Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stephie Baer on Burghley, Victorian literature, and overindulging in bridles

Stephie and Roo tackle the monster elephant trap at Plantation

Today I’m reviving the getting-to-know-you questionnaire, turning the spotlight on Stephie Baer, one of CBF’s two primary trainers/instructors. For most people who have been involved in eventing for more than ten minutes, Stephie requires little introduction, but here are some of the essential facts about her career:

Stephie is an advanced-level international event rider. She has competed at Bromont (Canada), Mexico, Rolex Kentucky, and Burghley (England).  She was short-listed for the 1998 U.S. World Championship Team. She has been teaching beginners through advanced-level riders for 35 years and has trained countless horses through the levels. She has been a member of the Course Brook Farm family for at least 15 years and has been a huge part of developing the facility into what it is today. She teaches seven days per week at CBF and her lessons are $95/hour. 

For any of you who are interested in riding with Stephie, she will be teaching her annual Memorial Day cross country clinic at CBF on May 27. More information can be found here.

Stephie was kind enough to answer my hybrid horse-person/Proust questionnaire for this post.

1. How old were you when you first started riding? Five. My grandfather said to my mother, “Here’s some money, get that kid some riding lessons.” He was in the cavalry.

2. What is your greatest extravagance? Bridles.

3. What other talent besides riding would you most like to have? More athleticism.

4. What do you consider your greatest achievement (riding or otherwise)? Being short-listed for the World Championships in 1998. 
5. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be? A spoiled house cat that can go in or out.

6. What is your most treasured possession? My horses Dreyfus and Prudential.

Dreyfus at Rolex Kentucky

7. Who are your favorite writers/artists/riders? Writers: the historical novels of Anthony Trollope (probably because I had a great teacher in Victorian lit.) and Tolstoy. Artists: Michelangelo, Degas. Musicians:  Joan Baez, Pete Seeger. Riders: Bruce Davidson, Buck Davidson, Phillip Dutton, Lucinda Green.

8. What is your motto? Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

9. Have you ever ridden sidesaddle? Yes, as a kid without a sidesaddle.

10. What is your favorite riding moment (competition or anything else)? Going to England for five weeks with Dreyfus.
11. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Right now, here. Probably in England if all my family and friends could be there too.

12. If you could do any job besides teaching/training, what would it be (doesn't need to be realistic). Be an architect or an engineer.

Thank you to Stephie for her insights, her incredible contributions to Course Brook Farm, and for the fabulous photos that she contributed for this post, including the one below of the infamous ditch and brush at Burghley. No big deal...


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