January at Wheatland Farm has kicked off with a whirlwind of activity, and we want to keep our community informed about recent events. Last Friday and Saturday, our beloved farm faced a security breach, but we want to reassure our students and their families that their safety remains our top priority. This blog post will provide an overview of the incident, the actions taken, and the additional security measures implemented to maintain Wheatland Farm as a safe space for all.
On Friday afternoon and again on Saturday, an individual attempted to interfere with our horses and, unfortunately, was potentially responsible for injuries to our ducks and rooster. Wheatland Farm promptly contacted the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office (LCSO), who acted swiftly to protect the farm. No students were at risk during these incidents. Sadly, the suspect is potentially involved in serious cases across Loudoun County and Northern Virginia.
The LCSO is conducting a thorough investigation to ensure all aspects of the incident are addressed appropriately. Wheatland Farm is actively cooperating with local law enforcement, providing necessary information and support. The individual involved is currently in custody, and we are confident in the ongoing efforts to maintain public safety.
Enhanced Security Measures:
In response to the incident, Wheatland Farm has implemented additional security measures to safeguard our community:
1. Surveillance Upgrade: New cameras have been installed in every building and parking lot and overlooking pastures around the farm. This comprehensive surveillance system enhances monitoring capabilities.
2. Controlled Access: A new gate, operational 24/7, has been ordered and will soon be installed. Passcodes will be given exclusively to registered students, ensuring controlled access to the farm premises.
3. Appointment-Only Visits: To further enhance security, visits to Wheatland Farm are now prohibited without prior appointments. This measure adds an extra layer of protection to the community.
Ongoing Support and Monitoring:
Wheatland Farm acknowledges the invaluable support from Sheriff Mike Chapman, a longtime friend, and his wife Ann, a dedicated volunteer. Loudoun County Sheriff's teams of deputies provided round-the-clock farm monitoring to ensure the ongoing safety of the community until the suspect was apprehended. We extend our gratitude to them and our local community for spreading the word via social media so quickly, to help protect others and apprehend the suspect in a remarkably short period of time.
As we navigate these challenges, Wheatland Farm remains committed to the security and well-being of our students and their families. We will continue to update our community on any developments related to the incident. Your safety and peace of mind are of utmost importance to us, and we appreciate your continued support as we work together to maintain Wheatland Farm as a haven for all.
Meantime, there are LOTS of fun things to look forward to! We will be hosting a dressage and para-dressage Fix A Test on Wednesday, January 24th, with dressage judge Dilly Jackson, and on Thursday, January 24th, we will be hosting our Quarter 2 Student Schooling Show. On Sunday, January 28th, we will host our first Jumper Show of the season! In February, we will welcome international dressage rider and coach Ana Matos Pires for a two-day dressage and para-dressage clinic -- open to our riders and our friends in the community. With lots of opportunities to welcome you to the farm, we hope you will take the chance to visit us for one of these great events. While our Fix A Test is now full, we still have openings in our shows, and we will shortly open the registration for Ana Pires' dressage clinic. Keep an eye out for the details!