Elmstead Farm is a top quality hunter/jumper boarding and training facility located in Plano, Texas. Dedicated to developing horses and riders in a fun and professional atmosphere, Elmstead has been providing the highest level of horse care, riding instruction, and training since 1996.
Elmstead Farm is a family-owned equestrian center operated by owner and head-trainer, Britt McCormick. Our beautiful and private farm, experienced and highly qualified trainers, equine management expertise, and tireless dedication to our horses and clients make Elmstead one of the most successful and recognized hunter/jumper barns in Texas. Please explore our website, visit our Facebook page, and contact us for a tour of our farm or to learn more about our programs.
Britt McCormick has been successfully training horses and riders for over 30 years. He combines decades of professional experience with specialized up-to-date certifications and licenses in multiple domains of the sport. In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Britt is also a USEF licensed ‘R’ hunter and equitation judge, an AQHA licensed specialized hunter judge, a hunter/jumper course designer, and a USHJA certified trainer.
Born into a family of equestrians, Britt spent his early years as a professional rider on the U.S. show circuit, studying under top trainers in the industry before opening his own facility in 1989. In addition to his career as a hunter, jumper, and equitation trainer, Britt has also achieved success as a clinician, competition manager, course designer, and judge. READ MORE about Britt’s official training statistics via the USHJA.
Britt serves on the board of directors and executive committee for the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA)
Abigail VanWinkle began working with horses at age 7, taking riding lessons at a local farm in Upstate New York. Over the years, she began assisting with instructing summer camps, lessons, continued care for the horses, along with many farm duties until the age of 18. During her high school years, she competed as part of the local IEA team. She attended Morrisville State College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Equine Science and Barn Management. Successfully achieving Dean’s list every semester, Abbi also dedicated her time to riding on the IHSA Collegiate team all 4 years. During her studies, Abigail completed two internships with the college which included competing on the east coast A-rated show circuit with the campus instructors. In January 2019 Abigail traveled from New York to Texas in order to complete her capstone semester-long internship working here at Elmstead. We were so impressed with Abigail during her internship that we offered her a full-time position upon graduation. Luckily for us she accepted our offer and and returned to Texas after her graduation in order to join Elmstead as Barn Manager and Assistant Trainer. We are thrilled to have such a skilled, professional, and dedicated horsewoman on our team!
HORSE CARE and TRAINING
The training and equine management practices at Elmstead prioritize soundness and well-being with the goal that each animal will be healthy, happy, and successful for many years. We work with the owner, rider, vet and farrier to establish goals and create a plan built on a horse’s unique strengths and suitabilities. Challenges are gradually introduced and reinforced so that full potential can be reached with confidence. Each horse’s training and rest schedule varies weekly depending on that individual’s needs throughout the competition year. We closely monitor the mental and physical health of every horse, constantly tweaking our exercise routines to prevent boredom, fatigue or unsoundness. Furthermore, during training weeks at home our jump/gymnastics courses are re-designed daily to promote novelty and challenge for both horse and rider, and to simulate competition level courses set to proper stride and height measurements.
Riding instruction at Elmstead is based on the equitation and horsemanship principles set forth by former successful Olympic level riders and trainers such as Bertalan de Némethy and William Steinkraus. Here at Elmstead we emphasize correct equitation and a solid foundation of flatwork. The ultimate goal is for each student to become a confident, soft, and independent rider. Our program utilizes private and group lessons, ongoing professional training for the horse, individualized jumping instruction, advanced flatwork, and a thoughtfully planned show schedule.