Donna Finch was introduced to the American Saddlebred world when she took her first Saddle Seat riding lesson with Mary Orr in August 2005. There was an instant love and bond formed between these magnificent horses, Mary and her husband Evan Orr, and Donna and her husband Jack Finch. In February of 2006 Donna purchased her first American Saddlebred show horse, WCC CHRiva Diva. Affectionately known as Riva, this very special mare won Donna's heart and opened the door for the Finch family to ultimately own, show and breed many great American Saddlebred horses. One short year after Riva became a member of the Finch family, they purchased their second show horse in February of 2007. This was WGC CHOur Charming Lady, lovingly known as Grace.
Since the purchase of Riva in 2006, Donna has campaigned a string of show horses throughout the Carolinas, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and Kansas under the direction of the Orrs and High Caliber Stables. Those show horses have included CHCallaways's Ball of Fire, WCC CHTalkin' To You, WCC CHStonecroft I'm Radiant, WC Shagadelic, and WC Ready to Jet. Her plans for 2017 include showing her new mare Blue Excellence.
While Donna enjoyed and showed her horses, Mary showed Grace for four years. Under Finch ownership and stewardship, and under training and care by the Orrs, WGC CHOur Charming Lady and Mary won 37 classes out of 38 classes including: 4 World's Champion titles; 2 World's Championship of Champions titles; 2 World's Grand Championship titles; the 2009 Triple Crown; the 2009 ASHA Horse of the Year; and countless awards, honors and recognitions from every professional association affiliated with our breed.
Donna and Jack recognized the value two highly successful show mares with championship bloodlines would have in establishing a breeding program. This prompted their decision to form Sedgefield Saddlebreds in 2010 as Riva and Grace retired from their show careers. The Sedgefield name was chosen in honor of historical ties the Finch family has to the Sedgefield equestrian community in NC. In addition to Riva and Grace, the breeding program now includes Charm's Royale (full sister to Our Charming Lady) and Makings of a Miracle. Since 2011, Sedgefield Saddlebreds has introduced 22 foals to the American Saddlebred world from these four mares, with another five foals due in 2017. Eight of these foals, six of whom are from Grace, have entered the performance show ring and five have shown in The Carolinas Futurity. In recent years Evan Orr has introduced from the Sedgefield Saddlebred breeding program numerous prospects and young horses, such as Sedgefield's Leading Lady, Sedgefield's A Charmed Life, Sedgefield's Mirror Image, Sedgefield's Never A Doubt, Sedgefield's IL Divo, Sedgefield's A Touch Of Grace, Sedgefield's Graceful Heir, and Sedgefield's Royale Kiss. Evan also introduced Undulata's Susan McGee, bought by Jack and Donna as a three-year-old prospect in 2009, going on to win Lexington Junior League's Junior Three-Gaited Stake in 2010.
In addition to showing and managing the breeding program, Donna served on the Board of Directors for the American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas from 2012-2014. She received the North Carolina Amateur of the Year Award in 2012 from this organization. She has also served on the Board of Directors of The Carolinas Futurity since 2012. Donna and Jack received The Carolinas Futurity Distinguished Breeders Award in 2014.