Jun 05, 2022

When Dreams Go Awry: How Parker Equine Insurance Helped the Schramms Overcome a House Fire

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
Dom and Jimmie Schramm on the day they closed on their new farm in 2021. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Schramm.

One of the definitions of the word insurance is “providing protection against a possible eventuality.” As horse owners we are always planning for that possible eventuality – our horses might get sick or injured unexpectedly, lesson programs cover themselves for potential accidents that might take place on their property, and so on. When professional eventers Dom and Jimmie Schramm purchased their new farm in Pennsylvania last year they had no clue what possible eventuality would become reality for them less than one year into owning the property.

“This place is just a little slice of heaven,” Jimmie shared. “It is 17 or 18 aces. The front of it is all parkland so nothing will be built across the street and the backside of it has a road that hacks up to Boyd [Martin]’s, so we are just a 10-15 minute hack from the cross-country and the indoor there.”

The Schramm's little slice of heaven prior to the fire. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Schramm.


While the Schramms weren’t necessarily shopping for a farm when this property fell into their lap, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity. In order to process the mortgage, the property had to be insured. Having worked with Parker Equine Insurance before, Jimmie knew just who to call to get the coverage lined out in a timely and professional manner. Within 24 hours Donna Chopp-Parker of Parker Equine Insurance had everything lined out to cover the farm and the home on the property where the Schramms would reside as well.

Following the close of their farm in February, the Schramms moved in and settled their program into their new farm. As winter crept up, they made plans to head to Wellington, Florida at the start of the new year to escape the Pennsylvania winters and continue the training of their horses. They sent their horses down south with a commercial shipper and Jimmie got on a plane that same evening to fly down and settle the horses, leaving Dom at the farm to drive their truck and trailer down the following day. Nobody knew what the next 24 hours would hold for them.

“It was just Dom at the farm with our dog Vegemite. It was late and it was freezing with snow on the ground, so he made a little fire in the wood-burning fireplace. He was relaxing with Veggie before bed when he started to hear something that sounded like a dripping sound. His first thought was that a pipe had burst, so he ran all over the house but he couldn’t find anything. When he came back into the living room where the fireplace was he noticed the sound was getting louder and he had this inclination that something weird was going on with the fire.”

Dom ran out to the barn to get the fire extinguisher and put in a call to the local fire department to inform them of the issue. “They were questioning him about if he saw fire and he told them it was still in the fireplace, but he knew something else was going on. He put the fire out in the fireplace and noticed a small crack in the back of the fireplace. It must have rusted or something had happened, but that crack allowed the fire to escape into the house and go up the backside of the chimney and was burning on the outside of the house.”

With it being the dead of winter, none of the outdoor water hoses were attached to any faucets in an attempt to keep them from freezing up. Dom went into action trying to find a hose while waiting for the fire department to arrive, but by the time he was able to begin spraying the house down the fire had already gone all the way up the side of the home.

The aftermath. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Schramm.

“I landed in Florida and had a text and a missed call from my neighbor asking me to call her back, which was odd. So I did and Dom answered and he was just absolutely hysterical about the fire. Thankfully, the fire department was awesome and got there really quickly. After all of the dust settled and the fire was put out and everyone went home, then it was one of these situations of ‘well now what do we do?’”

The house had suffered catastrophic damage, and not just from the fire. “The house is still standing, so to speak, but the whole outside wall, our whole closet, part of our bedroom, the attic space, and all of the roof was gone,” Jimmie shared. “What I didn’t quite realize with a fire is that it is not even so much fire damage that becomes the issue, but it is smoke and water damage. So the house had to be gutted, there is not a thing in it but 2x4s everywhere at the moment.”

It was midnight in West Palm Beach, Florida as Jimmie sorted through her emails and informed the necessary parties relating to their insurance policy of the fire. The team at Parker Equine Insurance went into action.

“Donna has checked in pretty frequently to make sure everything is going the way that it should with the rebuild. They have coordinated everything. They have taken care of the rent we have had since we had to find a new place to stay. They covered the hotel for our working students while we situated a place for them to stay. They have been so good about covering all of the incidentals that have popped up along the way.”

For the Schramms, their home and farm coverage through Parker Equine Insurance has been the one sense of calm amidst this very unexpected storm. Thanks to their home insurance policy, they can look forward to the day that they can return to their rebuilt house on their dream property and continue to work towards their dreams in the saddle from the comfort of their own front lawn.

Nov 30, 2022 Classic Series

2022 USEA Classic Series Season Comes to a Close at Ram Tap

In the final USEA Classic Series event of 2022, three horse and rider pairs rode their way to the top of the podium in the Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice 3-Day divisions offered during the Ram Tap Horse Park Horse Trials which took place November 18-20 in Fresno, California.

Nov 29, 2022 Eventing News

US Equestrian Announces Bid Allocation for Week 10 of the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar

US Equestrian opened a bid process for one event to host the Advanced level in Area 3 on Week 10 for 2023-2027 due to an event cancellation. The bid process was conducted in accordance with the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, & Advanced Policies and Procedures. The USEF Eventing Strategic Calendar Review Task Force made recommendations to the USEF Eventing Sport Committee who made recommendations for final approval by the USEF Board of Directors.

Nov 29, 2022 Area Championships

Crabo, Keyser, and Martin Conclude 2022 Season with Area X Championship Honors

Concluding the 2022 Area Championships season was the Area X Championships held during the SAzEA H.T. which took place November 19-20 in Tucson, Arizona. Three Championship divisions were offered, allowing three horse and rider pairs the opportunity to conclude their 2022 eventing season by being crowned champion!

Nov 28, 2022 Instructors

The Importance of a Secure and Balanced Position in all Three Eventing Phases

“The highest priority must be given by instructors to developing in their riders a correct, balanced, supple, effective, and independent seat for dressage and for jumping.” - “Teaching Principles” in the new ECP Eventing Handbook by the Levels

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