Mar. 4, 2016

Highlighting: Michelle Craig

Michelle Craig grew up showing horses as many kids do. Her first horse was off the racetrack. He was an exracehorse named, "An Lar." He was a diamond that took MIchelle from short stirrup classes to showing in the A circuit in the High Amateur Jumpers and eventually taking her all over the country where she showed at Wellington, Indio and all over Colorado where she lived at the time. An Lar was an Irish thoroughbred import who started his racing career as a Steeplechase horse. Michelle bought him when he was 4 years old and had him until he passed away at 29 years old after a cross country move from Colorado to Virginia. It was the heart and talent this horse had that convinced Michelle that her next horse should be a thoroughbred off the racetrack. Which leads us to "Will He Passum." A Lanky bay gelding who was 17.2 hands. Michelle did the High Amateur jumpers with this horse and eventualy he took her to her very first Grand Prix at "Show For Champions" in Denver, CO where they placed 3rd. 

"Martha Calling" was the first OTTB that put MIchelle on the cross country course. Martha and MIchelle competed through Training Level successful and by this time MIchelle was 100% hooked. She began purchasing horses as resale projects and one day ventured onto the racetrack. She started off at a smaller training farm in Colorado where she sat on many young babies begining their careers and eventually began working for Susan Cooney in VA. In addition to that she also galloped steeplechase horses for Dot Smithwick. Making all of the connections she made on the backside, she was able to purchase several nice horses to retrain and put out into the sporthorse world under some pretty impressive riders. "Civil Liberty" was a small, unassuming bay gelding who never broke his maiden on the track. However, there was something about that awkward, young gelding that spoke to Michelle. He is now competing with Kate Chadderton in eventing at the 4* level. Kate plans to head him towards the Rio Olympics, representing Austrailia and possibly Rolex 2016 if he qualifies. 

After having shoulder reconstruction and various other injuries....plus two kids, Michelle dialed it back a notch and found she has a love for Foxhunting. She also plans on doing more of the all thoroughbred shows this year. Next on her plate is competing in the Retired Racehorse Project in October with her new horse, "Youmightbearedneck." 

MIchelle currently has several OTTBs in her barn. She and her husband, Dustin work together to break and train young horses for the track, train eventers, foxhunters and show hunters. They train out of Fox Covert Farm in Upperville, VA. 

I like to highlight the horses in each trainer's barn that have come off the track so that former connections can find them and follow what they are up to. Curret horses at West Wind Equine are:

Nap For Sycamore - Advanced Level Eventer

Youmightbearedneck - RRP Competition horse

Boardman - Retired Preliminary Eventer

Burning Moccasin - Training Level Eventer (out on lease)

Bopeye - Foxhunter

Pookie's Princess - 2014 RRP America's Most Wanted Runner-up. Competed in 2'9" Hunters.

"Mikey" - Retired Training Level Eventer, Walk/Trot kids horse. ( Tattoo can't be read )

Compact Score - First Flight Foxhunter

Suave Man - First Flight Foxhunter and 1st Level Dressage

Slewrenity - Retired Track Pony, Foxhunter and Michelle's all around kid's mount.

Hey Julia - Beginner Novice Eventer

Christmas Bash - Broodmare

Monstress - Hunter Prospect

Please visit their website at http://westwindequine.com/

If you would like to contact MIchelle or Dustin you can send an email to: westwindfarms@gmail.com