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Staff

Shelly Whitlock-Pope, Ed.D.

Executive Director

PATH, Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor & Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

860-314-0007 (ext. 10)

Shelly has a varied background having worked in finance at a renowned cancer center, as a teacher and administrator for the NYC Department of Education, as Program Director at another therapeutic riding center, and Associate Professor of higher education. A PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, Mentor and Site Evaluator, she is also EAGALA Certified as an Equine Specialist, and Special Olympics Equestrian Coach. With degrees in Health Administration, Elementary Education, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy, she brings much experience to the organization.  She was trained and rode English for years, and even patrolled NYC’s Central Park with the Mounted Auxiliary, but her true loves are riding the trails Western and her two American Quarter Horses!

Emily Eschner

Program Coordinator & Equine Specialist

PATH, Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor & Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

860-314-0007 (ext. 11)

I was born and raised in Bristol where my passion for horses began at the age of 5. I was an active member of the Mad River Pony Club for many years and learned many horsemanship skills along the way. I have ridden competitively over the last 15 years throughout New England in recognized USEA horse trials and dressage competitions. In the summer of 2017, I completed the Instructor Training Course at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc. in Old Lyme, CT. It was a fantastic learning experience, where I gained hands on experience teaching students of all ages and abilities. In November 2017, I earned my certifications both as a PATH International Therapeutic Riding Instructor and as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Here at Shepard Meadows, I am fortunate to continue to share my passion with my students.

Amy Degumbia

Volunteer Coordinator & Equine Specialist

PATH, Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor

860-314-0007 (ext. 12)

I grew up on a small farm and we owned a couple of horses.  I was 5 years old when I first started to ride, and 13 when I got a horse of my own – he was a young and spirited Arabian.  He just turned 32 and he is still full of life.  We competed in the Arabian Horse Association shows, mostly in dressage, but some jumping too.  I worked as a Veterinary Technician and gained a great deal of knowledge about animal health and first aid, and became Certified as an Animal Behaviorist.  I attended Tunxis Community College and Central Connecticut State University for my degree.  I am grateful to have horses as a part of my life, and I love to share that with the participants in our program!

Katie Rogers

Equine Caretaker

PATH, Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor-In-Training

Katie has a long history with the center, from being a volunteer, to barn staff and now instructor in training. She has put many hours in the saddle exercising our horses and knows them well. Her grandfather was one of the original board  members and he raised, trained and showed Morgans for driving.

Janis Clifton

Visiting Instructor

PATH, Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Megan Burg

Equine Caretaker

Alyssa Carlone

Equine Caretaker

Edward Pinette

Property Caretaker

Kris Hart

Facilities Assistant