I started working at my new job about mid-December; groom for Cathy Wieschhoff. For those that don't know a lot about her or haven't really heard of her, Cathy is a many time Rolex competitor and she's gone over to Burghley once as well. When I sat down to count it up I think I counted about 6 different four star horses. One of her more well known horses is Spelga Dam (aka Kate) who is still kickin' out in the mare field loving her retirement! Kate did two Rolex four-stars and went over to Burghley as well. Working with Cathy has been absolutely incredible so far! She runs a tight ship and it's definitely been a bit of an adjustment, trying to figure out how she likes things done, etc. etc. (every rider is different!). I sometimes feel a bit like I'm not good enough, but I think it's just my lack of real experience showing. At least that's what I'm telling myself, because I know if I wasn't up to par I wouldn't be still around!
In Kentucky Cathy is based at Carriage Station Farm where she lives with her family. The farm is home to a 21 stall barn and probably around 100+ acres. There are currently about 30 horses on the property, boarder horses and some of Cathy's horses. Right now we're down in Florida for the winter and leave on March 12th to head back north. Between Aiken, SC and Ocala, FL I think I definitely like Ocala better, which is opposite for a lot of people (hence the influx of eventers in Aiken the past few years). We're staying at a breathtaking facility called Longwood Farm South and I can't say that I've ever been on a more perfect piece of property. There are hills, flat areas, wooded areas, cleared areas, tons of paddocks, gorgeous barns (5!), over 200 cross country jumps (incl. Three water complexes), and on top of that we share a fence line with the O'Connors, so when the training sessions are in Ocala I just hack over there to watch on my time off. Speaking of which, I'm over there fairly often anyway (talk about star-struck the first few times) because Cathy takes a lot of lessons with Karen and David (when Karen is out of town). It's been an incredible learning experience!
Cathy's first show of the season is next week, so I'm super stoked (both because I love the showing atmosphere and I love braiding)! I'll try to be a little more active here and keep you guys up to date!
P.S. To see the gorgeous farm we're at here in Ocala, visit their website: Longwood Farm South