People relocate for myriad reasons; some positive, some tragic. When a tornado followed by a massive fire and subsequent drought engulfed Northern California, it soon became apparent to Jessica Dalton that relocation was the right decision. But where to go?
Her mom had moved to Nashville several years prior, and friends in the greater Memphis area had been encouraging her to consider the mid-south. After two years of trying to rebuild in dustbowl- like conditions, she decided it was time. Rather than move her entire farm halfway across the country, she sold everything and moved in February 2020.
During the two years after the fire, she took a sabbatical from showing Hunter/Jumpers and spent time with cattle and Ranch horses. Perhaps those two years prepared her in unexpected ways for the next opportunities. She landed in the Memphis area eager to make connections and start training/showing again. She was ready to return to that which she grew up in: Hunter/Jumper circuit competition. She met Dr. Kakki Wright, DVM who seemed almost immediately like a long-time friend. Jessica, who set-up her training business at Dr Wright’s personal farm, describes it as a boutique farm that caters to private instruction for horses and riders. “I accommodate each horse in its own special way. Same with riders,” she says of her approach to training. She believes by catering to every horse every day, you can “get inside their mind and dance with them.” She particularly enjoys thinking outside the box for horses that aren’t easily understood. To get a horse to the arena “happy, healthy, and ready to do its job,” is her goal.
Currently there are 14 horses in training at Jessica’s Fox Pointe Farm. In April she will be in Europe selecting a few young and mature prospects for the US Hunter/Jumper market. This is a shopping trip she has made many times before, sometimes with clients looking for that special horse. These prospects, along with her current horses and clients, will likely be seen at mid-south shows this coming summer. For now the focus is on developing local horses and clients, though she does look to the future and possibly going to Florida for the winter season.
While most of her clients are Adult Amateur riders, she says, “I do love kids and have a walk/trot school horse.” She understands how kids are drawn to barns with lots of other kids, but hopes some day to add Junior riders to her client list. She notes,”kids tend to be soft riders and horses like that.”
When she looks back over the trials of the last two years, she knows “it was meant to be. I feel very blessed. It was such an easy move.”