Red Roses Farm owner Pat Bunge

Patricia Bunge
Red Roses Farm

Hometown: St. Charles, IL
Time at MM: 1974 - 1975
Program: Riding Master
Favorite Class: Training
First Job After Graduation: Riding Instructor at Laurel Highlands Ranch in Stahlstown, PA.

Current Job:
In the decade after graduating from MM, I worked for a number of trainers/farms honing my craft handling race horses, breeding and birthing, starting young horses, and digging into the world of event horses, plus a whole lot in between. In 1986 I took the leap and bought a small farm - no small feat on a riding instructor/trainerís salary. The last 30 years have raced by, it seems like yesterday when I bought that rundown, century old farm and have slowly turned it into a lovely little corner of the world.

Red Roses Farm is a small facility, housing 20 horses. Our mission is to teach the rudiments of riding with the end game of competing at USEA Horse Trials. We do a pretty good job, most years we qualify half a dozen or so riders to compete at the American Eventing Championships. I was one of four professionals honored with the United States Eventing Association Cornerstone Award in its inaugural year.

What is your favorite memory from MM?
I have to say my favorite MM memories circle around friends Moe, Cindy, Barb and Claire. I was never one to have a posse of friends, living a little isolated as a farm based teen, and that brief dorm/study experience with like minded people is a special memory for me.

Red Rose Farm students In what ways have your experiences at Meredith Manor impacted your career and who you are today?
The certifications offered by MM legitimized my skills to be offered in the workplace. I was a farm kid who liked horses. Not a lot of money was invested in my junior competitive years and I was really rough around the edges. The time at MM brought me up to speed to be employable as an entry level trainer (under a mentor at first - eventually on my own), schooling show judge, competitor and primarily as a riding instructor. The work of teaching people to ride has been my bread and butter for over 40 years and Meredith Manor taught me a good system for teaching a well planned lesson.

Any advice for students attending Meredith Manor?
Never stop learning. You can never wear too many hats - become a judge, a TD, serve on committees. And learn to keep your books meticulously. Keep your equipment/vehicles up to date and in good working order. And, finally, donít own too many horses - vet and shoeing bills can drag you down.

Other Feature Alumni

I graduated in 2000 and have had incredible success in the professional world due to the skills I've learned through MM. MM showed me the way to become part of a program and learn how to see an overall picture not just its parts.
Melissa Sliwa Humke: 2000 Riding Master VI Graduate