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No Place Like Home: Triple M Farms
By Kim Miller | Equestrian Writer
International show jumper Jessica Mendoza has travelled the world with her horses. She was Team GBR’s traveling reserve for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, has carried the team flag and competed individually throughout Europe and in the sport’s North American hub in Wellington, Florida.
More world travels await, but right now there’s no place like home for the 25-year-old professional. That's because home is the brand-new Triple M Farms in Wellington.
The 17-acre horse haven is owned by Kristi Mitchem as a base for Jessica’s horses and those campaigned by Kristi’s 15-year-old rising star daughter, Caroline Mawhinny. Jessica and Caroline have been working together for about four years, starting when Caroline tried a horse at Jessica’s then-base in Holland. That horse became Caroline’s first horse out of her very successful career in the pony jumper ranks. She’s now following in her coach’s footsteps rapidly up the young rider standings in North America.
Triple M Farms is the training base for their continued ascents in the sport, as well as for Jessica’s sales horses. Jessica is targeting consideration for Great Britain’s World Championships team in 2022, with one of her top horses, Play. Caroline made an indelible debut on the U25 3* circuit in May by winning the $15,000 class at the Kentucky Spring Classic. In late October, she book-ended a brilliant season by winning the $25,000 Tryon International Sunday Classic with Stella Levista. The uber talented teen plans on contesting the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit and possibly Europe with an eye toward the Junior Nations Cup Finals and the North American Youth Championships.
Horse Health Luxuries
“Boutique luxury stable” is Triple M’s descriptor. As they relate to horses, the luxuries focus on horse health and comfort. Fifteen grass paddocks, a large grass Grand Prix field, two sand arenas and a gallop track provide ideal footing for outdoor time – whether relaxing, conditioning or training.
When they’re indoors, the horses live in stalls that are as functional inside as they are beautiful outside, thanks to ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring. Jessica knew of ComfortStall’s manufacturer, Haygain, from growing up in England, where Haygain’s global headquarters are located. She trusted the brand through her horses’ experience with Haygain High Temperature Steamed Hay and thought of Haygain’s flooring first when investigating that critical aspect of Triple M’s horse-focused design.
ComfortStall’s veterinary-approved orthopedic foam provides cushion for comfort, joint support and deep rest. Jessica and Caroline’s horses are already enjoying those qualities. Two weeks into the new flooring, Jessica notices the horses lying down more often and for longer stretches. “They seem a lot more comfortable and they love it,” she observes. Over time, she expects the flooring will prove beneficial to their horses' joint and hoof health, recovery from work and overall well-being. The slight give in the surface prompts microscopic muscle movements that spur therapeutic, inflammation-reducing blood flow. Plus, "Anything that helps them stay comfortable is great," Jessica enthuses.
The orthopedic foam is topped with a durable, latex-free rubber TopCover that is sealed to the stall wall. This impermeable surface prevents urine and other fluids from seeping to the stall base, as happens with traditional stall mats. “We don’t have those bits of manure and dust that get down between regular mats,” Jessica says.
Bedding isn’t needed for comfort with the flooring, only enough to absorb urine. Although the Triple M team likes the tradition of deep bedding, the maintenance crew has found ComfortStall a much easier muck-out even with lots of shavings, Jessica reports. Soiled bedding is easy to fork off the smooth surface and nothing slips through to pool at the stall base, where it can produce ammonia odors that are harmful to respiratory health – for horses and people.
At a recent open house, the whole Triple M team enjoyed showing off the sparkling new facility. While most of the 28 stalls are spoken for, there are some openings for the season and year-round. Thanks to ComfortStall and other on-par horse health amenities, it seems likely those few openings will be snapped up soon.