Darcey Rayner-Shepard, Farm Coordinator
Darcey has been involved with horses and ponies her entire life. She has been an equestrian professional for the last 20 years as an “A” system Hunter/Jumper trainer. Darcey has competed up and down the west coast, from Palm Springs to Calgary, in both the Hunters and Jumpers. Darcey has had the incredible opportunity to extensively train and work with Olympic Riders Rich Fellers and Kevin Freeman. Her love of teaching and animals combined with her vast equestrian experiences make her an asset to the Farrel McWhirter Riding School.
Ali Hull, Assistant Farm Coordinator
Ali grew up at her family's Carnation Racing Stables, a thoroughbred race horse training center in Carnation, WA. A love for horses runs deep in her family and Ali has continued her family's equestrian tradition. Trained in a variety of riding disciplines, Ali is an alumnus of Snohomish County 4-H and the University of Washington Equestrian Team. Ali represented the UW at the 2005 Intercollegiate Nationals in Sunbury, OH, and placed 9th in the nation in Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat. Ali and her Thoroughbred gelding, A.M. Briefing, enjoy Dressage, trail riding, and an occasional gallop on the race track. She is thrilled to be a part of the team at FMRS.
Maria Fleischman, Riding Instructor
Maria has always had an affinity for four legged creatures of all kinds. She begin working with horses when she was four years old. At the age of 11, Maria began working as a volunteer for the Farrel-McWhirter Riding Club. She has worked at dressage and eventing barns, as well as going horse camping whenever possible. Maria earned her Bachelors degree and Masters degrees from the University of Washington. She has taught K-8 general education and special education in public and private schools in the Seattle area as well as in South Korea. In spite of her travels, she always returns to Farrel-McWhirter, her favorite place on earth.
Karen Casey, Riding Instructor
Karen grew up riding and showing an array of horses, for her local horse farm, in 4-H and the regional show circuit for Vermont. She is an alumnus of The Ohio State University with a Degree in Equine Management, focusing on training. Out of college, she found her passion in training horses of all ages, using Natural Horsemanship techniques. She has trained horses for private gentlemen farms, a Morgan show farm in Vermont, a large scale fox hunting farm in Virginia, as well as private clients. She completed the Level 1 Parelli Natural Horsemanship program with her horse, in 2005. Karen has attended several clinics throughout the years on an array of training techniques for working with horses and continues to expand her knowledge in the area of horse training.
Ellen Coffin, Riding Instructor
Ellen grew up riding with her grandmother Bunny Coffin and other trainers such as Canadian Olympic team member Robin Hahn, Suzy Morey, Mother-Daughter trainers Joanna and Duschka Fowler, Colleen Armstrong and Angie Morse Chamberlin. Horses have always been a huge part of her life. Growing up on a family farm just outside of Redmond, Ellen has been a part of many different horse disciplines from Three Day Eventing to Hunter-Jumper to Pony Club. Ellen plans to expand her knowledge as a new up and coming horse trainer and hopefully do that one day for a living.
Jenn Bonk-Brown, Riding Instructor
Jenn recently graduated from the University of Maine with majors in Equine Business Management and Economics. Growing up in New Jersey, she competed on the Hunter/Jumper circuit with her off-the-track thoroughbred. In college, she competed and served as captain of the Equestrian and Dressage Teams. Intercollegiate riding allowed her to show on a wide variety of horses and participate in many clinics given by highly regarded trainers. Today her focus remains on dressage, which she envisions as an opportunity for life long learning.