Willowview Hill Farm History

The WVH Name!
The farm was originally named after a giant willow tree that was quite ancient, that could be viewed from the ridge at the top of the fields at our Dutchess County property in the Hudson Valley of NY. Not a power line or a house in sight. Just a country view of trees and a winding river with the magnificent tree standing proudly in the center.

When WVH moved to Stamford, a village historically known as ‘The Queen of the Catskills’ as a playground for the NYC rich and famous back in the day, the name was less appropriate. Not a willow tree in sight from the open fields that made up the new property. Willowview Hill Farm was by this time a brand name with a good following in the equestrian community, so the idea of changing the name was nixed. The solution: Willow trees were planted around the newly constructed house, indoor arena and horse barn. Sadly in the 2020 October storms, some of the trees were lost. Just one remains! But that will be enough!
2019 - present

The Grand Prix Duo On The Move

In February 2020 the last mare was sold, and the couple were set to focus their energies on a very busy clinic schedule that included travel worldwide. The Covid crisis however, halted all such plans. In May 2021 their clinic series resumed in the U.S.A. after the one year hiatus.
Sales of top quality organic hay continue today, and there is even more available as WVH private yard has less equine occupants to feed!

1998 - 2019

A Move Further North

The present farm property was purchased in the beautiful Catskill Mountains in Spring1998. The land is south facing, open tillable fields with great improvements such as swales, well-fertilized professionally seeded hayfields. But offered no buildings or fencing. Paul and Nikki built their home, had a barn and indoor constructed and added board-fenced paddocks.

With experience haymaking as a child in the U.K, it was natural that the hayfields would be put to good use. A sizable investment in state of the art hay equipment set the stage for WVH to become a producer of organically grown hay. The overage from the hay provided to their own performance horse and breeding stock available for sale.

Here in Stamford, NY, their horse breeding and training business continued. The clinic business developed ever further afield, and requests for their services came from Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada and the U.K. In 2019, as their clinic schedule grew and 3 children were now all grown, through college and off following their own dreams with no interest in continuing the breeding program, Paul and Nikki elected to close the breeding business. WVH mares with pedigrees built over 3 generations and youngstock were sold, with the exception being one Lusitano colt, Extravaganza WVH being kept as a hopeful next Grand Prix mount in their private yard.


1983 -1998

Farm/Family and Authorship

The first WVH farm property was purchased by the couple in Dutchess County. More a farmette than a farm, the land was vacant of fencing, barns or arenas, but had a lovely old farmhouse that had been custom built for a local dairy farmer in 1928. Over the years Paul and Nikki added 4 horse barns, an outdoor arena and paddocks. Here they would embark on horse breeding, horse importations from the Elite auctions at Vechta and Verden, Germany, and host notable trainers for private clinics. Intensive training trips to compete abroad ensued, with winter training often completed in Florida.

The couple were also blessed with 3 children that included a set of twins. The kids would accompany their parents to horse shows and training trips abroad from birth through teenhood.

As their experience grew, Paul and Nikki began giving instruction as well as being the students in the yards of the likes of Klimke, Rehbein, Grillo, and Boldt. The couple also began to breed horses abroad, Iberian horses in Spain and warmblood horses in the U.K. for import to their U.S. base.

In 1992 Nikki had her first article published in Dressage and CT magazine, and she began working in her spare time as an event journalist and feature writer for The Chronicle of The Horse. A plethora of published articles across the equestrian press ensued.



When It All Began

Paul and Nicola arrived at J.F.K. Airport, on Pan Am flight 101, in 1981. Within 6 months the couple had each purchased their first American horses which they stabled at the beautiful Marshall Field’s Estate at Caumsett State Park, Long Island. It was here they would begin working with Cuban born dressage trainer Raul de Leon, who had recently coached Tad Coffin in dressage to his win of an Olympic gold medal. The ex Grand Prix level show jumper McCloud, was a 16 year old standardbred that Nikki and Raul worked with to switch to dressage. Paul’s mount, Gemini, was a feisty Morgan who spent much of his time vertical!