New Jersey trainer Danny Desmond understands the value of hard work. He says a very wise man – who happens to be his own father – once told him that “your results are directly proportional to how much time you have spent.” That’s something Desmond has never forgotten.
“Any successful man knows this is true in anything you want to achieve in life,” he said. “When it is cold riding in the winter, hot in the summer or it is hard to find motivation I always remember this. There’s no excuse for not working hard because someone out there will always be working harder! I always keep the mentality that no one will outwork me.”
Growing up on his family’s farm in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, Desmond was raised around horses. His father is a veterinarian and his mother showed hunter jumpers. The family first was involved with Standardbred race horses and then moved on to Appaloosa show horses. He attended Christ The King Catholic Secondary School in Georgetown, Ontario and Bishops University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology Health Science.
Up until this year Desmond showed horses as an amateur competitor, gaining knowledge and experience watching such noted trainers as Brock McCaully, Pat Heeley, Tim Zuidema, Dave Archer, Troy Oakley, Dave Davis, Sara Simons and RJ King. He started training professionally from his father’s farm.
“I was lucky enough to have a great group of customers that came because of word of mouth,” he explained.
In April he moved to New Jersey to live with his long time girlfriend, Emma Deibel and went to work as head trainer at Breezee Hill Farm, owned by John and Beth McNichol. Breezee Hill Farm is situated on 50 acres in Blairstown, Warren County, in northern New Jersey, overlooking the scenic Delaware Water Gap. The McNichols purchased the property in 2002 and got right to work making improvements. Today it features a 14-stall heated show barn and each stall is equipped with mats and automatic waterers. The 16-foot aisle is paved with non-slip bricks and the barn includes two hot and cold wash stalls and two large tack stalls. A 70-by-150-foot dust free indoor area with rider guard provides a year-round environment for riding and there are 11 individual paddocks and acres of lush pasture with shelters.
“Back in 2014 Beth and I decided to increase our broodmare herd to five head,” said John McNichol. “With that you have all these babies on the ground and they need to be broke.”
The couple came to the conclusion that they would like to have a trainer on the property to help break the yearlings. Beth placed an ad on Facebook and Desmond replied.
“We realized that he was not a stall cleaner and took advantage of the opportunity to meet him,” John said. “After much thought and a great interview we decided to bring Danny aboard.”
Desmond had to notify his clients of his decision to move to New Jersey and by April he was working in his new post.
“John and Beth McNichol have been more than supportive of Emma and I starting our life together in New Jersey,” Desmond said. “They have given me the opportunity to not only ride every day at a beautiful farm, but to show some of the finest horses in the pleasure industry including the 2016 NSBA World Show Champion, I’m The Best.”
Desmond had to hit the ground running. He has been busy training the show horses owned by Breezee Hill and coaching John and Beth.
“Danny works with all of our horses from weanlings to my antique ‘Chip’ (Hes A Son Of A Chip),” John said. “We decided to bring our show horses home under one roof.”
He also coaches a group of 6-to-18-year-old riders that take lessons at Breezee Hill. It’s a part of the job he enjoys.
“When it comes to coaching other riders, I always go in with the mentality that I will need to adjust my teaching methods to a way the individual can understand best,” he said.
Desmond has also been on the road a good portion of the year, competing at American Quarter Horse Association shows and at some of the nation’s top futurities, including the Tom Powers in Michigan and National Snaffle Bit Association’s World Championship Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was in Tulsa that Desmond captured a World Championship title in the $2,500 Limited Horse/Limited Rider Western Pleasure on Im The Best, one of the McNichols’ show horses.
“I am really excited about the horses John and Beth have bred on the farm and we will have a great group of 2-year- olds to show next year,” he said.
In September Danny and Emma said “I do” but with so much going on right now a honeymoon will have to wait until after the show season is complete.
Desmond has been busy preparing horses for the Congress and with the other horses on the farm.
“Because at heart I am a horse lover, I enjoy seeing each horse progress day to day or from start to finish,” he said. “I simply enjoy just being around them, there is an old saying ‘You never work a day in your life if you love your job.’”
A member of the AQHA, NSBA, American Paint Horse Association and Appaloosa Horse Club, Desmond specializes in the preparation of Western Pleasure horses but is well-versed in most all events.
“Over the last year I have been riding huntseaters,” he said. “While I say I am supporting Emma’s passion, I have to admit they are pretty fun!”
When he is not working horses Danny also enjoys golfing, snowboarding and playing hockey.
“I’m the biggest Toronto Raptor fan and come playoff time our house is on lockdown because I am screaming at the TV,” he said. “I am a sports junky through and through and I do occasionally binge watch shows on NetFlix.”
You can contact Danny Desmond Performance Horses by calling (352) 275-4112 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him and Breezee Hill Farm on Facebook. Visit Breezee Hill Farm at www.breezeehill.com.