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Our Staff

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Our staff is what makes us different. All of the staff members at Cross Winds Farm are exceptional people, providing clients professional and personal assistance.


Kelly Watson is Cross Winds Farm owner, manager and head trainer.  Having been around horses her whole life, Kelly has competed in everything from Team-Penning to Hunter/Jumpers. She is a participant in the Northern Illinois Hunter Jumper Association (NIHJA), as well as being the originator of the "PTS" (a Place to Start) show circuit. Kelly is detail-oriented and dedicated to her clients, providing them with the tools and directions needed to achieve individual goals -- always with a personal touch.  Kelly is hands-on in the operation of Cross Winds Farm, and her attention to detail is superior.  Everything from the quality of the hay and grain to the condition of the footing in the arena is of the utmost importance. Care of horses and clients is her top concern.


Jennifer Claps-Heldt has been a part of the Cross Winds family for over 14 years.  She has a wide range of competive experience, which includes Hunter/Jumpers, Eventing, and Dressage (1st Level).  As well as being a seasoned instructor and trainer, Jenny (having dedicated her life to education) is also a 7th grade Math teacher.  She currently travels with our "C" circuit show team and loves working with riders of all levels.  She has unlimited patience with beginner riders, and a proficiency in training green horses.  Jenny is an integral part of our team. 


We are pleased to have Melinda Michaels on our team of equestrian professionals. She is a "seasoned" horsewoman, who has been around horses much of her life, bringing with her lots of hands-on experience that started at the early age of 7!  Melinda is considerate, professional and versatile, having the ability to teach English as well as Western riding.  Melinda can take a student from the first lesson to a jump-course.  We are very glad to have Melinda at Cross Winds Farm.

Cross Winds Farm Equestrian Center
8905 S. Grant Highway, Marengo, IL  60152-9446
PHONE: 815-923-7400
FAX: 815-923-2372