Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Staff Spotlight - Sara Gumbiner

Fresh off her trip to Germany, it's quite appropriate that we put up Sara's fabulous bio on our website and blog.  Many thanks to Sara on all her efforts abroad!  The staff at Windurra is second to none!!
Sara on Polaris, aka "Larry"
Photo Credit Conklin Photo
Name: Sara Gumbiner
D.O.B: 3/11/1988
Home Town: Pilesgrove, NJ
Windurra Since: February 2010
Job Description: Groom/Rider

Sara has known that she wanted to pursue a career in horses since she was just 4 years old. There was never any doubt that she would be riding and training as an adult. A student of Tracy Wagner's in NJ, she rode young OTTB's, school horses and home bred babies in the Dressage, Hunter and Jumper rings.

As a student at Delaware Valley College, Sara served as Hunt Seat team captain and also rode on the Dressage and Western teams, riding in the IHSA National Championships in 2008 and 2009. She was determined to experience many facets of the equestrian world during her education and even spent her junior summer internship in Oklahoma with world champion Working Cow & Horse trainer, Todd Crawford. The summer of 2009 was spent starting her own instruction program at the Dream Park in Gloucester Co, NJ with a whole team of tiny campers and beginner adult riders.

But it was the sport of Eventing that really captured Sara's heart. Sara graduated one semester early and joined the Windurra Team in Aiken in January of 2010. She brought Daily Special for the season, a spunky 13' Connemara pony that belonged to Stephanie Barberra, a DelVal instructor that encouraged her eventing career. Sara showed lil' Dale in Novice that first season and had a wonderful time jumping around with the big boys.

Aiken 2011 was a fun season of bringing along another green horse, Child's Play, up to prelim and showing some of Boyd's client horses including Clancy Himself and Working Draft.

Upon returning home to PA, Sara was determined to find a young horse that could take her all the way and so her search began. After trying what seemed like hundreds of talented prospects, at Boyd's suggestion Sara visited Phyllis Dawson in VA to see some of her young horses. After a few moments of sitting on Polaris she knew she had found the one! The extremely athletic, stunning dapple gray 17'1" Irish Sporthorse cross, "Larry" was purchased by Great Road Farm located in Princeton for Sara to compete.

Around Windurra, time and life seems to be defined by that horrible weekend in 2011. Larry arrived at the farm just days after the fire. Everyone had to say farewell to some wonderful horses but Larry signified a new beginning for Sara, another starting point in life. The tragic pain of that event has seemed to magnify the magic of finding the right partner. And so the journey continues…Sara is grateful to Great Road Farm and all of her good friends, family and instructors that have influenced her life and her passionate love of horses.

Showing in Prelim in the summer of 2012, Sara looks forward to moving up at just the right pace to compete in their first 4 star some time in the not too distant future. Look for Sara and her big guy on the course!

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