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Complete Horsewoman


The Horsewoman

Lindsay Hunter is the picture of a hard-working horsewoman. Come to think of it, you'd have a tough time snapping that picture. All you'd get is a motion blur as she streaks through her busy day running a successful breeding and training farm in the heart of Kentucky's bluegrass country. Lindsay's work at her newly relocated Silverstone Farm and Equicenter in Nicholasville, Kentucky is a study in what it takes to be a leader in the horse industry. Just to prove it, we asked her about an average day during her busy foaling season, and in her charming South African accent this is how she describes it unfolding.

Lindsay is up every morning at 5:15 AM and out to the barn not long after. She starts out strong, loading up mares and taking them for breeding at famed central Kentucky breeding farms, such as Ashford Stud or Lane's End Farm, just two of the Bluegrass Thoroughbred stallion stations that have the largest array of notable studs in Kentucky and maybe the world. After introducing one of her lucky mares to the likes of Smarty Jones, Lindsay is back in the truck on the road to make sure things are running smoothly on her farm. She checks in on feeding the horses, starts a couple of the young ones on their training routine, and calls up veterinarian, Dr. Woodrow Friend, who comes to check any of the mares that need attention in their breeding cycle. He'll let her know if it's time to breed a mare to one of the resident stallions,the exhilarating black and white Nite of Fame, or the silver Arabian, Silverstoneshamal.

That right there's a full day's work. But for Lindsay, it's just shaking the dew off her boots before the dusty afternoon. Just like any good horse-operator she gets more real work done before lunch than a man in a suit does in a week. In fact, she barely has time for lunch.

"Lunch is always on the go. Very seldom do I ever eat a sit down lunch," Lindsay admits. "Maybe sitting in my truck. But it's a grab and go lunch."

After this on-the-go recharging it's time to take another mare off to a breeding shed. "This year I have 15 visiting Thoroughbred mares, 4 of my own, and a number of Arabian and Saddlebred mares. So probably around 22 at my farm." And Lindsay transports mares for other farms also, sometimes as many as 200 in a breeding season. That makes for a lot of trips to the breeding sheds. Upon returning she exercises and trains her show horses. Then she prepares for her afternoon lessons— supervising the catching, grooming and saddling of the lesson horses. If you're keeping track, that's another day's worth of work done before the shadows grow long.

"The lessons begin at 4:30 PM" she says in a matter-of-fact way that doesn't sound forgiving for tardy pupils. "I teach quite a few private lessons and some semi-private lessons—two or three students to a group. We have a lot of fun with that. I teach saddle seat, hunt seat, jumping, dressage and driving."

After lessons Lindsay is deep into the part of the day when most folks would sit down for a favorite TV show or some relaxation time. Not Lindsay. Remember all those expectant mares? During the spring they make for a lot of sleepless nights. "That time of year I sit up with volunteers from the Asbury College Equine Program, watching mares that are close to foaling so someone is on hand if one starts to foal." And lately, during these summer show months, Lindsay uses her evenings to prepare riders for a successful trip around the many county fair show rings.

So there you have it, a typical day in the life of a Kentucky horsewoman. Mind you that's just the typical day, this doesn't include her work with Taylor Made Farms' sales staff at the Keeneland Thoroughbred sales, raising two daughters, Bianca and Brooke, who are also accomplished show riders and horsewomen, taking in rescue ponies and finding just the right horse for a new customer. Now we'd all do anything for our animals, but what has Lindsay Hunter running around all hours of the day and night for her horses? Love and dedication.

"I fell in love with horses at eight years old. Growing up in a non-horsey family in the suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa, I was bitten by the horse bug early on." Her love for showing Saddlebreds brought her to Kentucky, via the Moat House School in Benenden near London, where she earned a teaching degree in riding instruction and the well-respected B.H.S.I. Certificate from British Horse Society. She came to the U.S. to teach and work as a groom, aiming to learn as much about her chosen breeds as possible.

Over the last 20 years she has worked to establish Silverstone Farm on 40 rolling acres half an hour from Kentucky Horse Park. With two barns, a spacious covered arena, a lighted show ring, a training ring and miles of trails, Silverstone is enough farm to keep Lindsay going strong well past when most folks would go into retirement. Hats off to our hard-driving, consummate equestrienne, Lindsay Hunter—a complete horsewoman who does it out of love.


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