Meet the Trainers

Wendy Potts — Trainer

Whistlejacket Farm Trainer Wendy Potts has been training Arabian and Half Arabian horses for over 30 years. She grew up in Southern California and began riding when she was 6 years old, earning her first national championships at age 13 in hunt seat equitation,. In 1986, barely out of her teens, Wendy won the U.S. National Reserve Championship in hunter pleasure.

Wendy’s Success Speaks as a Testament to Her Love of the Arabian Horse…

  • First National Championship at Age 16
  • Over 150 National Championships and Reserves
  • Riders Have Over 200 National Championships or Reserve National Championships
  • 11 APAHA Trainer (Hunter/Show Hack) of the Year Awards
  • 10 Arabian Horse World Totally Tops Hunter Trainer of the Year Awards
  • 2 Arabian Horse Times Reader Choice Hunter Trainer of the Year Awards
  • USEF Equestrian of Honor Vaughn Smith Trophy for 2012 & 2018
  • Nominated for the prestigious USEF Equestrian of the Year Award
  • University of Southern California (Bachelor’s in Business)
Read More About Wendy

That early start set the stage for the decorated career Wendy has enjoyed as a horse trainer. With more than 150 national championships and reserves to her name, and nearly 500 to her riders, she’s considered one of the most successful trainers in the hunter, show hack and side saddle disciplines, as well as a practitioner in Western and country pleasure.

Wendy has been honored with 11 Arabian Professional & Amateur Horseman’s Association(APAHA) Trainer of the Year awards. She’s also the second Arabian professional to be awarded the prestigious USEF Equestrian of Honor Vaughn Smith Trophy (2012).

Not surprisingly, Wendy has attracted a loyal roster of clients, many of whom have been with her more than 20 years and followed her from barn to barn, California to Texas.

Her horses not only show well, they also appear often in a variety of classes, clearly loving their work.

You may know some of the horses that have been under her training through the years—incredible names like NDL Pericles, whose 30 national championships made him for years the most decorated purebred in history; the Half-Arabian Berried Treasure (24 national championships); and Smokestak Lightin, a Half-Arabian Potts found languishing in a pipe corral and schooled to 10 national championships.

The key to her success? Wendy’s description of WD Noble Ladd, a six time national champion, tells as much about her as it does about him: “He’s not only beautiful,” she smiles, “he’s a kind soul. He’ll be like Peri when he’s older, the kind that you just want to follow you around, he’s so sweet.”

That’s quintessential Wendy Potts. Better than anything, she likes working hands-on with horses, understanding their feelings, refining their skills, and unlocking their personalities. The reward, she says, is a horse as intuitive and responsive as a dog who spends all day with its owner.

And then there is training the humans, as challenging as developing the horses. “I want people to ride well,” she says, “I love what I do. It doesn’t matter whether I’m giving lessons to beginners or super-great riders; as long as people want to learn, I like teaching them. I don’t care what division you’re in. You acquire expertise by doing it.”

It’s not the money or the win that drives Wendy. Yet the work she puts in on horse and human relationships yields an enviable record of titles. “As far as the horses are concerned, I’ve achieved my dreams beyond my wildest imagination, and I have the best clients I’ve ever had.”

“Wendy is not just a great teacher and trainer; there is an even greater dimension to her talent and capability,” Ralph observes. “I believe her best is still in front of her—and that’s a tremendous thing to say.”

Rachel Retaleato — Assistant Trainer

Rachel hails from South Florida and has been involved with Arabian horses since the age of 5.  She has fostered a deep passion for this beautiful breed.  Growing up surrounded by the equestrian culture, she gained invaluable experience working with Christy Higman Clements, Scott Equine, Randall Performance Horses, and Liberty Meadows.  She is excited to call Whistlejacket Farm home, where she remains dedicated to refining her skills and working towards a future filled with growth and tons of fun!   Rachel works under Wendy Potts in the training barn where she is intimately involved in all aspects of the daily regimen of our training horses.

Rachael Perrin

Rachael Perrin — Assistant Trainer

Rachael hails from Wisconsin and has been involved with horses her entire life. Her first experience with Arabian horses was a high school internship that turned into a ten year stay as an assistant trainer at Dan Lynch Farms.  Rachael brings tremendous experience starting young horses combined with a vet-tech skill set that comes from working as a vet tech for an equine clinic and assisting vets as they make farm calls throughout her career.  Rachael also garnered experience working with Arabian halter horses where she learned the meticulous grooming practices necessary for that side of the industry.   At Whistlejacket, Rachael works under Wendy Potts in the training barn where she is directly involved in the daily training, vet and nutrition regimen for our training horses.  She also utilizes her excellent organizational, leadership and record keeping skills to manage our internship program with the local ISD.  Rachael also manages the farm’s ERP system and is responsible for the detailed records management for each horse on the farm.