Rebecca (Becky) Burns was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She has an older sister (by 4 years), a twin brother (younger by 4 minutes) and a younger sister by 4 years. However, 8 is her lucky number. She moved with her family to Gainesville, Florida in 1974 and attended elementary through college. She comes from a long line of creative people (musicians, whale riders, artists, etc.)
Rebecca started riding at the age of six, a birthday gift from her parents that she begged for. She started out as an English rider in a group lesson setting. Upon moving to Gainesville she signed up for Western lessons through the local 4-H program. Her mother would drive her everyday after school to the barn. Shortly after those lessons ended she began riding at Sleepy Hollow Farm in Micanopy Florida, with owner Rusty Ethrington. Master Flash, a cantankerous black Thoroughbred, was her mount. Rebecca considers Rusty to be the first of a handful of important horse mentors. While in middle school, Rebecca was “sponsored” by a wonderful lady from Newberry named Sondra. Sondra embraced Rebecca as her own daughter and gave her access to horses and ponies to ride everyday. She sponsored her through the local Pony Club events and competitions. She was the first to teach Rebecca just about everything she applies today towards horse ownership and responsibility.
When old enough, Rebecca competed in Pony Club events and rallies. She learned about 3-day eventing and loved the cross-country aspect of the games. She also learned “Stadium Jumping”, now referred to as Jumpers (Hunters did not yet exist). Rebecca was not thrilled with Stadium and preferred Dressage, although as a 12 year old found it to be very boring! However, preparing for the dressage competitions taught her the true value of dressage training, and the benefits in developing competitive horses and riders, and how it should be applied to every other form of riding, whether English or Western. (BTW, Dressage means training in French.)
She stopped riding for almost 19 years while in college and working full time as a graphic designer at a local engineering company. She started her own design agency in 1990, ComQuest Designs, had a baby girl in 1993, bought the first horse she ever actually owned in 1994, a Thoroughbred filly grand sired by the infamous Secretariat. “Sissy” was a weanling (5 months old) at the time of purchase through a small breeding farm in Reddick, Florida.
Rebecca continued to build her design business while raising her daughter and filly. In 1998 she closed the doors to her studio. She maintained her favorite customers and began working out of her house, mothering her daughter and training Sissy. With the help of her trainer at that time, Jan Bowen (now in Fairbanks Alaska), Rebecca is able to say, with confidence, that she did all the groundwork on Sissy by herself. Rebecca was the first, and only person to back, break and ride Sissy for many years. She worked her horse’s everyday, except weekends, when she would take time to enjoy the ocean at Crescent Beach. Rebecca bought another Thoroughbred, Nickel. Turns out Nick is a great, great grandson to the very famous Man ‘O War. Nick looks like her very first Breyer statue of Man ‘O War that she got for her 6th birthday. “Mom was very hesitant to spend $15 dollars on the statue and was very clear that it would be my only gift…so expensive.” (These statues are now made in china and cost upwards of $75.) The old Man ‘O War stature has oddly found his place always on display in her home even through moves and such.
When Sissy came of riding age, Rebecca started monthly clinics under Wolfgang Scherzer. For six years, every month she rode with him until the clinic was moved. In 2009 Rebecca found a 14-acre farm in Gainesville and decided to open her farm, Thaddledo Farm (“that will do”, thaddle sounds like saddle) to teach riding lessons to beginners and timid riders to help supplement her income. Her farm abuts 200± acres of family land that she incorporates trail ride lessons. Not only do the riders learn how to be safe on the trail, they learn about the environment, with plenty of wild life riding in raw Florida woods. Also permitted for beach rides, which everyone is excited to take part in. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys spending time at the "beachnest" a home she and her finance are building at Crescent Beach, where they fish, crab and spend balmy days on the water..
FOOD MANAGEMENT: (lunch and dinner, cantina at the pavillion) & (hot breakfast at the barn)
VOLUNTEERS AND SPECIAL GUESTS • Camp counselors- TBA
2015 CAMP TRAINERS/CLINICIAN TBD
DRESSAGE • HUNTERS/STADIUM JUMPING • CROSS COUNTY JUMPING