Middleburg Life, “The voice of Loudoun’s Hunt Country for more than 30 years,” is a monthly publication distributed in print to over 15 thousand homes across Loudoun and Fauquier counties, and available online as well. The December 2013 issue features an excerpt from John Blackburn’s book, Healthy Stables by Design. Check it out here.
River Farm is located in Loudoun County along the banks of the Potomac River. The property includes a 24-stall barn, an office, indoor and outdoor arenas, and observation area, a service barn, and outdoor paddocks. Since its competition in 2006, the award winning facility has played host to various equestrian events and family gatherings, serves as a training hub for the owner’s daughter, a nationally ranked hunter-jumper competitor and other riders of all ages and skill levels, and was the site for John Blackburn’s final stop on his book tour on November 21, 2013.
John presented Healthy Stables by Design, to an audience of about 25 equestrian enthusiasts. He sold and signed about 19 books raising $570 for The Equine Rescue League, a non-profit organization in Lovettsville, Virginia. Founded in 1990 by Pat Rogers, the ERL cared for over 100 neglected and abused equine. They continue to promote the responsible use of equines for working, sport and pleasure.
Scroll down to see pictures of River Farm.
On November 10th, 2013, John Blackburn, once again, shared his book, Healthy Stables by Design with another group of horse enthusiasts at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center in Pebble Beach, California. The facility offers over 30 miles of trials for hiking and horseback riding along the beach and through forests with guided tours, private and group rides, and lessons. Before the book signing, John toured the PBEC grounds with director, Margaret Leighton, and the executive vice president of real estate, Mark Stilwell.
Margaret is also the president of the benefiting equine organization, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, located in Lockwood, California. The group works to educate communities on equine suffering, puts together outreach programs, rescues horses that have suffered neglect and abuse, and eventually finds homes for the rehabilitated animals. Margaret joined the organization in 1991, has served on the Board of Directors since 2004, and was responsible for organizing and facilitating this event. After kicking off the presentation, Margaret introduced Linda Plumb, the Executive Director of Redwings, to speak about the group and some of the current programs.
John Blackburn followed Linda with an in depth look at the design philosophy outlined in his book. John was thrilled to raise approximately $540 for Redwings with the event’s sales of Healthy Stables by Design. The event saw attendance numbers between 40 and 50 people.
Scroll down to see photos from the event:
On November 9th, John Blackburn presented his book, Healthy Stables by Design, at the Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic, which sits between Monterey and Salinas, California. The clinic, owned by Dr. Tim Steinbeck, is a 24-hour full service referral veterinary hospital for horses.
Blackburn architect, Dan Blair, also attended the event with John, took the pictures below, and received a tour of the clinic. Blair was impressed by the facility and found it interesting that it is the only equine surgical facility in a 3-hour radius. Two of Dan’s photos below depict equine stones. These obstructions develop in the gastrointestinal tracts of horses overtime when minerals build up around a foreign object the horse has consumed. These enteroliths are made up of magnesium, phosphate, and ammonium and can be fatal if not removed. Of the stones shown below, one proved fatal and doctors at the Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic successfully removed the other.
The book signing followed a similar format to the previous stops on John’s tour. He presented many of the design concepts in the book in a power point presentation and took questions from the over 20 attendees of the event. John sold approximately 18 books raising $540 for the future Monterey Horse Park.
Last night, John Blackburn attended The National Press Club’s 36th Annual Book Fair & Authors’ Night. The event was sponsored in partnership with Politics & Prose and benefited the non-profit NPC Journalism Institute, who provides scholarships for the next generation of aspiring journalists, and The SEED Foundation, which helps to groom underserved students across the District and Maryland for collegiate achievement.
The event kicked off with a reception for more than 90 authors and their guests in The Fourth Estate Restaurant in the NPC building. After an introduction by NPC and a brief presentation by Politics & Prose, the authors were escorted to the ballroom where the book signing commenced.
John had the opportunity to speak with many members and patrons of the NPC who had some interest in horses or knew a friend or family member with horses, farms, and barns. It was surprising how many in the Press community are connected to the equestrian community. It is also a pleasure to be in an environment where there was such enthusiasm for the printed word and books in particular. Many of the patrons who stopped at the “Healthy Stables” table commented on the incredible photography in the book, much of which was captured by Blackburn architect Cesar Lujan. John sold and signed between 15 to 20 copies of his book, Healthy Stables by Design.
Scroll down to see more photos from the event:
On November 18, John’s interview for South Carolina’s ETV Radio was featured as part of the station’s “Your Day” segment. John sat down with Anna Simon to discuss his book Healthy Stables by Design, his history designing equine architecture, and his design philosophy. Listen to the interview here.
In today’s blog, our summer intern, Alexa Asakiewicz, shares her summer experiences here at Blackburn. Alexa is an equestrian (former captain of the Villanova Equestrian Team) and currently a graduate student at Rhode Island School of Design. This year she will be completing her Masters of Architecture degree. Alexa joined us from late May to August as an architectural summer intern. Her skills are exceptional; you can check out some of her work at www.alexaasakiewicz.com. She has been helping me put together the promotional campaign for my book, Healthy Stables By Design; updating our social media presence; and assisting with architectural projects. At this point, I’ll hand it over to her.
As a life-long equestrian and an architectural student, I have been following Blackburn Architects and their projects for many years. This summer, I was fortunate to work in the office and learn more about the practice and John’s new book. Immediately upon my arrival, John showed me his book and videos. From those, I began to further understand his natural principles of design (many of which have been shared on this blog).
I not only saw these principles in design projects I assisted with, but also learned how to share them with a public audience. I realized that in addition to design work, architects are tasked with marketing themselves. While helping John update and maintain the Stable Minded blog, website, and social media, I was fortunate to learn even more about the everyday life of an architecture office. I hope you all have enjoyed looking at some of the past and present Blackburn projects on facebook, pinterest, and Houzz, as well as learning more about John’s design strategies through the blog. I have and will continue to work on the blog and facebook throughout the school year, so check back often to explore our projects and happenings.
In assisting John with publicity for Healthy Stables by Design, I gained experience working in concert with Washington International Horse Show, Phelps Media Group, and John’s co-writer, Beth Herman. I was also fortunate to be able to attend the event at WIHS. It was a great opportunity to see some of my work come to fruition, watch some great riding, chat with my co-workers again, and meet up with all the people I have spoken with and never met. Check out the tour list to find your opportunity to meet John.
The most exciting part of my summer was helping with the architectural projects in the office. I really enjoyed assisting the architectural staff with the Westchester Condominium project, the Valley Vista Project, and a private farm. One treasured experience was the chance to make a few conceptual site plans of my own. Not only did John teach me about the many considerations when designing a site, but he allowed me to put the concepts into practice. Fortunately, I also got the chance to check out the River Bank Barn and River farm. It was nice to see all John’s principles come to life as we explored both structures.
Being an equestrian myself, I have spent a good deal of time in barns. I have always been partial to the beautiful simplicity of these structures. As John told me more about his rationale behind every detail, I was fascinated. It was always interesting to hear the reasons for things that I had always before taken for granted. It also made me look at barns in a different way. I continue to contemplate the benefits of ventilation and Dutch Doors. In every barn I have been in since, I have made at least one comment on the ventilation properties (much to my mother’s chagrin).
I really enjoyed my time at Blackburn Architects and want to thank the staff for having me. I feel very lucky that I had such a great opportunity to learn from John and everyone in the office.
Date: November 6th, 2013
Location: Lucky Jack Farm in Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Patty Brutten, the farm owner led off the presentation with introductions and a brief history of what led her to build Lucky Jack Farm. The property was designed in the Rancho Santa Fe historic style made famous by Lilian Rice in the 1920’s and has an historic designation characterized by low-slung terra cotta roofs, shuttered, deep-set windows, white or neutral colored adobe walls, and intimate patios and courtyards, that define the area. Today it is known as California Romantica, California Mission, or Spanish Colonial style.
All of the author proceeds for the sale of John Blackburn’s book, Healthy Stables by Design, are donated to equine charities. The owners of Lucky Jack Farm, hosts of this event, chose REINS Therapeutic Riding Program in Fallbrook, CA. Debbie Shinner, who has been the Executive Director of REINS since 1995, spoke about the program, its history, and how she became involved in 1992.
Our own John Blackburn followed Debbie with an introduction of some of the key members of the design and builder team, a short presentation about his background designing for horses, and the design aspects he believes to be essential for successful equestrian projects. He also covered design concepts of his firm’s predesigned Blackburn Greenbarns® as well paying notice to several projects in the book, Healthy Stables by Design. As he does in every presentation, John stressed how the health and safety of the horse remains the priority in every design regardless of the budget, location, or program.
Following the presentation, Blackburn architect, Dan Blair led a portion of the attendees on a tour of the Lucky Jack Barn, illuminating its unique design aspects and how the firm tackled the challenge of having the barn’s designs comply with strict building and fire codes without sacrificing a healthy and safe environment for the horses.
The event ended with the sale of 64 copies of Healthy Stables by Design and raised nearly $2000 for the charity. This amount was increased significantly by several private voluntary donations.
John continues on his book tour and equine charity events with presentations in Pebble Beach and Monterey CA and at a private facility in Central California in the Bay Area.
Scroll down for pictures from the event.
John has traveled to the National Horse Show and is signing and selling the book there. Check out Phelps’ Media release to find out more.
“Blackburn will hold additional signings at the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington, KY on Friday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Taylor Harris Club and Saturday, Nov. 2 at noon in the North Star Rider Lounge. He will also appear on WKYT-TV in Lexington, KY on their 12:30 p.m. news broadcast. Blackburn has graciously declined profit from the book and will donate all author proceeds to equine charities.”
The book is officially launched! This friday at the Armed Forces Reception, Blackburn Architects celebrated the release of Healthy Stables by Design. Check out this link for more information.
“Approximately 250 VIPs, guests and members of the media joined Blackburn for a short program, cocktails and dinner. A portion of the ticket sales and all author proceeds from Blackburn’s book were donated to the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Therapy Program and PATH International’s Wounded Warrior Project area organizations: Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Therapeutic Riding and Recreation Center and Loudoun Therapeutic Riding.”