Anna Grace McGonigal
Anna Grace was ten years old when the owner of Fox Mill Farms in Sarasota, Florida, took her on as an apprentice groom to teach her horsemanship and riding in exchange for picking stalls and washing water buckets. She learned a diligent work ethic and how not to cut corners. Her trainer was tough, requiring pushups for willful failures; but she also modeled compassion for animals and people alike. Many of the horses at that farm were rescues, and some of the students were too. Anna Grace rode, showed, and trained there in Florida until she went off to university, where she received a BA in English in 1998. She married her best friend Kerry McGonigal also in 1998, and now they have three daughters who have followed in Anna Grace's muck boots. From 2010-2016, the girls shoveled and scooped their way to riding lessons as they volunteered and Anna Grace taught horsemanship lessons at TW Quarter Circle Ranch. While there, they were part of the show team, competing in the Carolina Horse Show Association circuit and other independent shows at Croft and Clemson’s T. Ed Garrison Arena, ending the seasons with many Champion and Reserve Champion awards. The more the girls became involved in (a nice way of saying addicted to) horsemanship, the more Kerry and Anna Grace realized they were in it for the long haul. If they were going to pursue having a farm of their own, they needed to take the plunge while the girls were young. In 2016, God opened the door for the McGonigals to take over Hidden Creek Horse Farm, and they now work and enjoy the farm as a family. Anna Grace brings over 30 years of horse experience to the farm and is currently pursuing Post Graduate work toward a Masters in Equine Studies from the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, and teacher certification through Certified Horsemanship Association.
Kerry is originally from Pennsylvania but moved to South Carolina in 1992 where he completed a BA in English Education in 1997, a Masters of Divinity in 2003, and a Doctorate in 2014. He currently is pastor at Beth Haven Baptist Church in Simpsonville, SC, and professor at BJU. He is an outstanding teacher, writer, husband, and daddy, and his desire to learn has expanded to studying pasture management, horsemanship, and farm machinery. He is the one who began the journey and adventure that is now Hidden Creek Horse Farm, and he is the one committed to its maintenance and improvements going forward. To the casual observer, he may look like just the yard crew, but he is the visionary, bookkeeper, educator, encourager, hay hauler, and provider of coffee and snacks at crucial points. He is God’s gracious gift to the family and to the farm, and he is the human means by which the family is “living the dream.”