Patty Lavelle

Patty Lavelle
Owner, Manager, Founder of Windhorse Thoroughbreds, LLC & Co-Owner of Cotton Hill Farm
Patty first became involved with thoroughbreds in 2006 when she started visiting and helping out at her friend’s breeding farm, Gallagher’s Stud, LLC, in Columbia County, New York. Patty purchased her first two mares in 2006 and the rest is history. In 2009, along with her husband John of more than 40 years, Patty established Cotton Hill Farm, where together they continue to develop and upgrade their farm.
As a breeder for a very short time, Patty is proud to have bred stakes winners Sentimental Lass, Mischief Maker, Chasing Bubbles, stakes-placed colts Jaw Crusher and Gridley Here and many winners from the small number of horses bred so far. Patty believes that “the horse always comes first” and this guides all her decisions. Patty is thrilled to be offering custom partnerships with two racing partnerships already producing stakes winners. With recent farm expansion, Windhorse’s number of offerings at both public auctions and private partnerships will greatly increase as will the chances of continued success.
Patty feels one of her greatest accomplishments is the great team she is building at the farm to care for the horses. Everyone works hard, but all know how to have fun. The team works together and also spends time together off the farm. Patty believes in exposing staff to all aspects of the thoroughbred industry and not just routine farm chores. The staff attend seminars, stallion shows, sales, fundraisers, and, of course, love going to races. Each and every staff member is part of the Windhorse family and that makes for a great place to work and live. Patty looks forward to watching what this team will accomplish in the future as they breed and raise beautiful race horses together here in scenic Middleburgh, New York.

John H. Lavelle

John H. Lavelle
Co-Owner of Cotton Hill Farm and founding partner of Lavelle & Finn, LLP, Attorneys at Law
John is thrilled to finally have something to do on weekends. When not mowing the lawns and pastures, preparing farm and racehorse partnership tax returns, and managing farm finances, John spends his free time hiking Cotton Hill Farm with his three dogs and thinking about collecting firewood. In between such adventures, he thinks about other farm projects with endless cash needs and flexible deadlines. But mostly, he just stays out of the way and admires what Patty and the Windhorse Team have accomplished in such a short time.

Samantha Crabill

Samantha Crabill
Barn Manager
Samantha’s passion for horses led to her return to Cotton Hill Farm in August 2017. She previously worked at the farm in college, before spending five years working with people with developmental disabilities. Sam has loved horses her whole life and began working with American Quarter Horses when she was 12 years old. Sam also has worked with reining horses, warmbloods, and thoroughbreds. Sam has attended many clinics, rehabbed horses, and raised her own dairy cows. Sam holds a NYS FFA degree in Diversified Livestock Production. She has two mares of her own, Misty and Sassy. Recently, Sam has been working at thoroughbred sales in Saratoga and Maryland for Vinery Sales. Sam’s desire to continue to learn and expand her knowledge and experiences is a great asset to Windhorse. We are thrilled to have such a dedicated, loyal, and hardworking horsewoman like Sam as part of our Windhorse family

Kirsten Marz

Kirsten Marz
Kirsten joined the Windhorse team in 2014 and brings a knowledge and dedication to her job from a lifelong interest in horses. An avid rider since childhood, she has had various jobs in the equine industry, from mare and foal care and breeding duties to schooling and re-purposing ex-racehorses. She is also certified in equine sports massage therapy and has worked on numerous horses at the Saratoga race meet. Kirsten is the key to our sales prep program, teaching staff how to make our horses shine at the sales. In her spare time, Kirsten is enjoying riding and re-training Windhorse’s first sale horse Skull Splitter, aka Karakorum Budman, whom she adopted in April 2017. Not only is Kirsten a long-time member of our Windhorse family, she is a dear friend.

John H. Lavelle

Emily Bryant
Emily’s fascination with horses began at a very young age. By the time she was seven, she had begun to take riding lessons, and from that point on horses became her lifelong passion. Emily attended Morrisville State College for Equine Science and Management with a focus in breaking and training. It was there that she discovered her love for starting and training young horses. After attending college, Emily continued to pursue a career in the equine industry. This included moving to areas where she could advance and obtain more knowledge and experience as a horseman. Recently, she decided to make the move back home to Schoharie where her family currently resides. Emily was thrilled to find a facility like Windhorse, which has allowed her to continue to work with horses so close to home. With much of her previous focus on training young horses and riding in various disciplines, she looks forward to expanding her knowledge of the thoroughbred industry as part of the Windhorse team. Emily joined the Windhorse family in June 2018. We are so happy to have Emily at Cotton Hill Farm.

John H. Lavelle

Jenna Brown
When not working at Cotton Hill Farm, Jenna attends SUNY Cobleskill where she is working to earn a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management. She already holds an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice. Jenna became an important member of our team in February 2018. A lifelong Middleburgh resident, she enjoys the outdoors, especially waterfowl hunting. She is a hardworking young woman and we can always depend on her whenever needed. It is wonderful to have Jenna on our Windhorse team.

Krista Ryder

Krista Ryder
Krista joined our Windhorse staff in the spring of 2017. She graduated from Middleburgh High School a semester early and is now a freshman at SUNY Cobleskill. Krista is pursuing a degree in Equine Science. Krista has been riding and caring for horses since childhood and has her own Quarter Horse mare. She rides English and Western, competing in local shows. She is an amazing young woman and is wonderful with horses, as well as other animals, especially our dogs who adore her. We are happy to have such a dedicated young woman at Cotton Hill Farm.

Jenny Wilhelm

Jenny Wilhelm
Jenny’s love for horses began at age three, when she enjoyed her first pony ride. From there, she went on to compete with hunter/jumpers until age 15. At the age of 17, she began working at a veterinary hospital. Jenny graduated from SUNY Delhi in 1993 with an AAS in Veterinary Science. She has been a licensed veterinary technician ever since, with extensive work in emergency medicine in a mixed animal practice. For the past 12 years, Jenny has been studying animal communication, and has been a Reiki Master since January 2015, which gives her the tools to calmly relate to all animals with whom she comes in contact. We are thrilled that in August 2017, Jenny joined our Windhorse family.

Melissa Grimm

Melissa Grimm
Melissa fell in love with horses at a young age, after breaking and training her first horse, Beauty. Having found her natural talent with horses, Melissa worked at a large thoroughbred breeding farm for 14 years where she learned all aspects of a breeding operation. We were very lucky when Melissa joined our team in 2013. Mel is a successful breeder in her own right, with the first colt she bred becoming a winner. Melissa’s passion, dedication, and loyalty is prized by us at Windhorse, as we can always depend on Mel whenever needed. Melissa is a great friend and will always be a part of our Windhorse family.
Windhorse Staff