Jane Whitehurst has been riding in open classes since the mid 80’s. She was always teaching or training, but there was about three years that she took a much needed break to concentrate on being just a student.
In 2008, Jane bought a Dutch WB that had competed up to Intermediare I. He was going to be her teacher and help her to get a Silver Medal. Her beloved Thoroughbred mare had carried her to a Bronze Medal back in 1998. “Rebel Kartoon” and Jane achieved their goal at six months and at that point she started to think about “going for the gold.” The problem with Kartoon was there were some holes in his past training which would prevent him from competing at the Grand Prix. Jane was continuing to clinic with many of the top trainers as she had always done but she realized, besides an intense two weeks in Germany with Hans Biss, she had never worked extensively with one trainer.
After careful consideration Jane consulted John Zopatti who she had lessoned with a few times. For the next nine months she drove to Wellington once a week, stayed three to four days in her trailer and then drove back home. The arrangement was perfect. If she wasn’t having a lesson on Kartoon, she was watching other trainers school their horses, or give lessons to their clients. It was a double treat to see top trainers being “eyes on the ground” for other trainers.
At the end of their stay in Wellington, Kartoon and Jane were a different pair. She brought him back home and practiced what she learned and kept that imagery of professionalism in her mind. In August of 2010, Jane and Kartoon earned their scores at Grand Prix for the Gold Medal.
Currently, Jane owns Farah Sound, a 2007 Oldenburg mare, that she is bringing up the levels. She is a very sensitive and high strung horse and is happiest when she is doing upper level movements because she likes to have something to think about.
Jane’s other horse, Romeo, is an appendix Quarter Horse she adopted from Horse Protection of Florida. He is worth his weight in gold. A fun trail horse, a great lesson horse, and a very willing and smart dressage horse. He also loves to go Western Dressage too!
Jane feels so blessed to be able to participate in a sport that brings me so much joy. She is grateful for all my past teachers and current teachers either human or equine. There is no finish line for learning, only a continuation of knowledge that usually comes in stingy increments and rarely in abundance; still it keeps you hooked.
In 2010, my husband Mark Sprecher and I bought a 10 acre horse farm in the pretty town of Odessa, Fl. It had been four years since we sold Chantilly Farm, a 20 acre, 25 stall boarding facility in Palmetto, FL.
We hadn’t planned on purchasing another horse farm but boarding two horses and renting a storage facility for Mark’s woodworking was becoming costly. Truthfully, we missed owning our property and taking care of horses.
Nosara Farms is named after Playa Nosara, a beautiful beach located in the south west portion of Costa Rica. We fell in love with the place and the name after stumbling upon this hidden treasure during our honeymoon. Our farm is located in the Keystone area of Odessa. Our community begins with Tyler Road which comes off Keystone Road, also called Tarpon Road. Many of the properties in our area have horses either privately owned or boarding facilities. It is not uncommon, especially on the weekends, to watch groups of riders walking down the road on their way to the preserve. The preserve is a beautiful place to ride. Through the cypress trees you can spot deer, water birds and birds of prey. The entrance to the preserve is only a 20 minute walk from our farm.
What first attracted me to our farm was the big pasture on the east side of the property. I envisioned myself cantering across the flat grassy land. Throughout the property are clusters of large oak trees. The barn is nestled into one of these clusters and the trees keep the barn cool in the summer. There is always a breeze blowing down the center aisle. Even though we are close to a watershed area and are surrounded by cypress heads, our land is extremely dry. In the summer our horses don’t have trouble with wet feet. Where most areas that surround us will have standing water; even after a gully-washer we are puddle-free.
Our farm is a work in progress and although we have made lots of improvements we still have many projects ahead of us. Fortunately, Mark is quite handy and he can do a lot of the work himself. On most weekend days, you will hear saws, compressors, and air tools as he works on his side business Tack Carts www.tackcarts.com. Mark looks forward to retiring from his other job so he can go full force into his next career, making excellent wood products for equestrians.
I am truly blessed to have my own country paradise but also be close to the conveniences of the city. Our location is perfect for those who live or work in north Pinellas, west Hillsborough, or south Pasco counties. Come and check us out!!!