Doug Payne: On a Roll and Getting Ready for Fall

EN guest blogger Doug Payne has had a busy summer — getting engaged last month to the lovely Jess Hampf, planning a permanent move south for his business and finalizing the manuscript for his first book. Many thanks to Doug for checking in to update us on his busy life, and congrats again on the engagement!

Jess Hampf's engagement ring!

From Doug:

Many might describe our last month or so as a fragmented cluster. I like to think of it as author Tom Barrett articulated: “Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth.” I’m writing to you as we’re driving up to GMHA in Vermont where I’m judging and Jess and our working student and recent PRO Scholarship winning working student Jorgan Olijslager are both riding.

Personally, I couldn’t be happier to take the next steps in my life with Jess Hampf. It’s funny how dates are best remembered in our warped world by what event proceeded or followed it. We were engaged the Monday before Richland Park. Jess and I have been frantically cleaning, painting and decluttering my place in Gladstone, making it ready for sale. At this point we’ve had a few interested parties, so fingers crossed it sells soon.

Aside from the constant cleaning and prepping for potential buyers, I’ve been back and forth with Trafalgar Square, with whom I’m publishing a book. The manuscript goes to the designers today or tomorrow. Funny that throughout college, being a mechanical engineering major, technical papers were the norm, except they were filled with designs, calculations and spreadsheets with little text. I think they longest paper I wrote was 10 pages — double spaced, of course. The book is sitting at more than 260 pages in word and 65,000 words. This project has been in the works for a few years at this point, so needless to say I’m very excited having it’s completion in sight. Not to give too many details yet, but I think it is something which can help a tremendous number of people regardless of their chosen discipline.

Before getting to the horses, we’re (the girls more so than me!) beginning to figure out the logistics of our move south. Ultimately, Jess, Michelle, dogs, horses and all are permanently relocating just southwest of Raleigh, N.C., next spring. Before landing in North Carolina, we’re planning to head down to Aiken for the winter season in mid-November and leaving early April. We’re incredibly excited about the opportunity the area offers — great location, weather, people and competitions. At the moment we’re still finalizing our location.

So, as for the horses — Rex, our newest addition owned by the Virtus syndicate, is simply dominating. I’m very excited about his future; all indications is that he’s the real deal! He won his YEH-5 qualifier at Applewood Farm and his very first event at Training level at the Bucks County horse park. Below are a few videos; one is part of his dressage test from Bucks County. Unfortunately, the video of dressage was cut short, but you can certainly get the gist. He finished on his dressage score of 25.9. The second video is from one from a recent jumper show.

The big horses all are going great. Richland park served as Tali’s first three-star. He was excellent; I can’t say enough about him. He’s just about to break through. The prelim horses jumped around great as well; all four finished in the top-four places! Upcoming we have Plantation Field with six horses, then on to Morven Park, Radnor and finishing up at the Fair Hill CCI. Check back on for more info and updates!


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