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Riding

Riding and academic excellence for more than 100 years

Our exceptional equestrian program sets Walker’s apart from its private school peers.

Riding has been part of life at Walker’s since its founding in 1911.

Walker’s is one of only a small number of boarding high schools that offers an equestrian sport on campus. Many of Walker’s most supportive alumnae have been riders at the School and a number continue to compete at the highest levels regionally and nationally. Our Equestrian Center is located on campus, so you are just steps away from the Frank O.H. Williams Barn and your equestrian activities. Our Riding program is staffed by accomplished horsewomen who have decades of competition and training experience. We’ll support and challenge you so you can succeed competitively and academically.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Walker’s Equestrian Center is among the best of any school in the country and provides a strong foundation to maintain a best-in-class riding program. The Equestrian Center is on Walker’s 175-acre campus, providing ready access to the barn and horses, as well as winding trails and extensive turnouts.

Equestrian Center

Riding News & Events

News /

Madison Olvert ’21 Places Second in National Horse Show

Madison Olvert ’21 Places Second in The 2020 Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championship Madison “Maddie” Olvert ’21 had an impressive finish as Reserve Champion this past weekend…

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Connect with us @ews_equestrian

A Walker’s Training Lasts a Lifetime

Our nationally-recognized trainers, Linda Langmeier, Ken Whelihan, Randi Booth, and Courtney O’Connor, have the expertise to coach riders at all levels and they work with students to attain any set of goals our students strive to achieve. They are lifelong horsewomen who share a passion for the sport and a love of teaching. Each has earned national titles for themselves or by working with students in hunter, jumper, and equitation, bringing starting riders up through the levels or advancing seasoned riders to regional and national levels. The trainers also teach our weekly Ground School where students learn how to become fully-versed in horsemanship.

The barn is staffed seven days a week and our barn manager lives on campus, ensuring the utmost care for all horses.

Riding instruction

Program Leadership

Linda Langmeier

Director of Riding and Head Trainer

Renowned trainer Linda Langmeier brings her world-class training to prepare team members for the national stage.

Ken Whelihan

Assistant Director of Riding and Senior Trainer

Ken Whelihan has worked with numerous Olympians and his students have been successful at countless national and regional finals.

Randi Booth

Director of Community/External Riding and Co-Head IEA Coach

Randi Booth has been showing since she was a small child, and for the past 25 years has been a trainer of children and adults at all levels.

Courtney O'Connor

Senior Trainer and Co-Head IEA Coach

Courtney O’Connor worked with The University of Findlay Hunt Seat IHSA Team and brings expertise in many facets of the equestrian industry.

Kristen Blatt

Barn Manager

Kristen Blatt is a graduate of Centenary University, where she competed on the IHSA team. She has worked as a barn manager for over 8 years.

From Our Riders

The equestrian team is super close, and the program is amazing. I have improved so much as a rider!

Quinn V-C. ’23

Quinn V-C

Riding at Walker’s has taught me about perseverance and commitment.

Sarah Y. ’22

Terry Allen Farm IEA Fall 2019

My favorite part of my day is my riding lesson or going over to the barn! I look forward to seeing all of my friends and trainers.

Addie K. '23

Addie K. '23

Core Program

For more than a century, riding has been part of daily life at Walker’s. We offer a best-in-class equestrian program led by nationally-recognized trainers, with on-campus facilities that are among the best of any high school in the country. The program provides an extraordinary preparation, for both riding and life, with an emphasis on horsewomanship, teamwork, and personal growth. Riders of all levels are supported and students develop their riding skills at an exceptional rate, competing successfully at local, national, and international levels.

Key Program Features 

  • National competition in the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL
  • Local and regional competitions including Vermont, Lake Placid, The Hamptons, Saratoga, HITS Saugerties, Tryon, and Spruce Meadows
  • Fall competition in the Medal, Maclay and USEF Finals, as well as New England Equitation Finals and CHJA Finals
  • Hosting site for fall and spring USEF-rated competitions
  • Middle School and Upper School IEA teams
  • Year-round training and showing
  • Three lessons per week
  • Horsemanship and equine care classes
  • Train on your own horse or one of our many school-owned horses

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Ava National Horse Show
Horse Shows
Riding Lessons
IEA
Equine Science
Horse Shows

Competitors participate in the Medal, Maclay, and USEF Finals, New England Equitation Finals, Winter Equestrian Festival, Devon Horse Show, Saratoga, and more prestigious horse shows throughout the country.

Horse Shows

Walker’s Equestrian Team travels to a variety of shows recognized by local, regional, national, and international equestrian associations.

Lessons

Walker’s equestrian program offers three lesson packages that cater to the individual needs of our students.

IEA

The Ethel Walker School participates in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA). Walker’s hosts two IEA horse shows per year and will compete in additional IEA horse shows within our region.

Equine Science

Equine Science, taught by licensed veterinarian Dr. Suzanne Piela, encompasses the anatomy and physiology of all the systems of the horse, nutrition, toxicology, parasitology, health management, neonatology, epidemiology, and sports medicine.

Summer Riding Experience

The Ethel Walker School’s Summer Riding Experience is an extension of the School’s renowned equestrian program. Since the early 90s, Summer Riding Experience has helped girls develop into complete horsewomen while having fun! The camp consists of daily riding sessions complemented with activities that include horse care, working with farriers and veterinarians, equine science, and general equestrian knowledge.

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Summer Riding Experiencw

Meet the Staff

Linda Langmeier

Linda Langmeier

Director of Riding and Head Trainer

Linda Langmeier is an accomplished horsewoman who has been riding since she was five years old. As a Junior rider, she won the 1983 ASPCA Maclay Equitation Finals. Linda’s daughter, McKayla, also won the Maclay — the first mother-daughter team to earn this distinction. Linda was the winner of the 1988 Sugarbush Grand Prix, competed in the 1989 World Cup Finals (Tampa, Florida), and the 2013 Fidelity Grand Prix. Linda trained Emma Fletcher, who won the 2019 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final Champion.

Linda earned numerous championships in the hunter and jumper divisions at competitions such as The Winter Equestrian Festival, The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Lake Placid Horse Shows, Vermont Summer Festival, The American Gold Cup, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show, and The National Horse Show.

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Randi Booth

Randi Booth

Director of Community/External Riding and Co-Head IEA Coach

Randi Booth

 860-408-4360

B.S., West Chester University

Randi grew up on a large horse farm and was raised by horse professionals. She has been showing since she was a small child, and for the past 25 years she has been a manager and trainer of children and adults at all levels in the hunter, jumper, equitation, and eventing disciplines. She has worked and ridden for nationally known judge and trainer Carol Malony, for hunter rider/trainer Maryann Steiert Charles, and for Olympic 3-Day Event Gold Medalist J. Michael Plumb.

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Kristen Blatt

Kristen Blatt

Barn Manager

Kristen Blatt

 860-408-4357

B.S., Centenary University

Kristen is a 2011 graduate of Centenary University where she earned a B.S. in Equine Studies with a concentration in Equine Business Management. While at Centenary, she competed on the IHSA team. During her tenure at Centenary, the team won two National championships. Upon graduating from Centenary, Kristen worked as barn manager at Coole Park Farm in Millbrook, NY, where she had been for eight years.

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Elizabeth Hall

Groom Staff

Lexie Hart

Groom Staff

Courtney O'Connor

Courtney O'Connor

Senior Trainer and Co-Head IEA Coach

Courtney O'Connor

 860-408-4356

B.S., University of Findlay (Marketing)
B.S., University of Findlay (English Equestrian Studies - Hunter/Jumper Emphasis)
M.B.A., University of Findlay

Courtney joined Walker’s upon completing her graduate degree from The University of Findlay while working with their Hunt Seat IHSA Team. She has worked in many facets of the equestrian industry and brings this expertise to Walker’s. Along with working with The University of Findlay’s nationally-ranked IHSA Team, Courtney has been involved in IEA since high school and also has experience at the A and AA level. She has worked for US Animo where she traveled extensively to the biggest show venues in the country, working closely with top riders and trainers. Helping young people gain confidence and excel in the sport is a huge motivator for Courtney and with the value she places on education she will excel here at Walker’s.

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Ava Rodgers '16

Equine Groom

Tanya Szuluk

Tanya Szuluk

Administrative Manager

Ken Whelihan

Ken Whelihan

Assistant Director of Riding and Senior Trainer

Ken took his first formal horseback riding lesson in 1967. Much of his youth was spent trotting along behind his mom, dad, sister, and brother. During college, he worked at an international jumper sales barn run by two-time puissance record holder Barney Ward. Over the years, Ken has worked with numerous Olympians and his students have been successful at national and regional finals. He qualified for and competed in the U.S. selection trials for the Barcelona Games in 1992 and has been an “R” judge for over three decades. A popular clinician and winning competitor, Ken will help serve as an ambassador for Walker’s in the equestrian community.

Ken lives with his wife, Dr. Vicki June, DVM, and his two dogs in Otis, MA. When not riding horses, or teaching, giving clinics, judging horse shows, or competing, you would probably find him napping at home with a dog or two on his lap.

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