By Melissa James,York County Contributor
Since she was 13 years old, Pauline Creeden always knew she wanted to own Topline Horse Center in York County.
“I can’t remember ever not wanting this place,” she said.
According to her, she will never forget the instant connection she felt to the local stables as a teen. About a decade later, the Virginia Tech graduate and her husband, fellow horse lover Jim Creeden, decided to make her longtime dream a reality.
“I had an internship in Charlottesville at another facility that summer right after I finished college,” Pauline Creeden recalled. “Then, right after that summer, is when I was contacted by the lady who ran the place at the time because she wanted to know if we wanted to take it over.”
The duo purchased the stables in 1997 and has trained over 1,000 students since. Topline Horse Center offers training, lessons, camps, horse shows and more. It also offers Topline Tack, a brand that takes care of riding apparel, equipment and saddle needs.
The Creedens – a family of three – operate the facility entirely by themselves and own eight of the available horses. The facility, according to Pauline Creeden, can hold anywhere from 10-20 horses at a time and teaches riding lessons to about 30 students a week.
“It’s easy to keep our numbers at a decent level simply because the (York) county is flourishing so much,” she added.
The family prides themselves on top-notch instruction, rider safety and making a personal connection with their students. Horses at the facility have won over 20 state titles and the Creedens are currently training a few students to compete at the state level in 2018.
Pauline Creeden is a member of the American Riding Instructors Association and Jim Creeden is a member of the Brotherhood Of Working Farriers Association, a group of specialists who works with horse hooves.
The farm opened 1960 and saw multiple owners before the Creeden family. However, Pauline Creeden said that she believes no other owner has operated the stables for as long as her family. They currently lease the property from Northside Christian Church and have no plans to leave the business any time soon, she added.
“There are some people who live in the county who never want to leave and I am one of those people,” Pauline Creeden said. “Ever since we moved to the county when I was 13, I always knew I wanted to live here for the rest of my life.”
Families and individuals can visit the property at 201 George Emerson Lane in Yorktown. It is located about one mile from the “Welcome to York County” sign off exit 258B on I-64.
For more information visit, toplinehorsecenter.com or call 757-591-8791.