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. The social, emotional, and character-based lessons that come from a passion for equestrian sports are consistent with our School’s history and mission.
Walker’s is one of only a small number of boarding schools that offers an equestrian sport. 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 your horse 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.
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 427-acre campus, providing ready access to the barn and horses, as well as winding trails and extensive turnouts.
Quinn VanCara ’23 was 2nd in the NHS Hamel Foundation Medal (qualifying her for the finals), and 4th in the 12-14 Flat; Chloe Fares ’24 was 3rd in the NHS Hamel Foundation Medal (qualifying her for the finals) and 4th in the 2’9″ Hunter Derby; Grace Sappington ’24 was 8th in the 12-14 Equitation Over Fences and 7th in the 12-14 Flat; Quinn Bailey ’21 was 4th in the USHJA Jumping Seat Medal and 3rd in the 1.00 Jumpers; Lily Ridley ’22 was Champion in the .85 Meter Jumpers; and Maddie Olvert ’21 was the winner of the USHJA Jumping Seat Medal and placed 2nd in the 15-17 Equitation Over Fences.
Eva Mazzola ’21 placed 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th in the Small Junior Hunters with VDL White Chocolate (Ocala Tournament); and 4th and 8th in the 16-17 Equitation with Come Monday and 3rd and 6th in the Small Junior Hunters with VDL White Chocolate (Ocala Winter Finals).
Walker’s equestrians have had a successful couple of weeks at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Ava Strohmeyer ’21 was Champion in the 15-17 Children’s Jumpers with Feeling, winning a class and finishing 5th in the Classic.
Skyla White ’23 placed 2nd in the Dover Saddlery Hunt Seat Medal, USHJA Jumping Seat Medal and USHJA Hunt Seat Medal (Gulf Coast Sunshine Classic Horse Show); and 1st in the Dover Saddlery Hunt Seat Medal, 2nd in the NHS Hamel Foundation Medal, 1st in the USHJA Jumping Seat Medal, and 1st in the Non-Pro Hunter Derby (Gulf Coast Mid Winter Classic).
Ava Strohmeyer ’21 placed 2nd in the 14-15 Equitation on the flat, and 11th overall in the Hamel Foundation NHS Medal Final out of 161 riders. Julia Luciani ’20 placed 7th in the 16-17 Equitation over fences.
Seven Walker’s riders competed at the New England Equitation Championship this year: Janet Hedges ’21, Quinn Bailey ’21, Chloe Fares ’24, Julia Luciani ’20, Grace Sappington ’24, Maddie Olvert ’21, and Ava Strohmeyer ’21. Maddie Olvert ’21 placed 8th in the 3′ Rider for NEEC Final and 9th in the Open Equitation 15-17 Over Fences. Ava Strohmeyer ’21 placed 5th in the Open Equitation Over Fences 15-17.
Our nationally-recognized trainers, Linda Langmeier, Jo Seaver ’99, and Randi Booth, 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.
Director of Riding and Head Trainer
Renowned trainer Linda Langmeier brings her world-class training to prepare team members for the national stage.
Award-winning trainer Joanna “Jo” Seaver '99 has trained hunters that have won ribbons at all major national competitions.
Randi 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.
Kristen is a graduate of Centenary University where she competed on the IHSA team. Kristen has worked as a barn manager for over 8 years.
From Our Riders
I love the riding program. I dedicate most of my time to riding when not in class.
Janet H. ’21
Riding at Walker’s has taught me about perseverance and commitment.
Sarah Y. ’22
While riding is an individual sport, we fully support each other.
Ava S. ’21
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 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
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.
Walker’s Equestrian Team travels to a variety of shows recognized by local, regional, national, and international equestrian associations.
Walker’s equestrian program offers three lesson packages that cater to the individual needs of our students.
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, 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.
Linda is an accomplished horsewoman who has been riding since she was five years old. As a Junior rider she won the ASPCA Maclay Equitation Finals in 1983 and was the winner of the 1988 Sugarbush Grand Prix and the 2013 Fidelity Grand Prix. Linda trained Emma Fletcher who won the 2019 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final Champion.
She has earned numerous championships in the Hunter and Jumper divisions at such shows as The Winter Equestrian Festival, Devon, Lake Placid, Vermont Summer Festival, The American Gold Cup, PA National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show and The National Horse Show.
Joanna “Jo” is a 1999 graduate of Walker’s. She worked for several years at Kelianda Farm for Linda and Kenny Langmeier as an assistant trainer. In this role, she assisted with coaching students including McKayla Langmeier and Jordyn Rose Freedman through to the national level including the ASPCA Maclay Finals, Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal Finals, WIHS Equitation Finals and the USET Talent Search Finals.
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.
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 8 years.
Erin comes to Walker’s with an extensive background in management, finance and banking. Her interpersonal skills have made her successful in many facets of her career. In her role as administrative manager, Erin assists the riding program with communicating with families about important riding program information and activities, as well as supporting horse show administration, onsite events and billing. Erin is excited to be working with the Riding faculty and staff in organizing and implementing new ideas to enhance the success of the Equestrian Program in the area of administration.