Skip to content

Blue Willow Brigade Youth Club News




This summer at Blue Willow Farm has been an eventful one of growth and change. The farm’s newly-formed youth club, the Blue Willow Brigade, is a productive new link between the
Lexington community and the American Saddlebred industry. Led by instructor Andrea Steponaitis, the club is made up of several active members between ages 8-17, from both the lesson and training programs. On June 26, Blue Willow and its Brigade hosted six foster children accompanied by a news crew from Lexington’s LEX 18 news channel.

The beautiful Rigby’s Green Farm was the background for LEX 18’s “Thursday’s Child,” a weekly news feature which spotlights Kentucky foster children in need of adoption. The children are chosen through the Special Needs Adoption Program, or SNAP, an entity of the Department of Community Based Services that focuses on older children with mental or physical handicaps.

While at the barn, the kids were filmed interacting with the horses as well as being interviewed by news personality Dia Davidson about their interests and desires for a permanent family. The five boys and one girl worked with youth club members to learn how to brush, lead, wash and give treats to a variety of lesson horses, including two Saddlebreds and a Belgian. One young boy got a ride behind a road pony and a brother and sister pair was introduced to a broodmare and foal.


Julie Kaufman, manager and instructor, was glad to take part in the program. “It was a wonderful, unique opportunity to bring together the American Saddlebred and a group of children who had never been exposed to horses before. To see the looks on their faces was eye-opening,” she said. The episodes will air at
12 p.m. on LEX 18 beginning July 13, continuing every Thursday for four weeks: June 20 and 27 and August 3 and 10.

That same day, the Gateway Gaiters Youth Club of West Palm Beach Florida was scheduled to tour Blue Willow Farm as a destination on their weeklong tour of Kentucky. Trainer Chad Graham exhibited the celebrated road pony Power Of Attorney, as well as the father-and-son pair of handsome breeding stud Royal Revival and one of his exciting two-year-old colts. The group was given driving and riding lessons after their tour of the farm.

These were two of the last events to happen at the current site as Blue Willow operations will move to owner Ann Fitzpatrick’s brand new facility a few miles away after the Lexington Junior League Horse Show. No matter the location, the youth of Blue Willow Farm plan to make a difference.

More Stories

  • Walk of Honor Expansion Announced

    The American Saddlebred Museum is pleased to announce the expansion of the Museum’s Walk of Honor. This is a great way to honor someone for their contributions and dedication to the American Saddlebred. Read More
  • Professional Advisory Committee Named to Equine Sports Council

    Equine Sports Council is honored to announce its Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) comprised of representatives who are industry leaders in the American Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney breeds.  Read More
  • Latest Issue 4 15 24

    Read More
  • Bookend Morning

    Read More
  • Kentucky State Fair Update

    The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association (ASHBA) received a letter from the Kentucky State Fair Board (KSFB) yesterday acknowledging that they would not be pursuing a path that would allow them to hold the ASHBA Prize Program classes at the Kentucky State Fair Horse Show in 2024.  Read More
  • FoalsNFocus – Week 3

    We’re in full swing as entries for our weekly contest are being submitted from breeders across the country. This week’s winning shot came from Shale HillStables, Muncie, Illinois. Jan McGlaughlin and family sent this photo of their curious filly by Reedann’s Flying Double out of Forty-TwoSecrets (by Forty-Second Street ERB). Read More
  • Obituary – Jane Blue

    A USEF judge, steward, many times committee member, exhibitor and lover of all things Morgan, our friend Jane Blue passed away Monday, April 8. A tribute obituary will run in an upcoming issue of Saddle Horse Report. Read More
  • A New Look For Connecticut Morgan Horse Association

    The Connecticut Morgan Horse Association, a leading Morgan Horse Club, is thrilled to announce an exciting rebranding initiative in partnership with Firebrick Design and Pam Howard that marks a significant milestone in the club's evolution. The comprehensive transformation encompasses a new logo and visual identity, redefining CMHA's presence in the equestrian ecosystem. Read More
  • Latest Issue 4 8 24

    Read More
  • FoalsNFocus – Week 2

    Week two of the #foalsNfocusphoto contest had several adorable shots from a group of nice American Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney babies. Not many things put a smile on your face the way these shots do as they are the pride and joy of their breeders. Read More