Seasoned Rider.....70+ and Still Going Strong
Pat Ross is an owner and trainer at Foxwin Farm located in Elmira, New York. At Foxwin they raise and show Morgan horses, train, and give riding lessons as well as board horses and even at 73 years of age Pat still does it all and doesn’t plan to retire any time soon. Pat jokes that her first word as a child was “ horse”. Her father, who passed away when she was only three years old, shared her love of horses and would always take his daughter around horses whenever he could. Pat’s first real exposure to horses came when she was a kid and found a hole in the back fence at Yonkers Race Track. She would crawl through the hole and hang out in the stable area of the track. Pat claims “the trainer put me to work so they weren’t tripping over me all the time”. When Pat’s Aunt bought a farm in upstate New York the opportunity presented itself for her to have a horse of her own. “I talked my Aunt into buying a horse,” Pat explains. Owning a horse was a dream come true and Pat Ross has been living that dream ever since. When Pat reached a point in her life where she could go out horse shopping, as it were, she first looked at the Arabian breed, but at that time Arabians were a little out of her price range. It would be the Morgan Horse that Pat fell in love with. It was in 1962 that Pat purchased her first Morgan horse-Monarch's Ladson (a 2 yr. old) and the rest is history, as they say. Pat formed a breeding partnership in 1974 with David F. Fors, Sr. and Ethel Fors and Foxwin Farm was born. In 2007, sadly, David lost a battle with cancer and passed away. In 2009 Ethel made the decision to retire, but Foxwin Farm is still going strong with a new generation. Trish Pierce, a boarder at Foxwin, and her husband, Marty, stepped in to help keep the farm running smoothly during David’s illness. It was the Pierces, Pat realized , who should become her partners and represent the next generation of horsemen and stewards of the land. They, of course, were honored by the opportunity. In 2009 Foxwin celebrated 25 years in business. Pat has a passion for the sport of Dressage. She was bitten by the Dressage bug after seeing J. Cecil Ferguson's stallions, Parade and Broadwall Drum Major, on tour in the United States with the Spanish Riding School back in 1973. She had a rather humble beginning in Dressage. She bought a book about it and would place the book on the fence rail and read it while she rode her horse. Of course Pat later found a good instructor who gave her a solid foundation in Dressage. Today Pat is a Dressage instructor herself. She prides herself in using time-tested, classical methods of instruction. Pat offers traditional schooling for riders in all disciplines and she specializes in longe-line lessons to help riders at all levels develop, or improve, an independent seat. Pat is still active in the show ring with the Morgans that she has raised. Last September Pat took her young stallion Sonny (the horse she is riding in our cover photo) to New York State Morgan Horse Society Regional Show. It was the first first show where he competed under saddle and he did very well. Pat was quite satisfied, given Sonny's inexperience. Pat not only bred Sonny she trained him as well. “ I love working with the young ones” Pat explains. While some her age might be considering stopping training young horses - Pat is definitely NOT. When people comment to her that she could get hurt she says, “I could get run over walking to the mailbox,”. Safety when handling young horses is, of course, the utmost consideration in Pat’s mind - as it always has been. Pat doesn’t plan on slowing down. Like so many Seasoned Riders Pat feels the horses keep her young and that she has a lot of knowledge to offer to people.