Rider.  Needless to say, we know horse blankets.

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Winterthur Point to Point- May 7, 2017

By: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday dawned grey and cloudy, but that didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for the 39th annual Point to Point on the beautiful grounds of the Winterthur estate in the Brandywine Valley. The event usually marks the turning point of spring, but while the buttercups and bluebells were in full bloom, the weather didn’t cooperate, bringing intermittent showers of rain and gusts of wind. Nonetheless, spectators insisted on sundresses, summer hats and the occasional pair of rain boots as they spent an afternoon tailgating, picnicking and cheering on the horses.

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Ellen Derrick formally of McGregor Stables has a new look

Ellen Derrick, a USHJA certified trainer, formally of McGregor Stables in West Chester, has moved her operation to Chester Springs. The new name Top Flight Stables is a hunter/jumper training facility offering individualized programs designed to maximize each horse and rider's goals and potential.

"We are a drama-free barn, specializing in consistent, quality instruction and training and that fosters quality horsemanship and a love of our animals". Ellen has  extensive experience and education who is patient, encouraging, and supportive.  They  offer lessons and training for all levels of riders, working toward meeting goals that are incorporated into a full, year-round show schedule with local and rated shows.

Top Flight Stables offers:
Indoor arena (90'x200') located close to the barn that is well-lit,fully insulated during the winter months, sand Permaflex footing and built-in irrigation system.

Outdoor grass riding arena (130'x250'),Two indoor wash stalls with heat lamps and an outdoor wash stall with hot and cold water, Spacious, well- ventilated, matted stalls,Large pastures with lush grass, Heated tack room. Full board and training board are available.Quality care and attention to detail in all aspects of horse care.

Top Flight is having an Open House and a Louise Serio Clinic. Everyone is invited. Come check out our new facility on April 29. Audit and/or participate in the clinic (auditing is free for the clinic).

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Equine Field Service Team to Discuss Tricky Cases from the Field During Free First Tuesday Lecture

By Ashley Berke
[February 24, 2017; Kennett Square, PA] – New Bolton Center’s Equine Field Service experts, Drs. Liz Arbittier, Ashley Boyle, Jennifer Linton, and Meagan Smith, will each share details of complex cases from the field, highlighting their various specialties, as part of the First Tuesday Lecture series.penlecture

The presentation, “Tricky Cases from the Field: What’s Your Diagnosis?” will take place on Tuesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. in New Bolton Center’s Alumni Hall, 382 West Street Road, Kennett Square, PA. The lecture is free and open to the public. Due to limited seating, reservations are recommended and can be made by contacting Barbara Belt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With advanced training and expertise, New Bolton Center’s Equine Field Service specialists bring the highest quality care directly to area farms, backed by the support of the hospital. During the First Tuesday Lecture, the team will showcase how their expert knowledge, state-of-the-art equipment, and compassionate care have helped in the diagnosis and treatment of complicated cases.

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Training Tip Horse Confidence-Sally Cousins

Editor's Note: We are thrilled that Sally has allowed us to share her weekly tips.
Call (610) 324-6628
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last week I wrote about rider confidence, and this week I’m turning to the confidence of the horse. Our horse’s confidence is directly related to how confident we feel and vice versa. They are very closely related. Depending on the horse, it can take years to build up confidence, but only one or two bad experiences to undo it.sctip
We need to carefully build our horse’s confidence. If the horse is not having a good day, don’t introduce something new. Usually going slower in your training will end up being more successful in the end because you will not have to go back and fix problems. The more good experiences your horse has, the bigger the “bank” you have to draw on.

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Southeastern Pennsylvania Equine Survey


Here is an important survey for you to fill out .The purpose of this study is to provide an objective estimate of the economic contribution that our industry makes to the economy of the nine county Southeastern Pennsylvania region encompassing Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Berks, Schuylkill, Lebanon and Lancaster counties. This impact will be expressed in terms of output, final demand, employment, household income, and tax revenue, and will provide a current census of equine population in the region.

Go to our sitewww.sepaequine.org to participate.

It’s Too Late to Create a Budget…Right?


Wrong! This is a perfect time and I’ll explain why. Most of us have a streak of procrastination in us (I admit it) and so we are just now finishing up our record keeping to file our taxes for last year. While you are in the bookkeeping mode, use that to go that one step further to create a budget for this year.

If you are a little queasy about doing a budget, don’t worry, that’s normal. First, a budget is nothing more than a projection of future income and expenses. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it certainly doesn’t have to be perfect.psaul

First Time Budget Creation

Don’t let this scare you! This isn’t a document that can’t be adjusted. If this is your first attempt at a budget, use what is available for you. If you had income and expenses last year, use that information to populate your budget for this year. And since we’re into this year already, use your actual numbers for the past months to fill in the first few columns.

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Write or submit Photographs for us

Do you have something to share? Do you want your story to be published? We are always interested in good personal essays, news stories, events, interviews, how to articles and more.  that would involve a trainer, product, horse, service or event? We don't care if you are "Blogging" or "writing". If it is good and we accept it we will publish it and pay you if applicable (contact us for terms).  Our primary viewer area of interest is in the PA, MD, NJ and DE areas.

We welcome personal essays, news stories, humor pieces, profiles/interviews, how-to articles and other non-fiction works, as well as art, cartoons and photography.

We do accept submissions online. If you would like to contribute, please send your submission as well as a brief bio to the managing editor, Sue McElroy, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We consider each submission on spec. Writing submissions should be no more than 1,000 words. Previously unpublished work only. We reserve the right to edit stories for length and content.

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