The Petrasek Family
Talbot Run is a family owned and operated farm. Ann and Bob purchased the farm in 2004 and designed and built the “Upper Barn with the attached riding arena. Ann and Bob are both educators employed by the Montgomery Count Public Schools – Ann has been teaching middle school French for the last 34 years and Bob is a middle school counselor. Their vision was to create a happy and safe place where kids and adults could come to learn more about horses and riding. Their expertise in education and working with kids has helped them to create the unique program that is Talbot Run. Neither Ann nor Bob had horse experience as children but became connected to the equine world through their daughter Robin. What started as a “free” introductory lesson at Woodland Horse Center grew from riding lessons to Show Team to one horse to two horses to nine horses and a small backyard farm in Highland to Pony Club to a 147 acre boarding and lesson facility in Mount Airy. Ann currently is the facility program manager and teaches introductory lessons, orchestrates birthday parties and coordinates the unmounted instructional program.
The Petraseks live on site with their daughter Robin, their grand-daughter Lilia, Lilia’s father, Curtis, Tyler and Hallie the farm dogs, the barn cats and 45 horses. Please join us and enjoy the fun and learning that are a focus of our lives here on the farm!
Robin started riding at the age of 7 at a lesson barn in Silver Spring. When she was 9, she announced that she was done with other sports and activities (soccer, softball, Girl Scouts, etc) and was ready to devote all of her attention to horses. Finally, when she was 11, her parents decided to purchase a horse. After a serious heartbreak when her favorite lesson horse was unable to be sold, they decided to buy a 3 year old Quarter Horse from western Maryland. There was some question as to the intelligence of this decision. After all, a green horse plus a green rider often leads to a lot of black and blue… However, Robin loved her long backed and gangly looking horse, Daisy Mae. She spent the next few years competing at local hunter shows and after they got the hang of it, they really began to clean up. No one really thought that Daisy was going to amount to much because of her weird conformation, but as a team, they really were able to shine. When she was 14, she discovered eventing and dressage and made the switch. At this time, she also joined Pony Club, which was a bit of a rude awakening. Daisy took Robin through Training Level dressage and Novice level eventing and taught her a ton about training a young horse without being dangerous. She will always be cherished as the best first horse ever.
Together, they competed at the PVDA Young Rider championships several years in a row and went to Pony Club Nationals for dressage in 2001. At this point, Robin felt like she needed a horse to move up on. She had a 2 year old QH mare named Nicki that she had in training who didn’t seem like she was going to amount to much. How wrong were we! Nicki went on to become the Novice level Horse of the Year. They attended American Eventing Championships at the Novice level in 2005. Robin has also taken two other horses through Training Level eventing and had a great deal of success, even schooling one through Intermediate. She qualified for Pony Club Nationals for First Level dressage in Kentucky in 2004 and for Show Jumping in 2005. She graduated as an H level Pony Clubber. In 2004, her first homebred Hungarian Warmblood, Strider, was born who she currently competes First Level dressage and will be moving up to Second Level this year. This team loves supporting John’s Hopkins by attending PVDA’s Ride for Life show every year. She also choreographs her own Musical Freestyles which she competes with annually at Ride for Life and Dressage at Lexington.
In 2004, Robin’s parents purchased Talbot Run Equestrian Center, where many of her opportunities have been presented. She has had the pleasure of working with many different kinds of horses and students. She loves off the track thoroughbreds and has had many great experiences bringing them home and starting them in their sport horse careers. She focuses her teaching on the ideals of Pony Club, making her lessons fun and safe and geared towards preparing horse and rider to compete. She is the head instructor for our new Pony Club and has been the camp director at Talbot Run for the past six years. She has coached her own Show Team that she takes to local horse trials and hunter shows. She teaches all levels of lessons, including the Intro to Eventing classes. She has worked with Todd Bryan extensively over the past two years to really bring along her dressage. She has also trained with Julio Mendoza, Steuart Pittman, Linda Speer, Beth Pickett, Rumsey Keefe, Kevin Bowie and done many clinics with Jimmy Wofford. She was also exposed to the Hunter/Jumper world in a big way when she groomed for Eamonn Hughes and his son Michael at the I Love New York Horse show in Lake Placid in 2009. While she still enjoys eventing, her real passion has turned to dressage. She currently has two great young horses who have wonderful potential. She breeds Hungarian Warmbloods as well, so there are always cute babies running around the farm! She has a young daughter as well, who she looks forward to giving the great opportunity to spend countless hours with such magnificent animals!
Catherine Bayly attended a free introductory riding lesson in Silver Spring in 1991, walking and trotting an ancient, ornery, fleabitten gray, Pepper. Immediately, she became hooked, starting lessons that week. She spent the next few years showing Hunter Jumpers, later turning her attention to dressage, cross country, western riding, and horsemanship more broadly. After years of begging, working, instructing summer camp lessons, competing, and taking lessons, Catherine got her horse, Missy (- 1999). Catherine (and her sister, Marie) turned Missy around, with consistent riding and a compassionate, quiet equestrian spirit she carries with her today. As an older teenager, Catherine began riding at the Petrasek’s first farm, exercising and competing on Zingara and Dixie. (You can still visit those old girls in Talbot Run’s upper fields!) Off at college, Catherine became captain of the Gettysburg College Equestrian Team, where she competed vigorously for several years. Now, after college and graduate school, Catherine is lucky enough to live near and ride with the Petraseks again. She enjoys teaching her students the joys of riding and horsemanship, and watching them light up at first rides, first canters, and first jumps. When she’s not instructing lessons or teaching college English at the University of Maryland, Catherine can often be found chasing her daughters, Eleanor and Josephine, around the barn and in the ring.
Liane has been a friend to Talbot Run since the beginning and has taught hundreds of kids and hours of lessons here at the farm. On Saturdays you can always hear her in the ring – we are amazed by her stamina as she often teaches 7 or 8 hours in a row. Liane is a Pony Club alumni and founded the Burtwoods Pony Club. She is CHA certified and has years of experience in working with students in a variety of disciplines including dressage, show jumping and eventing. She loves to trail ride and cookies are her favorite.
Gracie was one of our first students at Talbot Run and has come back to join our instructors. She works with students of all ages and is the assistant instructor for our Pony Club Riding Center. Gracie enjoys eventing and show jumping and works with Robin to train and compete our young horse. Currently she is working with our off the track thoroughbred, Zeppelin. Gracie is always willing to answer questions and help out. She is great with our younger crowd and we look forward to watching her grow as a teacher and an equine professional.
Giselle comes to us from sunny California were she had extensive experience in working with her hunter/jumper students as both a trainer and a judge. In addition she worked as an instructor in a therapeutic riding center and is a certified PATH instructor. She currently lives at Saddlebrook Farm in Frederick where she helps care for and train horses for sale. Giselle works with every rider to improve his/her position and to build a strong foundation for riding. Her adult classes enjoy each others’ company and you can always hear a lot of laughter when Giselle is in the barn In addition to a passion for ballet, Giselle works for American Stalls – a portable stall company.
Kim is the Assistant Center Administrator for our Pony Club Riding Center and is our barn cheerleader! She is ARIA certified and teaches our beginning and advanced beginner students. Kim’s enthusiasm is catching and you will see her students navigating all sorts of obstacle courses and patterns to make riding fun. Kim loves to jump and trail ride. She and her daughter, Hope own Charlotte – their adorable paint mare.
Priscilla came to Talbot Run with her Arabian gelding Khasino and rapidly became involved in our program. She has a passion for endurance riding and trail riding that she enjoys sharing with her students. She loves the little one and the adults best – you will often see her teaching with her lunge line. Khasino has become the perfect lesson horse but he and his mom still love to gallop on the trails!