It’s really unusual that a horse barn can exist for 20 years under the same management and have the same trainers for around 15 of those years. That was one of the main reasons I chose Willow Tree when I was searching for a new barn…I was also searching for stability after having lost 4 trainers in 5 years to barn politics. So today I documented the big 20th anniversary celebration at Willow Tree, attended by somewhere around 200 folks who had either present or past associations with the place. Wendy, our barn manager, did an outstanding job arranging displays detailing the history and experience of the trainers, celebrating private and school horses past and present, lining up demonstrations from saddle fitting to starting young horses to training your horse to do tricks–and hardest of all, getting all of us together for weeks of cleaning, painting, and tidying up the entire facility. A set of tasks nobody was really looking forward to, but one that was appreciated by all when completed.
Here are a few peeks at the festivities–