MEET THE TEAM

Chagrin Valley Farms’ team of camp and lesson riding instructors share the philosophy that riding should always be fun and safe and they know how to provide a positive experience for every level of rider.  If you are looking for additional services—horse training, coaching at horse shows on the road, buying or selling horses and ponies, Chagrin Valley Farms-based trainers can help you transition to the next level.

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SUE FORD

Sue coordinates the camp and lesson programs, in addition to providing a positive lesson environment. She learned to ride at Red Raider Stables and fosters the therapeutic benefits of the horse and rider relationship. Sue teaches beginner and intermediate riding lessons and has been an instructor since the Farm’s inception in 1983. She specializes in getting new riders started and guiding those who are interested, to the more advanced programs at the Farm. Sue makes Academy horse shows fun and rewarding, cheering on her students and supporting the parents.

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CARI GLEESON

Cari grew up showing ponies in New England. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Ohio University, she taught elementary school for 10 years while pursuing a career on the A circuit as an Amateur rider. After her first daughter was born she left the public school system, but continued to show and began training as a career. She specializes in starting very young riders and takes them from the first lesson to the show ring. She and her assistant trainer, Emily Alinen specialize in starting young ponies and horses and always have animals available for half-lease.

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RANDE MELLEN

Rande is a lifelong equestrian originally from the Boston area who rode hunter horses and evented. She was an A Pony Clubber. She has been training hunters since 1986 and raised her own family of riders who competed at the national level. Daughter Kelby works with her in the business and Rande trains riders of all ages from pony kids to adult hunters. She specializes in pony hunters and young riders and has horses for sale and lease.

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SHIRLEY KOPAS

Shirley was a riding instructor at Chagrin Valley Farms in the late eighties before pursuing a career designing and building farms, managing facilities, working as a trainer at track and breeding operations. After returning to CVF, Shirley focused on teaching the skills to ride, as well as horsemanship and the tools needed to keep horses happy and healthy while having fun. In addition to working with riders of all levels, she and pro rider Stephanie Portman have a number of horses available for full or half lease.

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MEGHAN KELLEY

Meghan has an extensive background in hunters and dressage and rode in interscholastic competition as the Allegheny College Team Captain. She competes in dressage and has qualified for Regional Finals multiple times. She attends trainer clinics and workshops for therapeutic riding and uses her experience to foster confidence, safety and achievement in her students. Meghan enjoys teaching in CVF camps as well as private lessons, and incorporates the foundations of classic dressage in her teaching.

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ERIKA RESCHKE

Erika began teaching in the summer camp at Chagrin Valley Farms full time in 2016, having ridden most of her life in the hunter and jumper world. After showing horses as a child, she joined the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Team and competed during high school, qualifying for Nationals. After she and her husband started their family, they started their own training business, specializing in hunters and jumpers and the star of her program is Lola, a former rescue project.