with Horse and Hound

The Witch With Warts: Discovering America

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America from post-war Britain, where shortages still prevailed and ration books were in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. The pair's adventures discovering America, land of plenty, while struggling with a lively collection of foxhunting horses, timber horses, and show horses, have been published in these pages. (Use our Search function with the author’s name to find those stories.) What follows is a new installment revisiting “The Witch With Warts.”

witch.rosemary coatesWitch / Rosemary Coates illustration

Soon after our arrival in the States, Sarah and I were left in charge of Bryn Mawr Farms while the rest of the help went with the show horses to the Harrisburg Horse Show for the week. Jamie promised the two of us cubhunting from the farm and cocktail parties at the show as a reward. I took the week off as a break from my office job. This I quickly realized was going to be anything but a vacation.

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