Taylor has been riding her entire life. She first started jumping and competing at horse shows when she was just four years old. After Taylor outgrew the ponies she competed successfully in the “junior” divisions. By age 12 she was competing in the high junior/amateur jumpers on her horse, Stepping Stone. A few months after Taylor’s 13th birthday, she competed in her first Grand Prix in Lake St. Louis, Missouri where she placed 5th in a field of 26 professionals.
Taylor had many successes in her junior years riding in all 3 rings. She piloted several horses to championships in the Hunter and Jumper ring while obtaining various medal and equitation wins. As her junior years came to a close, she decided her next step was to become a professional when she turned 18.
Taylor has utilized her talent on the East Coast competing at many shows including HITS and Old Salem in New York under the coaching and employment of Anne Kursinski. While Taylor was working for Anne she was showing in the 1.25-1.30 jumpers regularly and taking on all barn chores such as, cleaning stalls, administering medications, turning horses out to pasture and making sure the horses were happy, healthy and well taken care of. After she worked for Anne, Taylor returned to Illinois. Taylor has competed primarily at HITS Chicago at Balmoral Park ‘A’ and ‘AA’ rated shows. She has ridden many horses to top placings in all of their divisions including consistently being in the top 12 and winning National Hunter Derbies.
Taylor enjoys teaching elaborate and educational lessons to any type of student. Whether a 6-year-old riding in their first lesson, or an adult who has been riding for many years, she loves being able to spread her knowledge and horsemanship skills.
Fernando has been barn manager at Country Ridge Stables since its inception in 2006. He oversees every aspect of horse care, including vet visits, turnout, exercise, supplies and management of other barn employees. Fernando works closely with our trainers to make sure each horse is given the individual care needed. He is also an irreplaceable asset to the barn, overseeing and communicating with facility management when repairs or supplies are needed to keep our facility and equipment running properly.
Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Fernando has more than 20 years of experience as a barn manager for the top hunter/jumper stables in Illinois. In addition to his expert knowledge of horses, Fernando has great attention to detail, a high level of organization, and a winning attitude. He may seem relaxed and easy going, but that’s only because he has everything under complete control. Fernando takes his job very seriously. Whether he is checking on the horses at night or caring for horses at the shows, you won’t find anyone more thorough and professional than Fernando.
Bonzo is a 4 year old Australian Cattle Dog/Jack Russell Terrier mix. He was rescued from the Mchenry County Animal Control and Adoption center in Crystal Lake, Illinois in October of 2018. Bonzo had been returned to the shelter twice due to his anxiety and high energy. Taylor saw his ad on facebook and knew immediately that she had to rescue him. After giving him a job at the farm as the “Barn Greeter” and “goose control”, Bonzo’s anxiety is practically non-existent. He enjoys diving in head first after the frogs in the pond, eating as many carrots as anyone will feed him, long golf cart rides, playing with any and all dogs and he loves to cuddle. He’s smart, loving, docile (and stubborn at the same time) and incredibly attentive. If you’re planning on bringing carrots for the horses, be sure to save one for Bonzo!