Wilmington, Ohio – This week’s Wilmington Sunday Spotlight shines on Mindy Coretz of Eighteen Acres Farm. The professional rider of Tulsa, Oklahoma, made the journey to World Equestrian Center – Wilmington for the first time with her grand prix mount, Nicolina, and a group of talented client and personal horses. Coretz brings a heartwarming light to the sport, with her love for the horses and passion for riding shining through in and out of the ring. We caught up with Coretz to learn more about her lifelong journey at Eighteen Acres Farm, her mare, Nicolina, and her experience at WEC – Wilmington.
WEC: How did you get started riding?
I don’t come from a horse family in the slightest. My parents swear that I just started begging to ride out of nowhere when I was about four. After relentless begging, they finally got the name of a trainer local to my area, Libby Barrow, on the recommendation of one of my mom’s friends. Libby did not take kids before seven years old, so my parents felt certain that I would drop it and forget about it. I didn’t – and my birthday present when I turned 7 was my first riding lesson with Libby, who I rode with from then on, and is now my mentor and an integral part of my operation at Eighteen Acres Farm.
WEC: Tell us about your operation at Eighteen Acres Farm.
Eighteen Acres Farm is the same facility where I took my first riding lesson, and where I spent most of my childhood riding. Although it had passed through many buyers since its days of being owned by Libby, it was a really exciting full circle moment for me when the opportunity to purchase it to start my own operation arose. Although I have renovated it, it still and will always feel like home. I have an incredible staff of assistants and grooms, and a circle of clients who I adore and who, in my opinion, exemplify the best in the equestrian community. My staff and I work hard and have fun every day, and I routinely find myself inspired by and learning from the differences in thoughts, ideas, and approaches that each party brings to the team. They make me and EAF such a better place.
I opened my doors to clients in 2018 and had about nine horses on the property that year. We have now grown to over 50 and are building out a new, bigger facility to accommodate our growth. While we are much bigger than I imagined I’d ever get, I have come to love and appreciate all that comes with that. We have riders of every level, have done a lot of young horse development, and are now doing a lot of sales as well. From riding to teaching to horse care and more, I have to say I love it all! The only parts of my job I loathe are billing and driving!
WEC: Tell us about your mount, Nicolina.
Nicolina is just the coolest. I adore her! She is a feisty, strong-willed mare with more opinions and power than anything I have ever had the privilege of campaigning. She’s difficult in most every way – she requires nearly constant stimulation, or her stall behavior becomes wretched! She’s very fast and strong to ride, yet extremely sensitive. She makes me think, try, and evolve as both a rider and a horseman every day – and it’s always worth it. Keeping her happy is no easy task, but being on the good side of a strong-willed mare always pays out tenfold. She lives with a miniature horse at my farm. We are privileged to have large grass turnouts at home, and she spends as much time outside as possible. I adore her and continue to learn from her daily. She has helped me tremendously as a rider, and I can’t wait to continue our partnership into 2024.
WEC: Tell us about your first experience at WEC- Wilmington.
We have had the most delightful time being here in Wilmington! The facility is absolutely top notch. It’s clean and well maintained, it’s bright with outstanding air quality, which is rare for an indoor venue! Every arena is equally nice, and the general vibe is fun and friendly. Management has been so helpful and accommodating, which has truly been a breath of fresh air. As a horseman, a trainer, and as a customer, my experience has been top notch and I can’t wait to return.
WEC: What are your main goals for your business/riding in 2024?
As far as the business goes, this year is all about trying new things! We got off on the best possible foot starting the year at WEC! Of course, completing my new facility and getting moved in is high on the list. I can’t say I have any specific riding goals – I have a lovely group of young horses, both clients’ horses and sales horses, that I’m excited to campaign and of course I want to see my partnership with Nicolina grow. The only other goal that stands out is helping my clients reach their individual goals, which is often even more rewarding than achievements of my own.
Thank you, Mindy, for taking the time to talk with WEC! We wish you continued good luck in and out of the ring and cannot wait to see you back in Wilmington!