Equestrian Team Rallies Behind Alumna and Former Coach

August 5, 2020 Caitlin Burns

Group shot of 10 members of the team, some wearing cowboy hats

Ten members of the team at a show at Saddlebrook Equestrian Center.

On July 22, Amber Jewell ’04 gave birth to her second son, Levi Clemmer. Approximately 27 hours later, on July 23, the barn housing 16 of the 40 horses at her farm burned to the ground.

“It was about 10 minutes to 11 a.m. when my mom called me about it,” said Jewell, who was still in the hospital recovering from a cesarean section at the time. “I just started bawling my eyes out and called the nurses so I wouldn’t be alone. After the fact, it’s easy for me to say I was where I needed to be at the time. If I was there, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything—I would’ve tried but it wouldn’t have been a good idea.”

In the two weeks since the barn fire at Red Wing Farm, Arcadia University’s Equestrian Team has rallied around Jewell—who was not only a member of the Arcadia team, but is a former coach who still supports the team through lessons and training. 

When Head Captain Aubrey Lehman ’22 heard about the fire, she jumped into action, heading to the grocery store to purchase bottled water and food for volunteers and emergency responders at the farm. After dropping supplies off, Lehman launched a Go Fund Me page for Jewell and the farm to cover the cost of supplies not included in insurance. 

Since its launch on July 23, the Go Fund Me has exceeded its original goal of $2,500 by more than six times, having raised nearly $17,000. The team is also hosting a t-shirts fundraiser for the farm.

“I went back to the barn for the first time the following Saturday,” said Lehman. “Every time you walk down there, it just smells burnt and there's a pile where the barn used to be. That's where the horse that I used to lease lived—it's where I used to go pet her, walk around, see the mini horses. I would greet all of them. When we volunteered, we would put away blankets upstairs. There were so many things we did in that barn, just little things. Those little things that were once there are now gone.”

Jewell and her mother, Beth, have owned Red Wing Farm since 2005. Following graduation, Jewell realized that she wanted to follow her passion for horses rather than teaching math in a classroom. For nearly a year the duo searched for the perfect location—landing on the 20-acre property on Hilltown Pike in Bucks County. Since then, they’ve built the farm to provide Western and English riding lessons, boarding, and leasing, along with a range of clinics throughout the year, summer day camp, and opportunities for riders to trail ride and compete at local shows.

“It’s teaching in a different way,” said Jewell. “If you told me 17 years ago that I would be doing what I’m currently doing on the scale that we’re doing, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

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