2022 Horseperson of the Year
In 1965 at the age of 29, I was in Dublin, Ireland, at the Royal Dublin
Horse Show. For the first time, I saw riders jumping horses over fences.
Right then and there I came down with a severe case of wanting to learn
how to do that. That’s where this journey started….
Growing up in a small farm town in West Central Illinois, Rushville,
the closest I ever got to a horse was going with my grandfather as he
drove his horse to his farm or getting to ride a friend’s horse in the
The journey to Woodside and Olive Hill Farm:
Teaching for the U. S. Air Force in the dependent schools in England and Germany.
Marrying an Air Force pilot, Lloyd, from California in 1964.
Leading a small group of college students for the Experiment in International Living, which was the forerunner of the Peace Corps. Destination: Ireland.
Teaching at Westmoor High School in Daly City.
Riding lessons at Mar Vista Stables in Daly City.
Meeting Katy Farquharson, who was a teacher at Aragon HS in San Mateo and taking jumping lessons from her student at the Stanford Barn.
Buying my first horse and learning how to take care of her while boarding at Roy Markegard’s farm on Tunitas Creek Road south of Half Moon Bay.
Taking jumping lessons at Stanford with Jack Melville who ran the Stanford Barn.
Discovering Woodside, the Little Store, Fox Hollow at the Playpen, which was home to the Los Altos Hounds.
All this while living in San Francisco, teaching in Daly City and commuting seven days a week to Tunitas Creek.
Then, buying the old Zwierlein Barn with its five additional stalls brought down from Tanforan Race Track when it had closed. This resulted in a total of 17 stalls in two barns. (1969)
Of course, then came the horses. I brought three horses to Woodside and having no experience in taking care of a farm or a horse.
I think the world “determination” best summarizes this journey, and it came from what
Jack Melville would say to me in a jumping lesson as I came down to maybe a two-foot
fence, heart in my mouth. I was a beginner as was my horse because the only horses I
could afford were off the racetrack. Jack would say “get determined.”
This journey was done on a shoestring propelled by lots of determination and many
wonderful mentors who helped me along the way…kind, patient, encouraging people
who helped me up when I was down (literally and physically) and sent me on my way
telling me they knew I could do it. My husband Lloyd, Roy Markegard (Tunitas Creek)
Jack Melville (Stanford), Bob O’Neil, and Al Orsini (the farm in Woodside). To them
I will be forever grateful.
I’m still at Olive Hill Farm where I am boarding several horses. I’m not jumping any more but still enjoy a trail ride or a workout in the ring on “Flora.”
The horses began this journey for me and still give me great
pleasure. I have them to thank for the great wealth of
friendships they have brought me over the years.
So, my friends, come by and say “hi” at Olive Hill Farm.