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Team #584 Cheryl Holekamp and Windfall

Photo by Jayden Eckroth

Team #584: Cheryl Holekamp and Windfall
From: Ocala, Florida
Ages: 70 & 30
Combined Age: 100
Test: Training Level Test 1
Date: August 31, 2022

Windfall – A True Horse of a Lifetime

On August 31, 2022, 30-year-old Trakehner stallion, Windfall, and I celebrated our combined 100 wonderful years of life.  We trotted down centerline at the beautiful farm of Autumn Schweiss, our neighbor, and were panel judged by USEF 'S' judges Natalie Lamping and Jodi Ely.  

For nearly 40 years I have been involved in the world of dressage, initially teaching basic levels to our young horses, and then in the last 20 years, I have earned USDF bronze, silver, and gold medals on Trakehner horses that my husband Tim and I bred.  These same horses allowed me to earn all needed scores to progress through the USEF Dressage Judge Licensing levels to my current active status of USEF 'S' dressage judge.

However, the truly amazing part of the 70+30 = 100 equation is our beloved Trakehner stallion Windfall *PG*E, who has had a long and accomplished career in eventing.  Windfall came to us as an eight-year-old we purchased and imported from Germany after he had been produced to advanced level by Ingrid Klimke. Rider Darren Chiacchia and Windfall earned a spot on the USA bronze medal team at the Athens Olympics after winning individual and team gold medals at the Pan American games in 2003. 

With nearly 10 years of upper-level eventing behind him, he retired sound in 2009 and then learned a bit more about collection (a difficult task for an eventer) and competed at the Grand Prix level of dressage, first with me and then under our friend Jodi Ely, who earned some required scores for her journey up the dressage judge path.  

Not only did Windfall reap the highest accolades as a competition horse, but he also sired many successful offspring to follow in his footsteps - in fact, selected mares continue to be bred with his frozen semen now.  Our home bred Tsetserleg most closely followed those footsteps by winning individual and team gold medals representing the USA in the Pan American games in Lima, Peru, and then became a Team USA horse in the Tokyo Olympics alongside another Windfall son, Vandiver, who also excelled in showjumping.  As I am writing this paragraph Tsetserleg is in France with Team USA preparing for the World Equestrian Games at Pratoni, Italy.

Windfall has led us on an unforgettable life journey, and it is my great privilege to book-end his incredible career by joining the Century Club. Thank you to The Dressage Foundation for the opportunity for a final celebration honoring this amazing horse.