Lauren Pino Clegg
Lauren knew from the moment she first saw a horse that she would spend her life with them. Every birthday, every Christmas ….the wish was for a horse. Her parents, who grew up in the Depression, said that owning a horse was a very scary idea because they cost so much to keep. Living in the suburbs meant no horse in the backyard, so Lauren put a bag of horse manure under her bed – at least she could have the smell of a barn! Heaven to her, but her mother nearly passed out! Every Saturday Lauren’s dad drove her and her brother out to Rehoboth to Anawan Stables, operated by James Blackwood – a great horseman, whom Lauren admired very much.
When she turned 17, Lauren asked her dad if he would buy her a horse. Libby was a 3 year old Percheron/Thoroughbred cross available for $800; Lauren said she would work at the barn to pay the bills and promised that if she ever had to ask her parents for money, she would sell Libby. Her dad went for it and Libby became Lauren’s first horse. When it came time to go to college, Lauren’s wish was to go to Meredith Manor and ride. Her parents’ response? “Please, Lauren, pick a real career!” but after many debates, Lauren (and Libby) were off to Meredith Manor. Not surprisingly, she loved it. Lauren’s parents had saved for her education and, as Meredith Manor was a less expensive choice than a four year school, there was some money left over. With this, they generously offered to help Lauren purchase an old Saddlebred barn in Swansea from Al Cox, and her career was off and running!
Pinegate Farm came to be in 1978 with help from Lauren’s extended Italian family, to whom she is indebted. During the first ten years, the farm was busy with public lessons, camps, birthday parties –many different avenues by which to build the business. The next decade brought Johnson and Wales University’s Equine program to Pinegate, with great students, lots of fun and much activity. In 1993, son Waylin was born and the farm evolved yet again in its third decade, with a small lesson program, and many adult amateur riders and boarders.
Lauren believes in good riding; it takes time to achieve this, but in the end everyone is happy. Her mantra is “Nothing replaces good riding”. The trainer she admires most is Rien van der Schaft from Holland. Lauren has competed extensively in her own riding career and is constantly learning herself, doing lessons and clinics with many renowned professionals including: Sandra Hyrowski, Elliot Abhau, Sue Anderson, Bill Woods, Lockie Richards, Diane Catanzaro, Pam Goodrich, Lynne Kimball-Davis and Rita van der Meulen. Her personal horses began with Libby, with whom she showed Hunters, Dressage, Eventing and won a 25 mile endurance race. Next came Master, a Swedish warmblood, purchased in Sweden, who Lauren showed to 2nd Level dressage. They also were 1st Level NEDA team champions at ESDCTA at Gladstone in 1984. Then was Alex, a Hanoverian/TB purchased on a trip to New Zealand - Alex was a real fan of jumping and Lauren showed him successfully both in Eventing and Dressage. Kasper was a Holsteiner; Lauren learned a great deal from Kasper and partnered with him to compete at Prix St George – he was definitely the man for the job. Lauren’s current horse, Palatin, is a lovely and kind Dutch WB purchased from Bert Ruttan in Holland as a 3 year old in 2004. Palatin is enjoying life as a pleasure horse, as Lauren’s life with Pinegate Farm and her family has been keeping her very busy.
Lauren considers herself very fortunate to be surrounded by great folks who all care very much about their horses and enjoying them. With so much pressure in people’s daily lives, the farm is the place for the stresses to drop away. Lauren’s husband, Pete, is a Rhode Island School of Design graduate with both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Ceramics, and you can see some of his wonderful work around the barn. He also can fix, make and do anything and plays a large part in Pinegate Farm’s success.