I have always had an interest in horseback riding and around 2004 I decided to start taking western riding lessons. I got talked into taking English style riding lessons (I always thought English style was sissy) and found that I liked it. I then got talked into volunteering to time stadium jumping at Ram Tap (now known as Fresno County Horse Park). I didn’t know what 3 Day Eventing was but my instructor told me it would be fun and I would meet new people.
The third weekend I worked as a volunteer I got goose bumps watching several riders perform their cross country tests so I went back to my instructor and announced I wanted to learn how to 3 Day Event. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had to buy a horse, a saddle and a horse trailer. I met new people, I started traveling to other parts of California to compete and was having a pretty good time.
In 2012 one of the owners of Ram Tap had some health problems and his doctor told him he needed to stop running Ram Tap. Ram Tap is the second oldest continuously operating 3 Day Eventing facility in the U.S. He announced that he was going to shut it down and there was a big uproar from many of the people who have ridden there.
In order to save it I ended up buying it and embarked on a new journey. I started going to other 3 Day Events to learn how to improve our shows. Several knowledgeable people suggested that I attend the Rolex Kentucky Horse Trials, the biggest 3 Day Event in the U.S., but I couldn’t do that as we have a show that same weekend.
In the fall of 2014 I told my girlfriend that I thought we should go to the Badminton Horse Trials in England. Badminton is the second largest outdoor paid sporting event in the world and attracts about 250,000 spectators each year. She said, “you’ve got to be kidding” and she also said she’d love to go with me.
A friend of ours has been setting up clinics at the Horse Park and in January, 2015 she brought the great New Zealand Eventer Sir Mark Todd to teach at the Horse Park in Fresno. Over breakfast one morning Mark told me about the Mark Todd Collection. I asked him if they sold their products in the U.S. to which he responded, “not yet, maybe you’ll be the first”. Mark is a great teacher and fun to be around and we all liked him.
At Badminton that year we were astounded by the amount of shopping at the show, and I mean astounded! We went into the Mark Todd Collection store (along with many other stores) and found a lot of very good quality products. My girlfriend bought a bunch of stuff. I told the manager I put on horse shows in California and asked if we could buy their products from the U.S. and he told me they didn’t ship to the U.S.
After we got home I talked with some other people with their company and you can now purchase products from the Mark Todd Collection at our store at Fresno County Horse Park in Fresno, California. You can now also buy their products from our on-line store.