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Beau Cheval
Aug. 5, 2009, 06:37 PM
Is she a good trainer? I saw an ad for her in the back of one of my local horse magazines advertising that she is available for free-lance lessons, but I've never heard of her being at any of the local shows or anything. I'm just kind of curious, because it would seem to me that a maclay winner would be seen around more? I've never heard anything about her or know of any of her students.

Mayaty02
Aug. 5, 2009, 06:47 PM
Don't know anything about her as a trainer but she was an AMAZING rider as a junior....then she had a serious injury which probably has had her out of commission for awhile. I'd definitely try a lesson with her.

supershorty628
Aug. 5, 2009, 06:49 PM
I worked with Francesca some over the winter. PM me if you want - it's too long for me to write here, hahaha.

I think you don't see her at shows because while she is mobile to a degree, and can ride again, her mobility is certainly not what it was before her accident, and if something went wrong in a crowded area like an in-gate, she would not be able to get out of the way fast enough.

Silk
Aug. 5, 2009, 07:10 PM
I am just glad to hear that she is alive and able to resume a life that can bring her fulfillment!!!
She was a star rider as a junior and then went on to work for, I believe, Peter Leone. It was there she had her accident. I believe this happened near abouts 1999?

I would lesson with her if I had the chance...and I would ask her to sign her picture in my copy of Hunter Seat Equitation :)

SpicyMonarch
Aug. 5, 2009, 07:15 PM
Yeahhhh, anyone who has their picture in George's book might be worth looking in to! :p LOL

ToTheNines
Aug. 5, 2009, 07:52 PM
I still have a picture of her over a jump, which I cut out from the Chronicle years ago and kept as an example of perfect form.

KLS
Aug. 5, 2009, 10:20 PM
SpicyMonarch,

your post is such an understatement, I was literally LOL.

MintHillFarm
Aug. 6, 2009, 09:24 AM
I am glad to hear that she is teaching and riding again.
She's extremely gifted and I would recommend her to anyone.

Her former equitation horse was leased to a rider at the barn where I boarded years ago...great horse!

War Admiral
Aug. 6, 2009, 10:17 AM
Great to know she's back in the sport. I wish her the very best. As a jr. she was the rider we all wanted to be - AMAZING. I wish I lived up there so I could lesson with her! :yes:

Lessonlady
Aug. 6, 2009, 11:20 AM
Great to know she's back in the sport. I wish her the very best. As a jr. she was the rider we all wanted to be - AMAZING. I wish I lived up there so I could lesson with her! :yes:

I am glad she is recovered enough to be back to the horse world! She was a much respected horseman and her accident was indeed a tragedy.

mvp
Aug. 6, 2009, 01:16 PM
I was a clueless visitor to the hoity CT scene and wanted a place to keep my horse temporarily. She showed me around Lionshare and didn't flinch when I asked if I could groom and saddle my own horse.

When she introduced me to Peter, he asked her if I had been shown the elegant "club house" upstairs. She said no, but that I did have a question about working around the grooms in the groom stalls while things were busy.

She said to Peter: "This one wants to groom her own" and we all looked at each other. I knew I had come to the wrong place, but didn't feel dissed by either professional. We just all seemed to know that I was cut from an old skool cloth that they understood and respected.

Walking out later, she said she understood what I wanted and why I did. I'm grateful for the way she handled the situation and remember thinking that all was right in the world: Someone who rode as beautifully as she did also valued horsemanship and good manners.

Plumcreek
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:11 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I remember reading that, as a junior, she kept her horses at home and hauled into Hunterdon for lessons, at least initially, and maintained their grooming standards from home. Her mom did a lot of the work also.

Moesha
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:45 PM
There is a great article in the NY Times from a few years ago about her and her recovery.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/10/nyregion/center-helps-patients-with-water-therapy.html

2bayboys
Aug. 6, 2009, 03:40 PM
Thanks for posting that! I had such admiration for her as a junior and I wondered what had happened to her.

je.suis
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:28 PM
Yes, Plum Creek, you're correct. Francesca kept horses at home and was as diligent in their care and turn out as if she had 10 grooms. Her standards were always high, for herself and others who rode with her. Her Mom helped out as well and I feel it was this dedication to excellence, extreme talent,staunch support system and training with the best of the best that made her the respected successful horsewoman she was and continues to be. You'll find no one to say anything negative about Francesca.If anyone has an opportunity to learn rom this rider, do so and love it!

Showsheen
Aug. 7, 2009, 01:12 PM
Having known her for thirty plus years, since her pony days, all that has been stated here is correct and I can also add that she is a lovely person and has never changed no matter who she was with or where. She is a stand out for her elegance both in her physical carriage and her personality. And she always looked incredible on a horse. She is an outstanding individual-the accident could not have happened to a nicer person. No matter her current limitations, she will have something wonderful to offer you.

RumoursFollow
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:50 PM
I have always had an enormous respect and admiration for her- how awesome that she is back.

Is she able to ride?

Delaneythehorsegirl
Aug. 8, 2009, 12:02 AM
I'm going to prep school in CT in September. Does anyone know what farm she is training out of and where it is located? I'm curious because I want to see how close it is to my school and if I could possibly ride with her.

Little Sorrel
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:08 PM
I've been riding with Francesca for the last 3 years at her family's barn in Mt. Kisco, and she is the best trainer I've ever worked with. Despite the mobility issues she has as a result of her injury, her eye is still fantastic, and her horsemanship is as correct as ever. What makes Francesca really stand out, though, is that in addition to offering corrections for what you're doing wrong, she ALWAYS tells you when you get it right! It really builds one's confidence, and as someone who has struggled at times with fear, there is no substitute for hearing that you're on the right track. Francesca is 100% honest, and can really make any horse and/or rider blossom into their best self.

I'm also lucky enough to watch Francesca ride pretty often, and to see her come back from her injury has been incredibly powerful. She also starting jumping again recently- if you're interested, there's a video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImYue782AR4

If anyone is interested in connecting with Francesca for clinics, lessons, etc., please feel free to PM me.

ToTheNines
Aug. 9, 2009, 03:12 PM
This thread makes me happy. That Francesca is doing so well, and that people are so supportive.

Janet
Aug. 9, 2009, 03:49 PM
I've been riding with Francesca for the last 3 years at her family's barn in Mt. Kisco.
Just out of curiousity, WHERE in Mt Kisco?

Little Sorrel
Aug. 9, 2009, 03:53 PM
Her family doesn't have a commercial barn- it's just their private property, but they have a few stalls. If you know the area at all, it's close to Merestead and Trump's Seven Springs property, off Byram Lake Road.

M. O'Connor
Aug. 9, 2009, 04:03 PM
I'm glad to see this! I had seen no news since her accident! So nice to see how far she's come!

Janet
Aug. 9, 2009, 04:04 PM
Don't know about Trump and Merestead (they weren't there when I lived there) but I definitely know Byram Lake Rd. Don't tell anyone, but we rode our horses into Byram Lake Resevoir.

amylmac
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:13 AM
I am thrilled about this thread. She was my daughter's idol! We heard about her almost fatal accident and often wondered if she even survived! Being a health professional I am elated about her recovery .

MintHillFarm
Aug. 10, 2009, 09:53 AM
I wish I were closer too. She is a wonderful person and a gifted horsewoman.
I am thrilled to hear that she has progressed so well...

niceb
Aug. 10, 2009, 08:55 PM
what type of accident did she have? Was it a riding related accident?

Little Sorrel
Aug. 10, 2009, 09:23 PM
Her injury was back in September, 2000. She had a horse who didn't seem right, and was told that he had Lyme disease, but he didn't- he had EPM. The vets told her to get on and walk him, so she got on (with a hard hat) and was walking him in the ring and he collapsed and crushed her. She ended up with 5 skull fractures, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury (along with a number of other broken bones, etc) and was in a coma for 2.5 weeks.

She's come a long way since then- she's very disciplined, and works out every day. Francesca started riding again at the beginning of last summer, and this year, starting in about March, she's been riding about twice a week. Despite her injuries, she still makes my horse look better than I can! :)

MintHillFarm
Aug. 10, 2009, 09:33 PM
Wow, I didn't realize that was how it happened, that's really awful...
One should never believe rumors, I guess! I had heard she was hacking alone, with a helmet, and they found the horse running loose and her in the arena.

Little Sorrel
Aug. 10, 2009, 09:43 PM
That was what the NYTimes article said, but they got it wrong. It's true that she was alone- no one was watching her walk around in the arena. Apparently, no one actually saw the accident, and Francesca doesn't remember exactly what happened. She remembers walking into the ring with her horse, and then waking up in the hospital. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for her or her family...

SaddlePal
Aug. 11, 2009, 12:15 PM
Amazing Thread! Moved my horse to the Mazella's farm in NY just over a year ago. In that time, I have gotten to know Francesca. Watching her teach and ride is truly inspirational. She has more talent in her pinkie than I have in my entire body!! If you are contemplating a lesson or organizing a clinic at your barn, consider this a big recommendation.
(I wasn't riding during the years Francesca showed, so I missed out there but am very glad to be where we are today). RideOn Francesca !

ToTheNines
Aug. 11, 2009, 12:28 PM
I posted earlier about years ago having a photo of Francesca as my model of equitation. I am about to ask her for another picture so she can be my model of strength and grace too!

hasahorse
Aug. 11, 2009, 05:50 PM
Ok, so I am going to totally date myself here, but does anyone else remember when she was in Seventeen magazine in the 80's? They showed her riding and working out on a trampoline. She totally became my idol at that point - I think I was 13 or 14 and just starting to really do the equitation. That is always the first thing I think when I see or hear her name.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 11, 2009, 06:10 PM
Ok, so I am going to totally date myself here, but does anyone else remember when she was in Seventeen magazine in the 80's? .

Yes.

MHM
Aug. 27, 2009, 04:18 PM
New development. Hope everything goes well for her.

http://phelpsmediagroup.com/viewarticle.php?id=4469

worldclass777
Aug. 27, 2009, 05:06 PM
been out of the sport for a while but I remember that Francesca was really down to earth and humble for all the success she had in equitation.

JOBEAN
Aug. 27, 2009, 05:48 PM
Ok, so I am going to totally date myself here, but does anyone else remember when she was in Seventeen magazine in the 80's? They showed her riding and working out on a trampoline. She totally became my idol at that point - I think I was 13 or 14 and just starting to really do the equitation. That is always the first thing I think when I see or hear her name.

I so remember going to the store to make sure I got a copy!!

Carol Ames
Oct. 13, 2010, 11:26 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100106339.htmlgood article on TBIS

BAC
Oct. 13, 2010, 11:31 AM
I haven't read this thread so it may already have been mentioned but COTH did a article about her just a couple of weeks ago. So happy to hear how well she is doing, she seems very happy and content with her life.

Carol Ames
Oct. 13, 2010, 01:17 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100106339.htmlgood article on TBIS
washingtonpost.com > Metro
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/graphics/specialreports/css/images/arrrow-more-dark-blue.gif Complete Coverage



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/metro/traumatic-brain-injury/images/brain-promo-icon-banner.gif Cost of War

Traumatic brain injury: 'It changes who we are'



Traumatic brain injury leaves an often-invisible, life-altering wound

Carol Ames
Oct. 13, 2010, 01:23 PM
I posted earlier about years ago having a photo of Francesca as my model of equitation. I am about to ask her for another picture so she can be my model of strength and grace too!

The picture with this article would be perfect!:yes::cool:

Carol Ames
Oct. 14, 2010, 03:44 PM
their"full" recoveries gives those of us who, have suffered with tbis hope:yes:! Please understand though, that most people, suffering TBIs, who dot:no: receive the treatment and rehab she and Courtenay did:sadsmile:; such treatment is available to those with the money ( $$)and resources for private pay:eek:; as well as family and friends who, do not need to work:cool: and spend can large amounts of time with them to assist in rehab especially in regard their:yes: horses; another one to admire is Caroline Treviranus:yes:; who, had jumped around the first WM course at the KHP;); but, fell in the SJ:no:; also suffering a serious TBI:eek:; She was able with a great deal of family support to go back to riding; even competing at the Intermediate level:cool::D!Understand please that this not typical :no::cry:for sufferers of TBIs, for most of us, leaving the;) rehab to resume independent living, with support; and possibly walking with full functioning is all that can be hoped for:cry: with any likelihood; so, if you know of someone with a TBI take a deep breath, “step up and offer to help. If not with the rehab; independent living, or with horses; I believe firmly hat the best healing comes from being with the horses again:yes:; and would like to set up a group :cool:which assists horse and pet owners in need:o to have other horse and pet owners care for their animals, reuniting the owners and their animals:yes:, however briefly;); for people in that situation, every second is a blessing; I still regret that I never had the opportunity to say good bye to my animals and tell them what was happening; my family is of the “they are ANIMALS:mad:’ school of thinking; as the Brits would say “poor sods!:yes:”

Carol Ames
Oct. 14, 2010, 03:49 PM
to the Nines, It would be worth ordering a copy for t:yes:hat picture!

ToTheNines
Oct. 14, 2010, 04:26 PM
to the Nines, It would be worth ordering a copy for t:yes:hat picture!

I will do so!