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.
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’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.
Sale Prep Manager
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.
Liz joined the Windhorse Team in June, 2019 shortly after graduating from the University of Montana with a BA in Cultural Anthropology. Originally from New Jersey, Liz grew up next to Monmouth Park. She has an extensive riding background in show jumping, dressage, hunt seat, western pleasure, competitive trail and western horsemanship. Liz was the Horse Manager of the University of Montana equestrian team for three years and was a competitor on the intercollegiate Horse Show Association Circuit. Liz has a deep passion for racing and spent the summer of 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky at Dell Ridge Farm where she worked with mares, foals, yearlings and rehab horses. That inspiring summer led her to purchasing her first broodmare, a Scat Daddy filly named Mood Swing. Liz’s first foal is due in March 2020. Liz also owns a OTTB gelding named Remy. When not working Liz can usually be found pouring over pedigree pages and trying to figure out how to buy more broodmares. We are excited to have Liz living and working at Cotton Hill Farm.
Sofia joined the Windhorse team in September 2019. She has had a passion for horses her whole life. At 15, she started volunteering at a local horse barn and realized this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She graduated from Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA with a B.S. in equine science and a minor in business. She was involved on campus and held many leadership positions in clubs and organizations. She was the Vice President of the DelVal carriage driving club where she learned how to drive for the first time. She quickly took to this discipline and even spent a summer being a tour guide for the Cape May Carriage Company. Sofia has worked at various equine breeding farms over the past 8 years. Some of the breeds she has worked with are Arabians, Standardbreds, Morgans, Warmbloods, Saddlebreds, and Thoroughbreds. She loves working for the Standardbred Horse Sales Company at the annual Harrisburg Sale. She enjoys foaling out mares and handling all breeding stock. Sofia’s goal is to own a breeding farm and offer riding, driving, and therapeutic lessons to the public. She hopes to have some Sicilian donkeys and sheep on the farm as well. In her downtime, Sofia likes singing opera, playing soccer, or making handcrafted jewelry. She believes that you can never stop learning and is excited to be gaining experience in the Thoroughbred racing industry. Sofia is very grateful to be welcomed into the Windhorse family!
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.