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Sue Clark

Sue is an employee of Stonehall Farm where she serves as stable manager to Ms. Jacqueline Mars and Karen and David O’Connor. Her first and most important duty is responsibility for the care and well being of all the horses at Stonehall, be they Polo ponies, Foxhunters, young stock, or Event horses.

Sue also oversees all the other Stonehall employees and says that it is her responsibility to help them reach their potential, to build their confidence so they can be the best they can be. She facilitates the breeding programs (the Irish, South Carolina and Virginia programs), and keeps up good communication with the sponsors. She also organizes all the horses’ travels – to competitions, overseas and to Florida each winter.

“In this job, I get to make a big difference in lives – whether it is human or equine.”

In addition to all that, she is in charge of the daily routine of scheduling vets, farriers and equine dentists, ordering supplies, and keeping the stable running smoothly. “And occasionally” she says, “I even have time to ride.”

“No matter how crappy, long or hectic a day has been, being able to walk right out the door and touch a horse you love turns it around for you – and we have some very special horses in this barn.”
Sue was born in England, but moved to Germany with her family when she was a small child. It was in Germany, at the age of 8, that Sue first began to ride horses. The family returned to England when Sue was a teenager, and she worked at a horse yard with Foxhunters, Point to Point Racers and a Therapeutic Riding program. This English horse yard became Sue’s home away from home, and she remembers it fondly.

When Sue graduated from high school, the family moved to Ohio, where she attended Otterbein College, majoring in Equine Science. After college, she took her warmblood to the East Coast to compete in Dressage and Eventing. She planned to compete her horse for a few years, and then return to Ohio to attend veterinary school. While competing on the east coast, she continued to work with horses, with an English vet in his racehorse practice.

“So little of what I do everyday is actually directly with horses, but it is all about them. You do this job because you love the horses.”
She first met Ms. Mars in the summer of 1992. Ms. Mars was sponsoring the rider that Sue was grooming for at the Essex Three-Day Event. Ms. Mars eventually asked Sue to work at her farm in New Jersey as the stable manager. Within a year of taking the position, Ms. Mars purchased a new farm, in The Plains, Virginia, and asked Sue to move with her, to continue running her stable. Sue visited the new farm and the surrounding area and agreed to continue her job for one year, to help Ms. Mars and her horses acclimate themselves to their new home.

“I used to have to commute from New Jersey to New York, a 45 mile distance. Now I get to live at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, any my commute is walking my dog in the morning before work.”

At the time, Sue had no intention of staying in Virginia. When the first year was up, Ms. Mars again came to Sue and asked her to stay another year, this time because David and Karen O’Connor wanted to return to the states from England, and they were moving into Ms. Mars' barn. She needed Sue to help blend the

“This is a great job, because no two days are the same. That is thanks to the horses. It is wonderful to get to do something you are passionate about.”


two businesses. Sue agreed, for one more year. Sue doesn’t remember when she decided to stay in Virginia, but at some point the job became permanent, and Virginia became home.

 

 

 

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