Bright Stars Shine at Northfield Farm

Bright Stars Shine at Northfield Farm

It is always brilliant to look at the youth in any sport and see sheer determination, talent, love and dedication to their chosen discipline bring positive results and joyful faces.

Some super show season results came in for young riders at Northfield Farm, Otego, New York . Northfield Farm is a full service horse facility that honors riders of all ages and disciplines and horses of all breeds and talents. Each and every individual is valued and developed to reach their full potential.

The facility is owned and run by Anneliese Gilchrest with wonderful support from music teacher and musician husband Willhelm. Their young family of three boys and horse crazy girl plus a myriad of farm beasts in addition to the equine contingent make Northfield a full-blown family affair. The extended human family reaches to IHSA and IEA teams, with college graduates that have gone on to their own careers with PhD ‘s and wonderful jobs all visiting back often to re-engage with the Wilchrests and the barn life that is Northfield. An extended family in all senses of the expression, for sure. And one to which the Northfield team welcomes newcomers of all experience levels, from beginners to advanced riders from multi-disciplines.

Recent news includes the winning ways of two of the youngest members of the NorthfieldAmaya Farm dressage family. Expertly coached by her Mom, Amaya is a rider of much fortitude and talent. The no nonsense, kind approach to riding is instilled in this youngster by her Mom Anneliese and both should be very proud of their accomplishments together. Amaya and long time barn buddy and keen equestrienne Kate Seery, both won awards this season for their great dressage scores at Tanglewood Stables.

Anneliese explained, “Amaya won high point rider at the Tanglewood Dressage Schooling Show. Both Amaya and Kate Seery were Champion Year End Central NY Dressage and Combined Training in their divisions. Kate at Training Level and Amaya at Intro.  Both girls had scores in the 70's.”

Scores in the 70’s are impressive at any age and their younger years make this extra special.

Both girls also clinic at least twice a year with British Grand Prix international level dressage coach Paul Alvin-Smith.

“AmayaAmaya and Kate started out as the youngest student on our roster and for five or so years and she and Kate have both done a great job with their ponies and horses. It has been wonderful to watch them grow and see them learn. Anneliese and Cheryl {Northfield Barn Manager} have done a wonderful job educating them both. I train students of all ages and levels and not all students bring themselves to the clinics with such an ardent joy to learn and with the good seats and ethics needed to excel. They are both lovely gals and I know they want to do the Dressage for Kids program. Something I wholeheartedly endorse them doing. They are a big asset to the American young and developing rider program and I sincerely hope they get the shot they deserve on the U.S.A. program.” said Paul Alvin-Smith.

As for any of us horse owners’ life has not gone smoothly for the young Amaya. She recently lost her award-winning mare due to illness and must start over in 2017 with a new horse. This is especially hard-breaking as the mare had been started from scratch by Amaya and all the achievements they earned were whole-heartedly together.

“Amaya hopes to compete this summer on a Thoroughbred cross mare we rescued from a kill pen in New Jersey this spring. She also plans to start her three year old Arabian gelding (the son of the mare she lost this winter). She would like to get him to a few walk trot schooling shows this summer,” explained Anneliese.

Northfield Farm warmly supports young riders and there are lots of opportunities for riders of all ages.

Anneliese is starting a new program right now.
“We are starting an IEA dressage team for any young (6-12 grade) dressage riders who are interested. It follows the IDA college format so it's a great way for young riders to experience what showing dressage for a college might be like.”

Northfield Farm has been host to award winning SUNY Oneonta IHSA teams so they have much experience in the arena of shows in this format and run similar events successfully each year.

“We will be hosting our Annual Dressage Schooling Show which allows riders interested in showing to get their feet wet without leaving the comfort of the farm,” stated Anneliese.

The Annual Dressage Schooling Show is fun for riders from near and far and all are welcome to attend whether by haul-in or already on site boarders and lesson students. It is a low pressure environment which is perfect for the rider who has does not have much if any show experience, or someone who has a young horse they would like to get off the farm and in the ring.

Therapeutic Riding“Northfield will be offering summer camps (dates yet to be determined) to all ages this summer. There will be daily riding as well as learning horsemanship skills and horse care.  We are also planning to host our Annual Open House for Athelas Therapeutic Riding Inc. We will also be offering our ladies night again for the 2017 summer months. Life doesn't get any better than an evening with wonderful ladies and amazing horses. Additionally Northfield will again be hosting a clinic with Brits Paul and Nikki Alvin Smith this Spring.”

While there is a waiting list for rider entries presently for this clinic there is an opportunity to audit with pre-registration. Please contact Anneliese through the information published below to book a seat.

Somehow during the very busy times at Northfield Farm with students, therapy sessions for the Athelas program and hunter/jumper/dressage and Western training, the hosting of IEA jumping team ABC Dream Team etc. Anneliese fulfils her other interest in warmblood horse breeding. With one lovely inspected (ISR) and premium rated gelding from Don de Marco on the floor from 2015, the wonderful Rubinstein pedigree line dam Farrah (stable name), owned by Anneliese, missed a season last year and didn’t take for a re-breed to Don de Marco. However Anneliese plans to give it another chance this season, so fingers crossed.

On a personal note Anneliese did find time to get out and show last season despite being a busy ‘Mom’ to not just the barn team, clients and horses but also to her family of four kids.

“In 2016 I was able to get back to the show ring briefly at Third Level with my Oldenburg gelding Mozambique.  I plan this summer to get back to it.” The debut was new not just to Anneliese at this level but also to Mozambique and it was a great chance for both to get off the farm and participate at the new version of the Memorial Day Weekend Saratoga Dressage Show that also debuted at Stockade in Glenville, NY last year under ‘Dressage Days.’ This event will be on again this Memorial Day weekend and chairwoman Regina Cristo welcomes entries.

A visit to Northfield is a great chance to ride, meet with friendly and knowledgeable staff and while there you can also enjoy the wonderful newly decorated ‘café feel’ heated viewing room at Northfield for somehow there has also been found time to redecorate.

“We have updated our lounge to have a more comfy coffee house type feel!  We love its new colors,” said Anneliese.

You do not have to be a competition rider to enjoy all that Northfield Farm has to offer. There are plenty of trails to enjoy as a boarder too.
“We also now have our trails all color coded and marked for easier trail riding,” said Anneliese, “Plus we currently have some openings for young riders looking to start regular lessons. We have some amazing school horses, some available for half lease for our young riders to learn and start moving up the levels. Northfield will have one stall opening up for full board starting May 1st.”  

For more information about the myriad of events going on at Northfield Farm, Otego or to inquire about boarding or training for you and/or your horse please visit or call Anneliese at 607 287 2468 .