Passion produces excellence

Published 1:18 pm Monday, July 26, 2010

Watching the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics Equestrian competitions as a teenager, William Upton may have been in search of summer entertainment. Instead, Upton discovered a passion. Captivated by the sport, Upton asked his parents for riding lessons.

“My parents worried that the price of lessons was steep. I think they were afraid I was going to take to the equestrian lifestyle,” he said with a grin.

Fortunately for Pelham, Upton loved the sport. Soon Upton was training in Atlanta with trainers from the 1996 Olympics.

As Upton became entrenched in the sport of horseback riding, he longed for an upscale equestrian facility nearby. Tiring of long drives to train, Upton considered some property in Pelham.

“I decided to build the inviting equestrian facility that I was looking for,” Upton said.

Upton has realized his vision. Entering Windwood and experiencing the beauty of the countryside, the facilities and the horses is magical.

At Windwood Equestrian, kids enjoying lessons and summer camps bring the place to life. Beyond education, Upton also creates a haven of relaxation for adults. From a grad student who rides to manage the stress of her studies to a group of ladies who come for their “riding therapy” as they’ve deemed their weekly Windwood visits, all who experience Windwood Equestrian find the release they’re seeking.

Riding lessons are available beginning at the age of five. Pelham sixth-grader Madison Massey eagerly showed me the tack supplies and the lounge where students eat during summer camps. Massey said, “I am so happy my family found Windwood. Everyone here is so nice.”

Windwood inspires a leisurely pace providing the perfect release from intense, high-tech lifestyles. Upton’s lovely and gracious girlfriend, Caroline Humphries, also a riding instructor, took me to the climate-controlled tack room. Upton showed me his newest addition—the school barn.

“Whether you want to take a few lessons or train for the Olympics, we’re committed to teaching proper form and providing for your needs,” Upton said.

Upton’s next vision? “Eventually, we’d like to host A-rated, Grand Prix style horse shows at Windwood.”

Windwood brings another unique opportunity to Pelham reminding us that as suburban as we deem our city, the countryside is close to our back door.

To appreciate Windwood’s grandeur, begin at the website:

Don’t be surprised if your virtual visit leads you to the wonder of Windwood Equestrian.