Tara has been riding since age 7, when she started riding her Grandfather’s pony on his farm in West Virginia. She loved it so much she began to beg her parents to allow her to pursue horseback riding. Shortly after, she purchased her first pony, Le Bronze Fleur, who stands in the first stall at Stonehouse. Tara has had the honor to coach the Stonehouse Stables Show Team since its inception in 2010. Since the Show Team began, the members have had great success and have brought home numerous year-end championships and awards. Tara will spend the 2015 show season competing in Schooling and Open Hunter Divisions with her own horse, Ironwood. In the past Tara has won many awards with her horse Ironwood, aka Vinnie. She has a long list but some of the highlights include: VHSA Special Hunter Champion in 2010, HITS Hunter Champion in 2010, CHSA Schooling Hunter Champion in 2010 and 2011, HITS Hunter Reserve Champion in 2011, and most recently were Schooling Hunter Reserve Champion and HITS Hunter Champion in 2012. She especially loves equitation and designing courses to both prove and test rider and horse abilities. Tara lives for those moments when you can see the horse and rider click and engage in performance. Waiting and watching that moment thrills her to the bone and sometimes even gives her Goosebumps! Needless to say, whether to expand the horse’s performance or the riders, Tara is always pushing towards their own “light bulb” moments. Tara is also particularly proud of her daughter, Abigail. Abigail is working on her first show season over 2’9″ performance courses, while continuing to build her skills as a rider and a horsewomen.
Karen has been riding for over 20 years. She has been showing competitively for at least 16 years, but has only been apart of the Stonehouse Show Team for 3 years. Karen owns and rides a 16 hand, bay, Thoroughbred gelding named Little Bita Both, aka Both. Together the pair have shown for many years and have won many great ribbons and awards. The highlights include: 2004 HITS Culpeper Grand Circuit Champion Novice Adult Equitation. Qualified and placed in the Atlantic Coast League Finals in Raleigh in 2005 & 2006. 2006 Zone 3 Finals Reserve Champion Adult Amateur. Qualified for the Washington International in the Adult Amateur Division. Awarded Best Rider on an Adult Horse at Lexington in 2006. Qualified and competed in the VHSA Adult Medal Finals in Lexington in 2006, 2007, & 2008. 2008 Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter at the James River A Show. If there was anything that Karen would like others to know it would be, she says, “I contribute all of the amazing awards I have won over the years and experience to the unwarranted support of Toadie Guy, the excellence in training from Pam Haviland and the talent of an amazing horse. I would not be the rider and horsewoman I am today without them.”
Merri first competed in Madison Square Garden at the age of 4 and has been competing ever since. She qualified for the Medal/Maclay zone 2 finals at the age of 13 and continued to show in such prestigious shows as the National Horse Show, Devon, Harrisburg, Hampton Classic, Monmouth, Middlesex and Woodedge. Merri’s vast experience encompasses being a competitor with many championships, trainer (hunters, jumpers, racing TB’s), instructor of over 40 years, (Marshall sterling finals, adult amateur hunter finals, USEF children/adult jumper classics, hunter classic winners, many year-end awards, 6 times instructor of the year), coach (pony club nationals winning team and equitation champion), avid foxhunter of 45 years and staff member, and horse show manager and judge. She is a lifetime member of USEF, USHJA, Professional Horsemans Association and a member of Amwell Valley Hounds and Red Oak Foxhounds.