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 new Center Administrator for our new Pony Club and has been the camp director at Talbot Run for the past three 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 Petrasek’s 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.