Yasmin with Scott
Equestrian Professional Member Spotlight - Yasmin Emery-Brownlie of Blue Water Farms
Recently, I was able to bridge the time zone divide and talked with Yasmin Emery-Brownlie of Rescue, California, northeast of Sacramento. Yasmin recently opened a new Hunter/Jumper full service training and sales facility at her Blue Water Farms. She is also a USHJA Certified Trainer and..oh yeah...an Emergency Medicine physician. To hear her tell the story, "I work as an Emergency Medicine physician so that I can afford to be with the horses!" So what path led Yasmin to all her accomplishments?
Yasmin is the complete definition of "horse-crazy" girl. Her parents were divorced and she can remember starting at age 3 with her father on weekends taking her to the local amusement park. All she wanted to do was ride the ponies. No games, no roller coasters, just ponies. So her dad would buy an entire roll of tickets and sit and watch her go round and round on the ponies. She wore out 3 ponies on each outing!
That lasted until she was 6 and then she moved to rental horses on trail rides until she was 8. Then she was old enough to take lessons at the local Hunter/Jumper barn and she started her English lessons. Her mother remarried when she was 7 and she was able to ride competitively until she was 13, at which time her mother divorced. "We went from riches to rags and luckily, the barn I was in let me barter rides for grooming, cleaning tack, and working at the barn."
She became an apprentice with a local vet at the age of 17 and he suggested that she might want to look into human medicine as a vocation, and she seriously began to think about a career in medicine. College found her on the East Coast pursuing her medical degree. At the same time, she was training with George Morris, Olympic veteran and coach. She worked at numerous barns and showed on the Hunter/Jumper circuit in the US and Canada. So she was in medical school, completing her residency, and starting her medical career at the same time she was training with George Morris. Talk about having a full plate!
But the pull of the Pacific was strong and Yasmin wanted to return to her California home and made the move in 1997 with three of her own horses with the idea that she wanted to start her own small riding facility. She started Southlake Equestrian with a few students in her backyard, and within two years had 55 students, 3 part-time trainers, grooms and barn staff, and was running a full-fledge Hunter/Jumper facility while still practicing medicine.
It was at this time that her personal life needed some attention as she went through a divorce of her own. She made the decision to spend more time with her daughter and the facility was sold. Yasmin returned full time to Emergency Medicine.
It was a short hiatus from horses as Yasmin married Scott Brownlie in 2008 and together they purchased property to begin a new Hunter/Jumper facility at their current location in Rescue. In addition to the home location, she leases a barn with a covered arena and other amenities including rubber matted stalls, hot & cold water wash racks, a 100' x 240' outdoor arena, round pen, and turn out paddocks. Scott's background is in engineering, but he puts on his farmer hat when he does projects at the farm. Currently, his big project is irrigation for the soon to be grand prix field.
Her daughter, Dakota is now a teenager and has been accepted into the Emerging Athletes Program with USHJA. "Dakota does a lot of the work around the barn now. She is involved in the day-to-day operation, which helps when I'm working in the ER," says Yasmin.
Yasmin's daughter Dakota
I asked Yasmin what her goals were for their Blue Water Farms. "I'd like to have about ten horses in full training and perhaps 25 students in a lesson program that would feed into training and sales. I have some great retired show horses that are perfect for teaching beginner riders. Then, they can move up to leases and purchasing their own horses to compete. I'm working on obtaining my "r" rated judges card and I would like to spend time judging and teaching some clinics."
We spent some time reminiscing about several trainers we both have known on the East Coast and about some of the horses we both remembered. She finished our conversation by remarking, "I feel like the passion for horses is an amazing force. When passion motivates thoughts, feelings, and actions, anything is possible and you appreciate everything life has to offer. God has put the passion of horses into my heart." Yep, I'll agree to that whole heartedly!
What does Yasmin say about Equestrian Professional.com?
"Equestrian Professional provides a wonderful resource. Helping horse professionals understand business, marketing strategies, and having access to board/lease/sale sample documents is a tremendous asset. A week never goes by without a new idea or advice on something that should not be overlooked. Having very little training in business in either of my careers, I am thankful for your website."
To contact Yasmin for more information, call 831-917-5896 or go to her website at www.bluewaterhorses.com.