Eventer Cathy Wieschhoff has loved playing the drums almost her entire life, but in recent years she hadn’t been doing it much. That all changed when the country went into lockdown in March due to COVID-19.
Wieschhoff’s been doing 30-minute sets live on Facebook every night since quarantine began to get back into her passion and bring a smile to her friends and followers. She’s missed just four days due to traveling since she started.
“I’ve always been into music, and I always say in my next life I’m going to be a rock star. I’ve been busy riding in this life, but when I come back, I’m going to be a rock star,” said Wieschhoff, who runs her Carriage Station Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, and is a competitor, licensed official and course designer.
Wieschhoff posts a playlist every day before her sets; the playlists usually include top hits from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s—everything from Journey to The Cars to REO Speedwagon, with some newer hits peppered in. She says she knows most of the songs, but she does wing some of them too.
“Everybody seems to love it,” she said. “It’s like, ‘I’m here!’ or, ‘Wait, I’m late, hang on!’ If someone makes a request I’ll usually text them and say, ‘Hey your song is on tonight, and it’s third in the set, so don’t be late.’ ”
Her wife, Jess Bollinger, also gets in on the fun, dancing in the background of the videos—sometimes with props—and hyping the set on her Facebook page during the day.
“She’s really gotten into it too, sending messages and replying to people’s messages, then she gets going on the tambourine, and that’s really fun too,” said Wieschhoff, 61.
She’ll shout out to various people or groups, like the U.S. Eventing Association or Black Country Saddles. She and Bollinger will dress up with baseball caps (partly because she was unable to get a haircut, she said), sunglasses or cowboy hats for fun.
Wieschhoff is also a big fan of karaoke when she’s in Ocala, Florida, for the winter, and she loves entertaining. She said she’ll keep drumming as long as people want it, and she’s already planning to bring her drums to Ocala next season.
“Right now people are still in crisis,” she said. “All these cases are still coming up; states are shutting back down again. Are we going to get shut down as far as [U.S. Equestrian Federation] and the [U.S. Eventing Association] and eventing? I just feel like everyone’s really enjoying it, and I’m enjoying it. If I get tired one night I’ll just put a post out and say, ‘Hey guys, I can’t do it tonight. I’ll see you tomorrow.’
“It’s a lot of fun, and I’m really enjoying it,” she said. “It’s that sense of true aliveness when you really let go and have fun, and everyone’s enjoying it. I’m just glad and appreciative of everyone who’s appreciative of me, because I just love doing it.”
This article ran in the June 15-29, 2020, issue of The Chronicle of the Horse as part of our Readers’ Choice Issue.
Subscribers may choose online access to a digital version or a print subscription or both, and they will also receive our lifestyle publication, Untacked. Or you can purchase a single issue or subscribe on a mobile device through our app The Chronicle of the Horse LLC.
If you’re just following COTH online, you’re missing so much great unique content. Each print issue of the Chronicle is full of in-depth competition news, fascinating features, probing looks at issues within the sports of hunter/jumper, eventing and dressage, and stunning photography.
What are you missing if you don’t subscribe?