Champagne Wishes Farm

Bluemont, VA
(703) 431-4580

Latest News - 2012
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Jumpapalooza Event - December 2

This Sunday, December 2nd, is our first annual Jumpapalooza event. This will be a fun afternoon of jumping exercises and games in the ring. Group times are at 11:30, 1:00, and 2:30. If you haven't already signed up give Paul a call and he will find the best group for you. Snacks and refreshements will be provided, so bring parents, friends, and spouses to join the fun.

Morven Park Horse Trials - October 5-6

Morven Park hosted the Area II championships and CWF riders really did great. The star of the weekend was Byron Poindexter and MAC in Vegas in the Training Championships where they finished on their dressage score and took home 6th place. This was a tough division against all the Pros so a big congratulations to Byron! Sophia Fricke and Wild Trip also finished in 6th place in the Young Rider Preliminary Championships with a beautiful clear show jumping and clear XC jumping round. Haley Carspecken and Denver's Da Vinci competed in the Jr. Training championship in only their second training outing, and although they had one stop on the XC, Haley rode fantastic and is really looking comfortable at the level. They finished in 12th. Colleen McKitrick and Rocmaster had an improved show jumping round and had an unfortunate slip off the corner out of the water, but other than that stormed around the Intermediate XC and finished in 15th place. Tori Long and All That Jazz had a great day as well and finished 10th in the Intermediate B division. Their dressage is really improving so watch out for this pair next season. Pat Palmer and and Flight Risk finished their first Novice in 5th place and looked terrific in each phase. Erin Durst and Salute the Captain finished in 10th in the large Novice Championship division. I'm sure I missed a few people, but I was please to see all riders looking good. Send me your pictures from the event and I'll get them posted on the web site.

Seneca Valley Horse Trials - September 15-16

The weather was perfect this past weekend and Seneca did a great job of aerating the footing for the horses as well. Some highlights from the weekend are that Grace completed her first preliminary event with a beautiful double clean show jump and a clear XC with some time to finish in 8th place in the Open Preliminary division. She really was fantastic and handled it all like horse well beyond her 5-years of age. The entire CWF team is excited to see her continue to improve. Kristy and Mia also competed in their first preliminary event together and had a fabulous clear XC round to finish in 4th place in the Preliminary rider division. Well done! DeAnna rode Pickle in his first event this fall and he was fabulous in all three phases to finish 2nd in the Beginner Novice Horse division. Well done to all. Results of all the CWF riders can be found on the results page. If you have pictures from the weekend, send them to me and I'll add them to the web site.

Kristy & Future Promise (Mia)
Paul & True Grace
DeAnna & Pickle (Davinci)
Kristy & Mia over the skinny
Kristy through the water

Connor II - by Colleen McKitrick

Not a day will go by when I won’t miss my grumpy old man. With his wisdom and patience, Connor was the best teacher I’ll ever have. He seemed to have an endless number of lessons to teach us all.

One of the most important things Connor passed on to me was the love of our sport. When Connor and I walked or pranced or even reared into the start box, it didn’t matter if it was raining or sunny. It didn’t matter what our dressage test had been like, or how many rails we had in show jumping. From the moment we heard the starter begin his countdown, all that mattered were the coming 5 minutes of pure, eye-streaming, breathtaking, heart-pounding fun that we got to share on cross country. We took a death-defying journey around one of the world’s most dangerous sports, and loved every minute of it. And I loved it because of him.

Connor took so much joy in these outings, whether he was galloping around a 1-star course or loping around the Novice. He knew his job and loved what he did, and I thank him every day for passing that love on to me. I wish I had been with him for his final countdown this morning, but I couldn’t accompany him out of the box this time.

Thank you for everything, Connor. It’s been a great ride.

Good-Bye Connor - September 10

Today we sadly say good bye to Connor II, a long time member of the Champagne Wishes Farm team, and for those of us lucky enough to know him- a member of our family. At age 19, Connor suffered a broken leg in the field- the day after jumping double clean around the training level horse trial at Loc Moy with the same joy and willingness he showed as a 4 year old.

Connor defined the phrase “a good horse is a good horse!” To those of us who knew him, he was a great horse. His greatness did not stem from boundless physical ability, nor by sensational results, but from a combination of courage, willingness, wisdom, and sense of fair play that imbued him with a certain nobility of character –or more simply “Heart”. His Heart allowed to overcome his physical short comings, and endeared him to generations of his owners and riders. Connor’s career spanned more than a decade and a half, and included a CCI***, 3 CCI**, and 3 CCI* all long format. During that time he earned a team Gold Medal at the NARYC and was the PHR Intermediate Horse of The Year. By far his greatest achievement was the tolerant education he provided his many riders over the years.

Something about his Heart meant getting to know Connor somehow always meant becoming part of his family. He was my brother - working together to jump around Advanced. He was my student’s father- guiding them around their first Intermediate. He was finally, a wise old grandfather – patiently teaching another generation the ins and outs of Eventing. To say Connor was a “good” horse is so absurdly lacking- but I don’t know if there are any words that really could justly describe him.

He is loved and will be missed by all his extended family.

Thank you Connor. - Paul

Haley and Denver's Da Vinci

The picture to the right was featured in the the August 13th issue of the Chronicle of the Horse on page 48-49. The Picture capture from the Chronicle stated,

"Haley Carspecken and Da Vinci topped open novice, division 2, and helped the Midsouth/Virginia scramble team win the novice eventing championship."

Go Haley!



Welcome Grace

We have a new member in the CWF family. Grace is a 5-year old English TB cross owned by the Blue Bubbly Group. We have big hopes for her and can't wait to see her develop. She will be competing at the Training level at Seneca and we hope to get some picture of her to share soon.

Rubicon Cross Country Clinic - June 9-10

The XC clinic at the Rubicon farm was a great opportunity for everyone to get their horses out and practice over great terrain and beautiful fences. Everyone should be ready for Seneca this coming weekend. It was a lot of fun to see the baby horses learn and negotiate new fences and it is always great to see the more experienced horses have a blast running and jumping over bigger obstacles. A special thank you to Pat for keeping me organized and to Sheryl or Eric Williams for allowing us to school at their beautiful farm.

Loch Moy Starter Horse Trials- April 15

What a beautiful day we had this past Sunday for the Loch Moy Starter Horse Trials. The CWF crew was out in force and all the horses did great. Some of the highlights were Myra moving up to Training level with Connor and finishing in 7th; Allie and Erin both did fantastic in the Jr. Training and tied for 3rd place; and Blue ribbons were brought home by Cameron Rouse & Summery Berry in the Jr. Novice and by Sandy Felker & Tropical Image in the Novice. Well done to all. Results of all the CWF riders can be found on the results page. A couple of nice pictures from the event are below, thank you Lee Rouse for always getting some great shots.

Erin & Marco
Cameron & Summer
Madison & Big Love
Madison & Big Love

Start of the Season Party - February 11

Thank you to the McKitrick family for hosting a wonderful CWF Start of the Season (SOS) potluck party. There was lots of good food/drink and great company. It was fun to watch videos of everyone to share with the group. Some old, some new, and all great. We are all looking forward to a great season ahead. I didn't get any photos from the event, but if anyone did please send to DeAnna to post on the website.

January 16th Cavaletti and Gymnastics Clinic I at Morven Park

Ring in the new year with a fun clinic to get you and your horse kick started for the 2012 season. The series of three clinics to be held at Morven will work on developing the following:

  1. A powerful and balanced trot and canter
  2. A round and straight jump, with correct use of the horse’s body and legs
  3. A balanced, effective, and harmonious rider position
  4. An obedient, happy and confident horse

The first clinic on January 16th will combine the use of ground poles, cavaletti, grids and single fences. Lessons will last one hour for groups of three riders, starting from Green horses and going up through the Eventing levels. The next two clinics will be held on January 28th and February 18th so mark your calendars.

Paul will also offer a “Dressage Over Poles” group for those non-jumping riders looking for something different for mid-winter training. This lesson will focus on rhythm, power and articulation of joints, in all three gaits.

Riders are encouraged to form their own groups (horses should be close to the same level) in order to make the clinic a fun and lively day! Priority will be given to riders that sign up as groups, however every effort will be made to place single riders in appropriate groups. Please include any information that you deem helpful in our effort to form fun and compatible groups.

Cost is $70 per horse which includes Morven’s ring fee. Auditors are welcome to watch at no charge.

To enter, please Email Pat Palmer with rider’s name, horse’s name, horse/rider experience and telephone number.

See attached flyer for more information.