The love for horses is deeply rooted among the McCashin Family. John McCashin grew up in a horse family. His father, Arthur John McCashin, was not only the captain of the 1952 Olympic Team that won a Bronze medal in Show Jumping, his talented approach to course design led to his 1986 induction into the National Horse Show Hall of Fame. John’s mother, Helen, was equally involved in horses so naturally John grew up amongst it.

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In 1964, John arrived at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, North Carolina, and opened Tanglewood Training Center (TTC). Four years later he moved TTC to Hanes Ranch in Clemmons (which now a residential development). The current Thoroughbred Training Center, a 121 acre cattle farm in Mocksville, North Carolina, was purchased in 1973. With no stalls, run in sheds, arenas, rubber fencing and cross-country course, John had his work instore as he trained show hunter, jumper and event riders. He also trained Off The Track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs), Quarter Horses, Morgans, and a variety of other breeds.

John’s wife, Beth, however, grew up in a family that was not familiar with horses. Saving up $100 through babysitting, Beth bought her first pony ‘Lady’ at age 12. ‘Lady’ was a misnomer according to her behavior. The next purchase, ‘Babe’, three years later for $300 ended up being a much wiser decision for Beth. Graduating in Biology from Gardner Webb, Beth came to TTC in 1981 as its barn manager. Beth credits John for her teaching her about equine care and horsemanship and continued her education by taking courses in Animal Nutrition. Beth and John were married in 1984. Their son, Sean, was born in 1985 and their daughter, Mary, in 1988.

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As with any family owned business, there are always fond memories associated with growing the business while simultaneously raising a family. “When Sean and Mary were ages seven and five respectively, we came home from church to find a loose steeplechase racehorse on Cana Road in front of the farm,” shares Beth. “John had been shipping the horse all night long, so he turned it out in a small paddock, so it could stretch its legs. John had gone into the house to get some sleep. The horse had jumped the fence and gone on an adventure. I blocked the horse in the driveway with my van, used Sean’s belt as a lead rope, and walked the horse up the driveway in high heels while Sean and Mary followed singing songs to keep the horse moving forward. John never knew anything had happened until he woke up.” Another time a neighbor’s cows had gotten out. He was an older man and John went to go help herd the cows back into their pasture. Harmon, the neighbor, was watching John from his house and called Beth to say, “Your husband may be a hell of a hand with a horse, but he doesn’t know a thing about cows!”

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Today, TTC is currently managed by Beth, Sean, and Mary. John passed away suddenly in August 2013. While rumors flew the farm would close, they came together and pushed forward as John would’ve wanted. Beth runs the overall farm, managing every aspect from employees to feed orders to running the Tack Shop and crunching the numbers. Sean and his business, Cana Land & Farm Company, provide TTC with all their hay for the year (2500 standard square bales and 250 round bales). Sean helps cover any aspect of the farm when needed, also maintaining the equipment so that TTC can keep running smoothly. Sean has a three-year-old quarter horse and rides with his wife, Michelle, often. He hopes to dabble in team roping as his horse matures. Sean graduated from Clemson University in 2009. Mary is responsible for all the veterinary appointments, farrier appointments, and maintains health charts for all the horses on the farm (46). She has two horses and rides almost daily. She is a huge believer in the methods of Buck Brannaman, Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt and Peter Campbell. Mary graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2014.

There are currently 46 horses on the farm, with 21 stalls and nine pastures available as boarding options. “We believe in providing quality care with the same level of integrity that we’ve always had,” offers Beth. “We operate an absolutely zero tolerance policy for drama both in our barn and at horse shows. We are very transparent and open with our clients. They trust us. We have clients who have had their horses here for over 10 and 15 years. We keep our horse shows affordable and hassle free. We want people to be able to come to our farm, let down, and enjoy their horses.”

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The North Carolina Dressage and Combined Training Association (NCDCTA) held their horse trials at TTC for 25 years. Their cross-country course was built from scratch and it has fence heights ranging from 18” up to the Preliminary level. With the increase of other larger area facilities such as the Tryon International Equestrian Facility in Mill Spring, NC, and the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, NC, TTC made the decision to focus more on the schooling aspect of eventing. Several cross-country schooling days are offered throughout the year and TTC welcomes visitors to take advantage of its facilities.

TTC hosts a minimum of 24 low key ‘Fun Hunter Shows’ and dressage shows annually. The Fun Hunter Shows do not require formal attire – just a helmet and boots. They also offer two free classes, “A Judge’s View,” where the judges speak with the competitors and offer them tips for improvement. Having a long-standing relationship with the Special Olympics, classes are offered specifically for them as well as providing facility and equipment donations. Glenn High School Drama Club, Triad Trackers Wheelchair Basketball, local church youth groups, local Boy Scout groups, the 4-H, and Pony Club are additional beneficiaries of these events.

TTC is also active with the United States Equine Rescue League and H.E.R.O (Horse, Education, & Rescue Organization). From fostering and adopting rescue horses to allowing them to hold horse shows and tack sales are our farm, the family believes it is crucial to help care for rescued horses.

“We believe we make up a pretty amazing team,” concludes Beth. “John brought the horsemanship – in fact he was far better with horses than with people. I bring a business brain and have a great grasp for numbers. Sean shares that similar business brain. Mary, much like her dad, prefers horses over people. It was good balance between John and me, then among the four of us, and now with the three of us.”

Photos courtesy of Thoroughbred Training Center