Ken McNabb is the all-American image of what a cowboy should be, a modern day Roy Rogers. With his wife and young sons he continues the traditional ranching family lifestyle of his youth and trains horses on the McNabb ranch in the mountains of Wyoming. As a boy, Ken McNabb knew that he wanted to help improve the lives of others—and at the first horsemanship clinic he attended, he knew immediately that being a clinician was his life’s calling. For more than 20 years Ken McNabb has helped thousands of riders regain their childhood confidence with his easy to follow step-by-step methods and gentle communication style. He shares his vast experience and knowledge of horses through clinics conducted across the country and his weekly show on RFD-TV titled “Discovering the Horseman Within”—now in its 12th year. He is also a partner in the annual Diamond-McNabb Ranch Horse sale in Douglas, WY.
The Presenters at Equine Affaire®
An Exceptional Lineup of Presenters is Scheduled for Equine Affaire this November
World Champions, National Champions, Olympians, WEG and Pan Am competitors, popular equestrian TV personalities, professional equestrian performers, authors, judges, veterinarians, professors, and other top industry professionals will come together at the 2017 Equine Affaire in Massachusetts to share their expertise on a wide range of equestrian disciplines and topics and offer unparalleled learning opportunities. Plan your trip to W. Springfield to meet these top equestrians and industry leaders, attend sessions on a wide range of equestrian disciplines and topics, and hone your horse training, management, and riding skills.
Julie Goodnight is a full-time equine professional with decades of horse training experience. Her varied equestrian background ranges from dressage and jumping to racing, reining, cow horse, colt-starting, and wilderness riding. Ms. Goodnight teaches “Classic Skills for a Natural Ride” that help riders feel more confident in the saddle and understand the “why’s” of horsemanship. She travels coast-to coast to work with riders of all disciplines at horse expos, conferences, and clinics and film her award-winning RFD-TV show, Horse Master. Ms. Goodnight’s no-nonsense horsemanship training techniques are also frequently shared through her articles in Horse Illustrated, Horse & Rider, and other publications. She is the International Spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association and in 2008 she was named Equine Affaire’s Exceptional Equestrian Educator. Julie Goodnight resides with her husband on their ranch near Salida, CO, where they enjoy riding cow horses in their free time.
Van Hargis of Victoria, TX, is more than just a clinician who talks about horsemanship—he is a lifelong horse trainer who moves easily across the great divide between the western and English riding worlds with relaxed humor. Mr. Hargis launched his training career at age 12 when the wife of renowned saddle maker Billy Cook hired him to train her horse. He then went on to train 15 ranch horse versatility champions and develop his unique horsemanship seminars while living in New Zealand in the early 1990s. Mr. Hargis advocates that nothing but the basics applies to every discipline and every interaction with our horses. He has produced two videos titled “Training the Versatile Ranch Horse” and “The Trail to Success” and is also the author of The Horse Is My Teacher.
Chris Irwin is an internationally-renowned equestrian coach who is known for training methods that are creative and multi-dimensional and for his ability to bring out the best in both horses and people. He has coached throughout North America for more than 20 years, and his students have gone on to receive 18 U.S. National Championships in both riding and driving events. Mr. Irwin refers to his coaching as “working wisdom for authentic empowerment in an artificial world” and uses “horseplay,” a non-resistance method of handling and training horses, as the foundation of his theory on horse training. He is the author of several books including Horses Don’t Lie and Dancing With Your Dark Horse and the producer of an instructional DVD series. Chris Irwin has lectured and presented at prestigious horse shows and equine expos throughout North America, Canada, and Europe. He has played a leading education role in the Wild Mustang Adoption Program and offers a highly-successful Train The Trainers Certification program across North America and Europe.
Steve Lantvit is a multiple World Champion and Reserve title winner in ranch horse competition who believes in training versatile, well-rounded, and capable horses and riders through confidence, mutual respect, and solid communication. As an award winning clinician and trainer he builds confidence in horses and riders through cross-training and exposure to a variety of situations, improving their performance and attitude whether on the trail or in the show ring. Mr. Lantvit has used his decades of experience in the horse industry to create his own line of training aids for the every-day horseperson, including training DVDs, tack, and other equipment. He travels the country teaching clinics in addition to training horses teaching lessons, and hosting clinics at his ranch in LaPorte, IN. Steve Lantvit shares his insight through a weekly television series, “Sure in the Saddle”, on RFD-TV.
Greg Best is recognized within the international show jumping community for his exceptional accomplishments on Gem Twist. He earned two silver medals at the 1988 Olympic Games, came in fourth place individually at the 1990 World Equestrian Games, medaled in the Pan American Games, and secured numerous Grand Prix championships with his special horse. After suffering a shoulder injury in 1993, Mr. Best moved to Florida where he met New Zealand show jumper Claire Wilson. The next year, Mr. Best moved to New Zealand where he became a citizen in 2001. Since then, Greg Best has spent several months per year traveling the world and conducting instructional clinics in which he shares his advice and expertise with aspiring equestrians. Mr. Best has produced the “American Show Jumping” video series and written “The Best Advice” a widely-read monthly column in Horseplay magazine for several years. Though he still calls New Zealand home, Mr. Best has recently joined the coaching staff at the Dana Hall School’s Karen Stives Equestrian Center in Wellesley, MA, where he coaches young riders from May through November each year.
Steffen Peters was born in Germany, where he began riding dressage horses at an early age. With his horse, Udon, a gift from his father, Mr. Peters moved to the United States in 1985 and became a US citizen in 1992. Since then, Mr. Peters has competed in four Olympic Games, three World Equestrian Games, a Pan American Games, and several World Cup Finals. Some of his accolades include team bronze medals at the 1996 and 2016 Olympic Games, and a team bronze medal at the 2006 World Equestrian Games. He also won team and individual gold medals at the 2011 Pan American Games. Mr. Peter’s is perhaps most well-known for his partnership with the famous Ravel, a horse that led him to a fourth-place individual finish at the 2008 Olympic Games, winning the FEI World Cup Finals in 2009 and sweeping the Grand Prix, the Special, and the Freestyle competitions in Aachen, Germany in that same year, becoming the first American pair to do. Ravel and Mr. Peters continued their success by earning an individual bronze medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Based out of San Diego, CA, Mr. Peters competes and produces horses for international competition and travels throughout the United States to teach clinics.
Phillip Dutton grew up in New South Wales, Australia, where horses were a large part of life on his family’s sheep and wheat farm and he actively competed in Pony Club rallies and horse trails. He continued to pursue his passion for riding while studying at Newington College and later at Agricultural College. In 1991 Mr. Dutton moved to the United States to train in a more internationally competitive environment. He represented Australia in three Olympics and four World Championships before becoming an American citizen in 2006. Phillip Dutton’s career highlights include team gold medals at both the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and two team gold medals and an individual silver at the 2007 Pan Am Games. He was a member of the United States team in Beijing in 2008 and a member of the fourth-placing three-day team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Phillip Dutton is very active on the U.S. eventing circuit and, since 1998, he has accumulated 13 USEA Leading Rider of the Year titles. In 2005 he was number one on the FEI World Event Rider list and ended the 2016 season ranked as number two on that list. Mr. Dutton currently trains out of True Prospect Farm in West Grove, PA, and Red Oak Farm in Aiken, SC. He serves the eventing community as a founding member of the Eventing Riders Association of North America and as a member of the High Performance Committee for Eventing and the USEA Active Athletes Committee.
A professional trainer for more than 30 years, Craig Johnson grew up on his parents’ Iowa horse farm and knew from an early age that he wanted to train horses professionally. Mr. Johnson worked for other trainers, learning the ropes, before going into business for himself. At first showing everything from halter to performance horses, he soon specialized in reining. He entered his first National Reining Horse Association Futurity in 1980 and qualified two horses for the finals in 1981. Mr. Johnson has racked up lifetime earnings of well over $1 million and is a 15-time world champion in reining, working cow horse, and western pleasure. He was named a World Equestrian Games alternate team member and has been a three-time individual gold medalist in international reining competitions, as well as a four-time individual silver medalist in US Equestrian reining competitions. Craig Johnson operates his training and coaching business out of Three Circles Ranch in Gainesville, TX, but frequently travels throughout the United States competing and teaching in clinics.
Suzy Stafford, the reigning Combined Driving Singles National Champion, finds that teaching others to drive in harmony, for winning results and happy horses, is her greatest satisfaction. Ms. Stafford’s interest in horses began at a young age, and she rose through the ranks of the United States Pony Club where she excelled in combined training. In 1998 Suzy Stafford completed the American Riding Instructors Program certification in dressage and combined training, before a leg injury ended her riding career and obliged her to channel her competitive interests into carriage driving. Ms. Stafford’s competitive accomplishments include being the Combined Driving World Champion and Chronicle of the Horse Driver of the Year in 2005, contributing to a World Equestrian Games Team Bronze medal for the United States in 2007, and earning an Individual Bronze at Greven, Germany in 2009. In 2011 she drove to an Individual Silver in 2011 in Slovenia and in 2016 she earned both the Delaware Woman Athlete of the Year and the International Horse of the Year titles with PVF Peace of Mind. Suzy Stafford sits on the USEF International Disciplines Council and is active with the AMHA, ADC, USDF and Brandywine Valley Driving Club. Her new 30-stall facility in Chesapeake, MD, specializes in training and educating the horse and driver, instilling the goals of safety, proficiency and a competitive edge.
Barbra Schulte is a personal-performance coach, author, clinician, consultant, and professional cutting-horse trainer and competitor. She is the founder of barbraschulte.com, an online education resource to help riders of all disciplines to develop to their full potential, to perform under pressure, and to overcome their fears. Mrs. Schulte gained her love of horses from growing up on her family’s Quarter Horse ranch in the Midwest, where she helped train and market horses for sale. Since then, Mrs. Schulte has developed her own cutting horse training and rider instructing business, which she has run for more than 25 years. She is a past National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes Classic open champion, NCHA Derby open champion, and August Futurity Champion; and she is the first woman to wear the crowns of all three championships. For her many accomplishments and dedication, Mrs. Schulte received the National Female Equestrian of the Year award from the American Quarter Horse Association in conjunction with the Women’s Sports Foundation. She is the author of the books Cutting, One Run at a Time and The Gift, the latter of which has also been released as a six-CD audiobook. Mrs. Schulte was recently inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. She and her husband, Tom, reside and train horses in Brenham, TX.
Vitor Silva’s passion for horses, horsemanship, and especially classical dressage dates back to his childhood growing up in Portugal. His studies over the years helped him develop a remarkable ability and finesse in communicating with his equine partners with the goal of developing living art in motion. Prompted by the need for a riding school in the United States, Vitor Silva established Sons of the Wind, School of Equestrian Arts in Merrimac, MA, in 1997. This full-service training facility provides riders—from recreational to competitive—a venue in which to expand their abilities in a progressive manner on Lusitano schoolmasters trained by Vitor Silva--many of which perform to the Grand Prix level. Vitor Silva’s training philosophy is that the best teachers are horses and that, while coaches can share their knowledge and explain the technical aspects of riding, each rider must be open to feeling the horse’s movements, responses, and needs. In addition to his work at Sons of the Wind, Vitor Silva maintains an active schedule of clinics and performances with his remarkable Lusitanos at venues from coast to coast.
Robin Gollehon is a western-pleasure training expert who, with her husband, Roger, owns and operates Gollehon Quarter Horses in Versailles, KY. Together they have trained, shown, and bred some of the nation’s top Quarter Horses and accumulated more than 80 world and national titles. In addition to many private seminars and her online lesson resource “MyTrainerOnRetainer.com,” Ms. Gollehon has conducted clinics and provided instruction for western pleasure riders at prestigious horse expos and competitive events throughout North America and is currently the head coach of Midway University’s Western Equestrian Team. Robin Gollehon is the creator of the Yearling Head Start Program and Get Ready to Ride Program which have earned worldwide recognition for their effectiveness in starting young pleasure horses. Since 2005 she has also been a member of Team Horse & Rider magazine, writing and assisting with numerous articles. Ms. Gollehon is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horseman’s Association and has earned top honors at all the major NSBA Futurities. She was previously named World’s Best Exhibitor, World High Point Lady Exhibitor and the ApPHA Trainer of the Year.
Elizabeth Graves has spent a lifetime working with both non-gaited and gaited horses and has shown horses of various gaited breeds to championships at the local, regional, and national levels since 1978. In addition to her competitive career, Ms. Graves has functioned as a multi-licensed and breed judge throughout the United States and Canada. Her articles on gaited horses and gaited horse training have appeared in numerous magazines including Gaited Horse Magazine, Paso Fino World News, Aside World Magazine, North American Walker Magazine, Western Horseman, and the Icelandic Horse Connection Booklet. She has authored several books and DVDs on gaited horse conformation, gaits, bitting, and training in which she promotes her philosophy that “true horsemanship is a place of being, before a means of doing.” Elizabeth Graves resides at Shades of Oak Ranch in Spring Valley, MN.
John Bennett has been involved in the Morgan horse world for his entire life. He was raised on a Morgan breeding farm where it did not take long for him to decide to pursue a career with horses. Mr. Bennett graduated with a Bachelor of Science in animal science from the University of Connecticut in 1974 and opened his own Morgan breeding and training operation--John Bennett Stables in Putnam, CT--soon after. Since then Mr. Bennett has trained many renowned Morgan horses including Tedwin Taurean who was a 2007 entrant to the Connecticut Morgan Hall of Fame. John Bennett is also the Horse Unit Supervisor at the University of Connecticut, a position he has held for more than 30 years. In addition to his managerial duties at the University, Mr. Bennett teaches classes in light horse training and management, developing the driving horse, and horse selection and evaluation. He was inducted into the American Morgan Horse Association’s Hall of Fame in 2002 and currently serves as the President of the Windham County Farm Bureau and sits on the Boards of the Connecticut Horse Shows Association and New England Horsemen’s Council.
Wendy Murdoch of Washington, VA, is an internationally-recognized equestrian instructor and clinician and the creator of Ride Like A Natural® and the SURE FOOT Equine Stability Program. In 1984 Ms. Murdoch was in a severe riding accident while studying for her master’s degree in equine reproductive physiology. Her self-rehabilitation initiated a quest to understand and answer the question of how to ride pain free, using the body as it was designed. She used her scientific knowledge to break down larger concepts of riding into simple, easy-to-do exercises for students of all ages, abilities, and disciplines. While developing her Ride Like A Natural program, Wendy Murdoch apprenticed with Sally Swift, Linda Tellington-Jones, Dr. Joyce Harman, and numerous other trainers and became a certified Feldenkrais® practitioner. Ms. Murdoch has written articles for a variety of magazines, and is a regular contributor to Eclectic Horseman magazine. She has also authored several books, including Simplify Your Riding and 50 Five-Minute Fixes to Improve Your Riding, and created the three-part DVD series, Ride Like A Natural.
Jeff Wilson is a nationally known trainer and clinician who is dedicated to bringing dressage horsemanship to the western world through his “cowboy dressage” training programs. Mr. Wilson has been training on a professional level for more than 30 years, and in that time has worked with a variety of breeds, disciplines, and problem horses. He also breeds and trains Morgan horses out of Black Willow Morgans in Delhi, NY. He is the creator of the Black Willow Western Dressage Drill Team, America’s first drill team focused on western dressage. Mr. Wilson also participated in the 2010 World Equestrian Games, where he gave a demonstration on western dressage with two of his stallions. In addition to training and teaching clinics on western dressage, Mr. Wilson also writes monthly columns on horsemanship for several publications, including the new We Ride Sport and Trail magazine, and produces an on-line video series called “Welcome to the Trail” for CompetitiveTrailHorse.com.
Kellie and Sam Rettinger, owners of Whispery Pines Percherons in Kingsville, OH, have been involved in the equine industry for their entire lives. Sam Rettinger grew up with draft horses and began driving and showing them at a young age. In addition to showing, Sam currently trains their horses to work at the couple’s farm and complete logging projects. Kellie Rettinger grew up riding and showing Quarter Horses in hunt seat, western pleasure, gaming, and cutting. After meeting Sam more than 10 years ago, she began to drive, ride, and show draft horses in saddle seat, western pleasure, and Roman riding classes. The Rettingers bring their horses to several events each year to show in different hitch and riding classes. They also provide carriage rides with their Percherons for a variety of events including weddings, birthdays, hay rides, and winter sleigh rides.
Widely recognized for her extraordinary liberty performances in the equestrian show Cavalia, Sylvia Zerbini transforms liberty work into the ultimate equestrian performing art. She is a ninth-generation circus performer who has mesmerized audiences since making her stage debut at the age of five. Using body language, verbal cues and precise timing to communicate with her horses, Ms. Zerbini’s spellbinding Grande Liberté performance has earned accolades from widespread media ranging from the Los Angeles Times to CNN to Arabian Horse World magazine and countless other equine publications. Throughout her career Ms. Zerbini has been honored with numerous awards including the prestigious Cup of Monaco, presented to her by Monaco’s Prince Rainier. To date, she has performed for nearly 10 million people, drawing rave reviews worldwide for her captivating style of horsemanship. Ms. Zerbini is currently developing educational seminars and clinics to share her vast knowledge of liberty horse training.
Kevin Oliver of Snaffle Bit Quarter Horses in Canyon, TX, teaches horses from the perspective of a working cowboy. His approach to training teaches patience and understanding to build a successful partnership between horse and rider. Mr. Oliver has placed 3rd and 4th at the National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championships and been in the top ten for the Ranch Pleasure Division at the American Quarter Horse Association World Championships. Kevin Oliver holds a Bachelor of Science in ranch management from West Texas State University, is an American Quarter Horse Association judge specializing in ranch horse versatility, an active member of the National Reining Horse Association and National Reined Cow Horse Association, and a past board member of the Panhandle Golden Spread Quarter Horse Association. He is a contributor to the American Quarter Horse Association Journal, Farnam’s Life With Horses, and the “Walk in Our Boots” video program for Horse & Rider magazine.
Joyleen Seymour of Brentwood, NH, is a USEA judge and Certified Chief Referee with the International Mounted Games Association. Ms. Seymour uses her 1981 British Horse Society Assistant Instructor degree from Fulmer International and her 1993 Bachelor of Arts in English from Plymouth College to eloquently explain the high-energy discipline and joy behind the sport of mounted games. She possesses more than 45 years of experience in the equine industry that includes eventing four horses through Preliminary level. In 2001 Joyleen Seymour opened Four Corners Farm where she has been instructing students in dressage, eventing, and mounted games ever since. She believes that basic dressage can be used to improve almost any discipline including mounted games and often describes mounted games as “dressage at speed”. In her free time, Ms. Seymour campaigns her Connemara in the Over 25 division at Mounted Games competitions.
Sandra Beaulieu is an award-winning musical freestyle designer, artist, actress, and Baroque breeds-rider and -trainer based in Dover-Foxcroft, ME. She holds a Masters Certificate from the Isaac Royal Academy of Equestrian Arts and is both a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist. Ms. Beaulieu is the founder of Art on Horseback at Begin the Dance and the author of ‘Create Your Own Musical Freestyle’ E-books for Training and First Level dressage riders. Since 2014 Sandra Beaulieu has been creating original equine art on horseback while riding her horse, Rovandio, alongside a large canvas and using dressage movements to guide her brushstrokes. Through art and classical instruction, she seeks to inspire others to see riding as a dance toward deeper expression through and with their horses. Ms. Beaulieu is a member of the USDF, USEF, and the Friesian Horse Association of North America.
Kristen Soto of Copper Hill Equestrian Center in West Suffield, CT, is founder, coach and trainer of the state’s only competitive vaulting team. Originally from California where vaulting is a popular and well-regarded equestrian sport, Ms. Soto has been vaulting professionally for more than 20 years. In 2015 she and her husband, Brent Soto, established the Copper Hill Vaulting Team. During the past two years the team has been competing throughout New England, showing off their skills at Equine Affaire and the Eastern States Exposition and this year, for the first time, has qualified as a team for the American Vaulting Association’s Region 9 Championships. Kristen Soto maintains that, when it comes to improving horsemanship, sometimes being backwards with your hands out helps. She believes all disciplines can benefit from adding vaulting to a training regimen to regain confidence, improve balance and find harmony with their horses.
Danielle Bertuccio is a lifelong equestrienne with a passion for working with the special needs community. In addition to working as an Adjunct Instructor of philosophy at Suffolk County Community College, Ms. Bertuccio is a riding instructor at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, a therapeutic riding facility in Islandia, NY. She earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from The State University of New York at Stony Brook, is a Certified Autism Specialist and a Certified Behavior Instructor for Autism-Level 1. Ms. Bertuccio was able to combine her love of teaching with her passion for working with the special needs community by joining Pal-O-Mine Equestrian in 2015. She currently instructs students with special needs in unmounted horsemanship and mounted riding,
Patricia Bona of Blue Bell, PA, is a Certified Doctor of Chiropractic and a leader in the field of cross fiber grooming, equine biomechanics and myofascial release. She is the founder of Posture Prep, a grooming system based on her philosophy that “posture is the language of the horse.” Dr. Bona received her post-graduate Doctor of Chiropractic in 1987 from Logan College of Chiropractic and was certified in animal chiropractic by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 1994. Her diverse equestrian background in dressage, sidesaddle and long-lining has helped her become an expert on the evaluation of poor posture and movement resulting from to scars and scar tissue. Her simple grooming techniques release the “dents and dings” signaled by dimples, white hairs and hair loss that reflect healed injuries where restriction of movement needs release. The cross fiber system improves circulation and lymphatic drainage while stimulating acupuncture points to release adhesions and scar tissue between skin and muscle.
Dr. Karin Bump currently works as the Executive Director of Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension in Madison County, NY. Prior to taking on this role, she retired from her previous position as a Full Professor at Cazenovia College, where she taught and studied topics within the equine discipline. Dr. Bump is the Founder and Director of the National Association of Equine Affiliated Academics, an organization which focuses on increasing collaboration between colleges and universities with equine undergraduate programs. Recently, she has used her knowledge of equine academic programs to launch Equine Academics, an online resource for students, parents, and guidance counselors, with a free database of equine academic offerings in the United States. Dr. Bump earned her Bachelor of Science in companion animal biology and Master of Science in equine exercise physiology and nutrition from the University of Illinois. She later completed her doctorate in higher education and policy studies at the University of Albany. She is a certified Professional Animal Scientist through the American Registry of Professionals in Animal Science.
Christopher Cosma is President and Founder of Home Horse, a device that marries his background in equestrian sports with his profession as a sculptor. Mr. Cosma grew up around horses, riding everything from polo ponies to jumpers at his family’s Hudson Equestrian Center, a top hunter/jumper stable in Ohio. Despite his family’s business in horses, Mr. Cosma decided to pursue art and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture and engineering from Kent State University in 1979. He made a name for himself in the art world, and some of his sculptures are permanent installations on Rockefeller Plaza, Fifth Avenue and Wall Street in New York. By combining his sculpting knowledge with an understanding of the fitness needs of equestrians, Mr. Cosma developed his Home Horse system which allows riders to improve symmetry, core strength and flexibility from virtually anywhere. This invention led to Mr. Cosma receiving the Most Innovative Product Award at the Great Meadow International FEI Nations Cup. He has been a contributor to Horse Radio Network, Saddle and Bridle, and the New York Times, and his Home Horse instruction system will soon be available in a video format.
Dorothy Crosby is a Level III instructor and certified clinician with the Certified Horsemanship Association and Centered Riding®. She has more than 45 years of experience in the equine industry, with almost 30 years of experience teaching students. Centered Riding®-focused training has enabled Ms. Crosby to help riders of all levels and disciplines create more natural and balanced relationships with their horses. Dorothy Crosby especially enjoys helping “backyard” horses and their owners create better partnerships using a mix of imagery, analogy and problem solving. Ms. Crosby currently owns and teaches at her all-ages, all-disciplines facility, aptly named Equi-Librium, in Stoddard, NH. She offers her students education in horseback riding, horse training, and management. In addition to teaching, Ms. Crosby hosts clinics, prepares lectures, and regularly contributes to a local magazine for animal lovers on a variety of equine-related topics.
Dr. Christy Cullen is a veterinarian in Bolton, MA at Essex Equine, an veterinary ambulatory practice that specializes in sport horse medicine. She earned her veterinary degree in 2010 from the Atlantic Veterinary College, where she was valedictorian of her class. After graduation, Dr. Cullen completed an internship at Fairfield Equine in Newtown, CT, and then continued working there as an associate for two more years. She subsequently moved to Massachusetts, where she practiced for three years before joining the Essex Equine team in 2016. At Essex Equine, Dr. Cullen handles all types of veterinary cases, but especially enjoys pursuing her interests in sports medicine, diagnostic imaging and dentistry. As a local representative for Nutrena, Dr. Cullen also works to educate owners about their horse’s nutritional needs and feed options.
Ron Friedson is a third-generation saddle maker out of Westport, CT, with more than 40 years of experience in the industry. He earned his first saddle technology patent in 1983, and currently holds many more, including one for the advanced flexible tree system in his line of Pegasus saddles. In addition to learning about saddle making form his parents and grandparents, Mr. Friedson studied under master saddle makers in Germany and England. An accomplished equestrian, Mr. Friedson specializes in working with hard to fit horses and riders, relying on his years of riding and training experience to best cater to a horse and rider’s needs. In addition to saddle design, Mr. Friedson also holds patents in riding helmets, boots, and other equipment. Mr. Friedson is also the saddle professional for Advanced Equine Studies, a series of educational DVD programs. His work on the DVD “Saddle Fit for Horse and Rider” won the Best Educational Program Award at the 2016 EQUUS Film Festival.
Jaclyn Gagnon is a Sales Coordinator and Equine Specialist with Nutrena Feeds/Cargill, Inc. in Albany, NY. She earned a Bachelor of Science in animal science in 2004 from the College of Agricultural & Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut. Ms. Gagnon has been involved with horses since the age of seven in the disciplines of dressage, huntseat and saddleseat. Her horse experience also includes starting Thoroughbred yearlings in Kentucky, driving Percheron draft horses and, most recently, eventing on her Morgan mare. Jaclyn has represented Nutrena feeds and supplements for the last decade and, in that capacity, has stayed abreast of cutting-edge progress in equine nutrition. She specializes in body scoring, weight taping and topline evaluation across all ages, breeds and disciplines to help owners and barn managers find the right solutions to their equine nutritional questions.
Larry Garner is a life-long equestrian and former race horse trainer who is no stranger to the seemingly impossible task of controlling flies. Mr. Garner is the Event and Partner Director for Spalding Fly Predators, a company that provides fly and odor control products for nearly any two- or four-legged animal. Larry Garner began working for Spalding more than a decade ago, bringing almost a half a century of experience in marketing and advertising to his role within the company. Based out of Oak Point, TX, Mr. Garner has traveled throughout the United States to educate everyone from backyard horse owners to large stable managers about various fly and odor control methods. Larry Garner is passionate about Walking Horses and bird dogs, and in his spare time he competes in horseback bird dog field trials as an amateur handler and also acts as a field trial judge.
Terry Golson of Carlisle, MA, is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy Professional Trainers Course, the country’s foremost positive reinforcement program. The lifelong horsewoman and founder of The Cooperative Horse specializes in problem-solving issues, using ethology and behavioral science to foster a kind, safe and effective option to handling and riding horses. Her program offers a non-confrontational approach to finding horse/rider solutions, whether it’s a flowing dressage test or a pleasurable ride on the trails. Ms. Golson earned her B Pony Club rating in England as a teenager before going on to train with Olympic-level dressage and three-day instructors. Today she competes on Tonka, her 14.3-hand American Paint Horse, in dressage where they have earned the USDF All-Breeds Award for highest-scoring Paint Horse in the Vintage Cup division. Terry Golson is a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, as well as New England Dressage Association, the United States Dressage Association, and the United States Equestrian Federation.
Dr. Alisha Gruntman is an internist at the Hospital for Large Animals at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, MA. As veterinarian at Tufts she treats cases of colic, colitis, enteritis, equine asthma, gastric ulcers, neurologic diseases, pneumonia, fevers of unknown origin, failure of passive transfer and other common illnesses of neonatal foals and crias (baby alpacas or llamas). Dr. Gruntman initially developed a love for animals, biology and medicine while growing up in northern Indiana. She went on to earn her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University before completing an internship and residency at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to her veterinary training, Dr. Gruntman holds a doctorate in biomedical science specializing in gene therapy from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Connie Hambley, of Boston, MA, is an accomplished author who left behind a career in law to write fiction, taking events from her own past to spark riveting stories. Ms. Hambley grew up on a dairy farm north of New York City and used her family’s tragedy of an arsonist burning down their barn as the catalyst for her first book, The Charity. Since then Ms. Hambley has written numerous books, both in and out of the equine world, featuring strong female protagonists. With her varied background in business and law, she has also written articles for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Nature Biotechnology and MassHighTech. Prior to becoming a full-time author, Ms. Hambley earned her Juris Doctorate from the Vermont Law School, worked in legal departments for various national banks and investment firms, and taught courses in finance as an Adjunct Professor at the F.W. Olin School of Business at Babson College. In additon to her writing, Ms. Hambley stays involved in the equine community through her own riding, volunteering at the Windrush Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, and even being featured as a panelist at the 2016 EQUUS Film Festival in New York City.
Dr. Joyce Harman, owner of Harmany Equine Clinic in Flint Hill, VA, has focused her career on educating the equine industry about holistic and integrative veterinary medicine. After graduating from the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984, Dr. Harman traveled to the British Isles to study equine exercise physiology and sports medicine. While overseas, she became a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Upon returning to the United States, Dr. Harman worked for a large veterinary practice in New Jersey and quickly began using holistic methods on her patients, when conventional methods did not work. In 1990 Dr. Harman became a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and moved to Virginia to open her own practice. Four years later Dr. Harman completed an advanced homeopathic course for veterinarians and became a Certified Veterinary Chiropractor. Dr. Joyce Harman has published numerous books including two books about saddle fitting: The Horse’s Pain Free Back and the Saddle Fit Book. She has also published The First Aid Guide to Homeopathy for Horses to provide horse owners with an introduction to homeopathic practices. In addition she has produced more than 60 articles for professional journals and has penned many more for lay magazines.
Steve Hebrock, a Certified Master Hoof Care Professional, began his hoof care odyssey in 1993 after acquiring his first horse. He soon became frustrated by what he perceived to be illogical ideas and practices that dominate traditional hoof care, and his engineering background prompted him to begin an intense study of trimming, shoeing, and movement theory. Mr. Hebrock spent many years as a member of the faculty at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, where he taught hoof care and farriery; equine marketing and facilities management; and a number of engineering and technical classes. Mr. Hebrock now focuses his time and energy on his hoof care practice, on-going hoof research, and his educational outreach efforts via “Enlightened Equine”, a blog dedicated to bringing science to horse management and hoof care. Mr. Hebrock is a certified hoof care professional and booting specialist in the Association for the Advancement of Horse Care Practices (AAHCP) and in Liberated Horsemanship. He was also a certification exam instructor, workshop leader, and field instructor for the AANHCP, and is currently an advanced trimming instructor and field instructor for Liberated Horsemanship.
Margret Henkels is an avid equestrian who has used her own struggles with injury and fascia balancing to help other riders and horses. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, with a minor in science, and is certified in Matrix Energetics with Dr. Richard Bartlett and Equine Natural Movement through Joseph Freeman. Her techniques for conformation balancing were developed through working on horses with unexplained athletic limits, and she now incorporates structural integration, fascia release, head and poll release, and soma emotional recall in her work. Ms. Henkels is based out of Santa Fe, NM, but has traveled throughout the United States and abroad, providing services in private rebalancing sessions, workshops, seminars, and certification programs for her method of conformation balancing. Ms. Henkel’s new book, Is Your Horse 100%?, published in March 2017, provides a hands-on guide to her method of conformation balancing and how it can help your horse.
Cat Hill is a professional groomer and the co-founder of World Class Grooming, a company that aims to help elevate the level of care and understanding that all horses experience, no matter the discipline. Ms. Hill grew up on a farm in upstate New York and learned to ride on a pony she got for one birthday, followed by several Arabian show horses. She started riding show hunters as a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Team at the University of Geneseo. After receiving her degree, she moved to Ireland and worked with show jumpers and eventers at the Mullingar Equestrian Center. After returning to the United States, Ms. Hill spent time with various notable Grand Prix dressage and show jumping riders, which ultimately led her to her learning about top level grooming at events. When Ms. Hill moved again to be closer to family, she began freelancing as a groom and working for clients at a wide range of events including the Pan American Games. Ms. Hill is a member of the United States Eventing Association, the United States Equestrian Federation, and Pro Grooms, and is the co-author of the popular equestrian book World Class Grooming for Horses. She is also an Andis Grooming Educator who travels to expositions throughout the country to demonstrate grooming techniques and offer advice for all horse owners.
Dr. Carlin Jones is Associate Veterinarian at The Equine Clinic at Oakencroft in Ravena, NY, where she provides general/preventative care and equine reproduction services. She began her long association with horses begging for riding lessons at age seven and, as a member of the United States Pony Clubs, competed in four national rallies. In 1996 she attained her HA rating. Pony Club’s emphasis on management and health care sparked her interest in keeping horses feeling their best. While working towards her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Lake Erie College she was introduced to equine reproduction. She later enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine. Dr. Jones still maintains her first horse, Dotty, and her interest in keeping geriatric horses feeling their best through dentistry, management of endocrine disorders and proper nutrition. She is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and American Veterinary Medical Association and an enthusiastic dressage and combined training rider.
Richard Kennedy is an equine Nutritional Consultant with Nutrena Feeds/Cargill, Inc. in Albany, NY, who received his degree in agricultural business and animal science in 1990 from SUNY-Cobleskill. Mr. Kennedy began his horse career at age 14, training Standardbred harness racing horses for Landmark Farms and later worked for Tal-Blick Clydesdales showing a six-horse hitch whose national appearances included Madison Square Garden. Richard Kennedy is an expert in equine nutrition, body condition scoring and top line evaluation who has balanced 27 years of involvement in the equine nutrition industry with raising and training American Quarter Horses and American Paint Horses for barrel racing, pole bending, team roping and tie down competition. He is an active member of the AQHA, the APHA, the Jockey Club and the Montgomery County Equine Club, as well as the New York State Saddle Horse, New York State High School Rodeo, and New York State Thoroughbred Breeders Associations.
Yvonne Litza specializes in working with and teaching horse owners how to help their animals safely and effectively through holistic methods. She is the owner of Spirits Whisper Acres in Crete, IL, where she utilizes essential oils along with acupressure and massage in the rehabilitation of horses. Ms. Litza has studied and received certification in aromatherapy and raindrop therapy and traveled extensively both in the United States and abroad to learn about and teach how essential oils can affect the lives and health of animals and humans. Yvonne Litza is also an experienced horse person who has been involved with horses professionally for more than 20 years. Her varied background includes working as an exercise rider at thoroughbred racetracks, as a vet tech, and in the management of a thoroughbred breeding and training facility.
Cailin Monahan of Smithfield, RI, is the Northeast Territory Manager for Datamars, a technological innovator and global leader in high performance microchips for the companion animal and livestock industries. Ms. Monahan has worked for Datamars for more than two years and previously worked as a sales and service coordinator for Patterson Veterinary Supply. Ms. Monahan is well-versed in all aspects of microchips and microchipping, from production of microchips to their growing necessity in the sport horse world. Ms. Monahan has been featured on The Plaid Horse in articles and on their podcast to talk about the microchipping process and benefits of their use.
Dr. Dan Moore is a practicing holistic veterinarian based in Unicoi, TN, who is known as The Natural Horse Vet® - or simply “Dr. Dan.” He received a degree in animal science from North Carolina State University prior to earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 at Auburn School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Dan is the founder of The Natural Horse Vet®, an online source of information, products, and services about natural alternatives to traditional drugs and chemicals for people, pets, and horses. He has combined more than 20 years of study in the field of herbal nutrition with completion of both professional and advanced courses in veterinary homeopathy and extensive studies in veterinary orthopedic manipulation. Dr. Dan has been featured on RFD-TV’s “At the Clinic” series, as well as on the Outdoor Channel, and has written extensively for numerous publications, including Holistic Horse Magazine, The Natural Horse Magazine, and Equine Wellness Magazine. In addition to his professional career, Dr. Dan has long been active in the Rocky Mountain Horse world where he has won numerous national championships and served in various Board positions within the breed.
Laura Moore, a New York City native who now resides in Rhode Island, is a Golden Quill Award-winning contemporary romance author. She began writing her first novel, Ride A Dark Horse, while pursuing her Master’s degree in art history. The beginnings of that book filled the pages of her notebooks, and it did not take long for Ms. Moore to discover she far preferred writing fiction to writing class papers. While Ms. Moore’s first two novels revolved around the professional show jumping world, her other books are set in a variety of equine worlds including everything from Thoroughbred training farms to Quarter Horse ranches. A lifelong horse lover who has worked as a groom and as an exercise rider, Ms. Moore loves to share the amazing bond between horses and the humans who care for them with her readers. Prior to becoming a full-time author, Ms. Moore utilized her Master’s degree by working as a lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Natasha Nagawiecki’s passion for clipping horses and skills as a professional clipper qualify her as among “the best of the best.” Ms. Nagawiecki is a new member of the Wahl Professional Animal Division X-Treme Team and the proud owner of “A Pampered Pony” a custom clipping and equine spa service located on Long Island in New York. Though she was born and raised in New York, she initially developed a thorough education in good grooming techniques while working at her father’s busy jumper breeding stable as a youth in Poland. While growing up on Long Island, she rode and worked at different barns and was involved in every equestrian pursuit from barrel racing, driving, equitation, and jumping to showmanship, western, and exercising Thoroughbreds. She volunteered to groom horses, and her lifelong love of clipping emerged. She now has a reputation for creating intricate designs like the New York City Skyline and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
Melisa Pearce is a highly-successful business woman who works with a wide variety of business owners, athletes, executives, sales personnel, and entrepreneurs. She is a graduate of Arizona State University with a background in psychotherapy and certification in Gestalt therapy. Inspired by the relationship with horses as well as her background in psychotherapy, Ms. Pearce created the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method™ which combines the tenants of Gestalt as an experiential method with the body somatics and energy fields of both the horse and the human. Through her business, Touched By A Horse, Ms. Pearce, offers services in coaching, team building, and speaking engagements and hosts certification programs in her Equine Gestalt Coaching Method™. She has authored a variety of books on horse and human emotional concepts, the most recent being Equusology, which includes personality tests for horses and their humans. In addition to her business ventures, Ms. Pearce is an accomplished horsewoman who has raised champion Paint Horses and competed at the regional and world levels from her Lil Bit North Ranch in Cave Creek, AZ.
A native of Colombia, Dr. Alfredo Sanchez-Londoño is an Assistant Professor and clinician at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Dr. Sanchez is interested in all aspects of equine medicine, from newborns to the growing geriatric equine population. He received his veterinary medical training at the Universidad De La Salle in Colombia in 1997. In 2000 he completed the requirements of the Educational Committee for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) and subsequently earned a Master of Science from Purdue University. Dr. Sanchez has performed research on respiratory diseases in horses, focusing on exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, inflammatory airway disease, and recurrent airway obstruction. He is also the veterinary authority on the Equine Internal Parasite DVD from Advanced Equine Studies, an organization which produces informational DVDs that cover all aspects of horse care. The Equine Internal Parasite program, and Dr. Sanchez’s work in it, has been accepted to present at the EQUUS Film Festival in New York City on November 16-18, 2017.
In 1985 Jochen Schleese was certified as the youngest master saddler in Europe. As a Certified Master Saddler, Mr. Schleese was honored to be named the official saddler for the 1986 World Dressage Championships as well as for the 2005, 2007, and 2009 World Cup Finals. Mr. Schleese worked with the Canadian Government to develop a three-year recognized apprenticeship program in the trade of saddlery. He holds a patent on his innovative and unique AdapTree®, and his company, Schleese Saddlery, has won numerous industry and business awards over the past 30 years. Jochen Schleese established Saddlefit 4 Life® in 2006 to train and certify equine professionals using his 80-point diagnostic saddle fit evaluation. He teaches at various equine universities, conferences, and professional trainer associations in North America and Europe and is the author of the best-selling book Suffering in Silence: The Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses.
Steve Tarshis founded EquiLaw, LLC, in Pittstown, NJ, to merge three passions: law, community service, and the equestrian world. An avid eventing, jumper and dressage rider affiliated with USDF, USEF, USEA and the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association, Mr. Tarshis specializes in equine, business, and commercial finance law, estate planning and real estate development. Steve Tarshis graduated from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1973 and subsequently passed the State Bars in New York and New Jersey and the Federal Bar. He was later admitted to the Bar of The Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Tarshis initially opened his own law firm with offices in New York City and New Jersey, and eventually merged his firm with another firm. He worked for several other law firms before establishing his equine-focused practice in 2008. . A Wall Street Journal Top Rated Lawyer, Mr. Tarshis is a member of the Board of Trustees for the U.S. Equine Rescue League, Inc. and Riding with Heart Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
Betsey Reeves of Groton, MA, has been involved with the sport of eventing and the United States Pony Clubs since the 1960s. She is a veteran eventing trainer, competitor, judge, and organizer. In addition to being a USPC national examiner, Ms. Reeves is also a USPC instructor and judge and a member of the USPC Advisory Board. Currently she serves as the USPC’s central New England regional supervisor. The USPC has honored her with its Founder’s Award and its Legend award.
Walter Varcoe is an equine skeleton specialist and farrier from Port Jervis, NY, with more than 40 years of experience with horses. He was the head farrier and equine manager for the New York State Department of Corrections, where he not only attended to all aspects of care for the Department’s horses, but also instructed inmates in the proper care of horses and farrier work. During his tenure with the Department of Corrections, Mr. Varcoe processed and mounted his first equine skeleton at the Otisville Correctional Facility’s commercial composting operation. After retiring from the Department, Walter Varcoe began a new career as a farrier. His knowledge of horses and equine anatomy soon led to him presenting educational seminars using real equine skeletons. Today he continues his work as a farrier while producing equine skeletal mounts for museums, universities, and veterinary practices. He also uses skeletons from his own collection for educational purposes at events around the country.
Dr. Ron Vin of Brookline, MA, is an internationally featured author, speaker and equine veterinarian who specializes in emergency and critical care, gastrointestinal, neurologic and respiratory diseases, and diagnostic ultrasound. He has provided care for internal medicine patients as well as ambulatory specialized diagnostic and sports medicine service for northern New England’s Myhre Equine Clinic since 2008. Dr. Vin is a 1996 graduate of the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He trained in large animal medicine as an intern and staff veterinarian with the Rochester/Myrhe Equine Clinic and completed a research fellowship/residency in large animal medicine at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Vin is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the Founder of Equine Diagnosticss--a mobile unit providing referral diagnostic services to equine practitioners in New England, and a former Director of the equine division of the Center for Veterinary Care in Millbrook.
Judi Whipple has been working in various aspects of the horse industry since 1970. She currently owners and operates Breckenridge Farm in Barre, VT, and was named one of the American Riding Instructor Association’s (ARIA) Top 50 instructors in 2007. Over the past 40 years, Ms. Whipple has worked with horses and riders preparing for dressage, jumping, western disciplines, and general pleasure riding. Her students have earned bronze and silver USDF medals, enjoyed wins at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, and excelled at national hunt seat events. She also coached the Norwich University Calvary Troop for 10 years. Ms. Whipple holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Central Michigan University and is a 2012 graduate of the USDF “L” education program. She applies her academic training to her work with horses and their riders, and in recent years has discovered the benefit of trick training in improving the transmission of a clear reward to the horse and the awakening of the horse’s ability to learn. In addition to training, hosting clinics, coaching students, and participating in speaking engagements, Judi Whipple is a Test Center Administrator for ARIA and has taught and certified riding instructors throughout New England.
Catherine Whitehouse is a nutrition advisor with Kentucky Equine Research, Inc. in Versailles, KY. Ms. Whitehouse earned her Bachelor of Science in equine science in 2009 from the University of Lincoln (United Kingdom) and in 2013 she completed her Master of Science in animal science and equine nutrition at the University of Kentucky. Her academic research focused on the evaluation of apparent total-tract digestibility and glycemic responses to processed corn in non-exercised Thoroughbreds. Ms. Whitehouse has authored scientific abstracts for the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science and KER’s online publication, Equinews.com. She was also part of the English Riding Demonstration Team at the 2005 Haflinger World Show in Ebbs, Austria. Ms. Whitehouse is a current member of the Equine Science Society and Kentucky Horse Council whose work as a KER technical support specialist includes consultation services to feed manufacturers and horses owners, working within KER’s research and product development divisions, and overseeing KER research internship programs.
Dr. Carey Williams is the Equine Extension Specialist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Rutgers University where she takes an active role in teaching, conducting research, and working with the equine and academic communities to ensure the viability of the horse industry in New Jersey. She maintains a herd of Standardbreds to conduct research on exercise physiology and also works with county agricultural agents at Rutgers to carry out equine pasture management studies and other environmentally-friendly initiatives. Dr. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in equine science from Colorado State University in 1998 and then pursued both a Master of Science in equine nutrition and doctorate degree in animal and poultry sciences at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr. Williams is an active member of numerous professional associations and is the author or co-author of more than 30 articles in scientific journals. She is the author of book chapters on antioxidants, oxidative stress, supplements, and pasture management for horses and has been interviewed as an expert for articles appearing in various horse industry publications. When not at work, she spends time on the back of her Thoroughbred, with whom she competes in eventing.
Allison Wilshere is Territory Manager for the Albany, NY, division of Cargill Feed & Nutrition. Ms. Wilshere earned a Master of Science Education in 2003 from The College of Saint Rose after receiving degrees in animal science and equine science in 2000 from Delaware Valley University. She is a former Eastern Chapter President of The American Ranch Horse Association who enjoys trail riding, competing in cow horse events with her Quarter Horse gelding, and studying classical dressage. Ms. Wilshere brings her cross-breed, cross-discipline approach to tailoring individualized nutrition programs for horse owners that incorporate forage analysis, balancing hay and grazing quality, body condition scoring and topline evaluation to assure that the biology and nature of each horse are always kept “top of mind.”
Sharon Wilsie is the founder and owner/operator of Wilsie Way Horsemanship in Westminster, VT, where she specializes in demystifying horse body language. Ms. Wilsie has been working with horses since 1983 and has had experience in the show ring, driving, and as a professional trail riding guide and intercollegiate coach. Throughout her career she has introduced and developed the 4 G’s of Horse Speak, the Biomechanics of Body Wisdom Riding, and Equine Assisted Learning for Landmark College and the Southern Vermont Therapeutic Riding Center. By creating a calm, safe environment no matter what the outer circumstances may be, her methods transfer insight to any training, rehabilitation, or therapeutic system. Over the years, Ms. Wilsie has also been involved with a variety of rescues including Dorcet Equine Rescue, Save Your Ass Long-Ears Rescue, Live and Let Live Rescue, and was a guest speaker at Vermont Law School regarding the status of horse rescues. Her book Horse Speak: The Equine-Human Translation Guide was released last year.