Written by: The Carolinas Equestrian Published: 24 July 2016
A little history about Sims Hill Farm
Sims Hill opened in May 2012. The farm is owned by the Johnson Family. Built on almost 21 beautiful acres in Waxhaw, the farm is located just south of downtown Waxhaw. The land was originally owned by the Sims family (who raised 11 children in that 3 bedroom house!) many years ago, and also happens to be at the highest elevation south of Richmond. This is how the “Sims Hill Farm” name was established.
Trainer, Mike Henaghan
Mike brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and horsemanship to our program. He has trained many top winning equestrians, including 2 – time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden, Allison Firestone, Ray Texel and Darren Graziano. He has had multiple students win the Medal, Maclay and USET Talent Search Finals, Pony Medal Finals, the USEF Pony Hunter Championship, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show, and Young Riders Championships. He is a five time national pony medal champion trainer. He has brought so much to our program and pays attention to every detail during every lesson and is an incredible horseman.
Fond Showing Memories
Mike had the honor to show at the “Old Riders Championships” in Bern, Switzerland and Schruns, Austria making up the team with Bert and Diana Firestone, and winning the silver medal both times.
If you could offer one piece of advice to a young rider, what would it be?
“Stay determined to learn, knowledge is available, seek it. And don’t forget to sleep with your heels down!!!”
What are some ideal traits you look for in your show horses?
Temperament, jumping style and ability, movement and athleticism.
What makes Sims Hill horses special?
They are relaxed, happy in their work and training, and they have a more natural life.
What traits do you look for in your riders?
Desire to learn, strong work ethic, and talent.
What’s the number one thing you think all riders should know how to do?
Riders should understand the importance of proper flatwork. Correct flatwork increases the horse’s fitness and body conditioning and increases a rider’s ability to work more effectively over fences.”
Can you talk about any of your horses in more detail?
All of the horses at Sims Hill Farm are special in their own way. One that really stands out is Hennessey. He is coming 18 years old, has a heart of gold, still loves to compete and has succeeded in everything from the Olympic Games to the Young Riders Championship. He really enjoys his job every single day. Mado says his favorite snack is Sour Cream and Onion potato chips!