Fair Hill International would like to congratulate our 2023 Volunteers of the Year, Fran Loftus and Stacey Blyskal! They both have received the Bodgie Read Memorial Trophy, which was named after our longtime friend and fearless leader, Bodgie Read. These two ladies not only are indispensable to planning and facilitating our competition season, but they also have volunteered for the Maryland 5 Star since its inaugural event in 2021. We all can agree that it would be hard to put on our events without their willing smiles and expertise!

Fran had the good fortune to grow up in Vermont, where she started her competitive riding career in 1956 with Upper Valley Pony Club. After graduating from Skidmore, meeting Patrick on a blind date, soon marrying him and later having a child, eventing and fox hunting became the preferred family activity.  The love of horses and competition followed them wherever they went, finally settling in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania almost forty years ago. The tradition of volunteering as well as competing at many events, but most often at Fair Hill was a part of their everyday activity.

Fran started her present volunteering career with Chesterland Three-Day Event in Unionville, Pa. When Chesterland ended, Fran joined a search committee to locate a new site to host the event The site was found, and in 1989, the first Fair Hill International Three-Day Event was born. As one of the founding members, Fran became a jack of all trades, volunteering with FHI for Dressage, Roads and Tracks, Horse Inspection and Show Jumping.  Did you know that Fran is a talented artist and, beginning in 1989, did the illustrations for the Fair Hill International program as well as designing logos for FHI and others? The international flags flown at FHI to honor countries of participants fall under Fran’s oversight. Quarantini, and Ratchet & Riley (fundraising cartoons) were her creations too.

Every spare moment not filled with obligations, she loves to read or draw and paint. She’s even done book illustrations, but the entire Loftus family, including a grandchild, are avid Fox Hunters. Fran checks off hunting with about 25 different hunts in Ireland and in the eastern US. And she has been awarded colors with recognized hunts in South Carolina, Nova Scotia and Andrews Bridge in Pennsylvania, hunting with the latter for 38 seasons.

Fran currently resides in Quarryville, PA at her Hemppatch Farm with her husband Pat, 3 horses and their energetic Jack Russell, Triskit.

All of us at FHI depend on Fran’s ready smile and her creative input for our projects. She is part of the backbone of our organization, and we are very grateful!