At Mountainside, we have a unique mission: to support the natural spontaneous development of the child in a specially prepared environment. That mission includes programs in sustainable agriculture, and other programs that we know are needed to enrich the lives of our students, our families, and our community.

Just last year, our biggest fundraising event was a golf tournament. For the most part it was successful, but it never seemed to attract our families and friends as much as we had hoped. Starting a series of horse shows seemed like a better fit for Mountainside. Several of the staff and students rode; we had lots of friends in the equine world; and, simply put, Fauquier County is just full of horses and eager riders looking for some fun. It seemed like a natural thing to do.

I would like to share some of the highlights from our spring Combined Test Horse Show to provide a flavor of the amazing community of people that supports our mission:

Always at the top of that list are our hosts at Copperfield Farm in Hume, Alice Johnson and Kerry Hunt. They both dedicated a lot of time and energy to preparing the farm for the event, and welcomed all with open arms.

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Preparation began the week prior to the show. Fences were spruced up and moved by some of our friends from ODH Pony Club. The stadium course was designed by Clark Davis, a contender for the equestrian Pan Am Games. Clark also ran a show jumping clinic the day before the CT and donated all the proceeds back to Mountainside.

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Paul Ebersol, a local four-star eventer, ran a dressage clinic and donated all the proceeds to Mountainside. He patiently worked with all levels of riders from beginner to advanced. He is pictured here with some members of Pony Club who competed in a dressage rally the next morning.

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Yep, he even got up there on a stubborn horse in his shorts to demonstrate…

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… and stayed with his partner for a potluck meal.

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The day of the event was amazing and all hands were on deck. The event focused not only on the competitors, but also on the families who were supporting the competitors. We had a designated “no horse” safe area for children to play, lots of food to eat, and cold beverages for all ages. There was a lot going on everywhere at Copperfield on the day.

The view was spectacular.

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For some, it was serious because trainers were watching closely!

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For others, it was all about hanging out with your friends and sharing the latest in technology.

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It was about sharing a special day with your daughter, doing what you both love to do.

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It was the whole family coming to support their daughter’s very first competition.

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It was coming to watch your daughter ride and to support the school despite recent hip surgery.

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Montessori students worked on the day, running scores for the judge. I love their confident and happy expressions!

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Piedmont Equine Practice was grateful that we finally stopped doing the golf tournaments. We love our Title Sponsor!

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There were happy, smiling children everywhere. They didn’t have to compete to have fun. All they needed was a good pile of shavings or a friend.

Old friends could hang out and catch up.

You or a loved one could even win a prize!

You can volunteer as our dressage judge (Bernadette, second from the left) or dressage scribe (Heather, on the right) and still have fun.

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No matter what your level of experience, there was a lot of fun to be had with the Mountainside community at Copperfield.

We did receive an email from a competitor’s father after the show.I think it sums up pretty well how most people felt after spending the day at our event:

“Hi all – just wanted you to know that we really enjoyed participating in your show. I thought it was very well organized, but most importantly, I really enjoyed the atmosphere. It was relaxed and friendly… The guys at the beer cooler were the best and if I didn’t have to coach softball later in the day, I might have joined them.”

Many thanks to our families and friends (old and new) for keeping the dream alive.

Edel