Horses Then…and Now – Smokey!

Contributed by Jenna Beighle for Equine Business Management Social Media Assignment.

Smokey Then…


2009 at SAPC – Under the Stars Show

Smokey, a well-known and beloved horse, arrived at St. Andrews in 2007. He was used for beginner lessons through the western program where one rider in particular, Jessica Gesel, fell in love with him.   Although he wasn’t often used for IHSA shows (due to his navicular disease), he was very helpful for IHSA practices for beginner walk trot as he always had a gentle soul.

As Smokey got older and headed towards retirement, he also got something else: a best friend and a forever home.   Jessica Gesel (Class of 2009) was lucky enough to take him home graduation day in May of 2009. From then on, he enjoyed some light trail riding and fun before he unfortunately became too lame to accept a rider. After x-rays revealed that he had fairly severe navicular disease, he was officially retired in the fall of 2009.

Today, at 27 years old, Smokey is still living with Jess and shares a 3-acre pasture with a 14-year-old saddlebred gelding named Scout. They have the life of leisure at her farm in Locust, NC. Currently, Smokey is happily living out his golden years with two of his best friends: Scout, and his mom, Jess. “He will give you a pony hug if you wrap your arms around his neck whenever you’re down. He’s the best horse I’ve ever had,” says Jess. But with him, the favor has to be returned and if he wants to be petted, he will lightly head-butt you to get your attention. He also regularly chases her car up and down the fence line whenever she leaves or comes home. Smokey is a true mushbug of a horse and couldn’t have asked for a better life – at St. Andrews and after!

… and Now!


2015 – Smokey (right) with his best friend, Scout, at his forever home



Charlie Pops – Excellent Equine

The Excellent Equine series is bought to you by The History & Theory of Modern Riding class Fall 2015. “Charlie Pops – Excellent Equine” was researched and written by Kate Neidrick.

Charlie Pops

Charlie Pops with Kate
Charlie Pops with Kate

Charlie Pops is a16.3 hand, 17-year old Shire/Thoroughbred cross that has been active in the St. Andrew University’s equestrian program for two years. Jennifer Sansbury, one of our very own barn managers at St. Andrews University, is the owner of Charlie Pops.

Charlie Pop’s story began when he was born in 1998 in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Jennifer’s aunt, Becky Chrzanowski had a breeding farm called, Mahogany Farm and gave Charlie Pops to Jennifer as an early graduation gift from college. Charlie’s mom was named Pops A Lot and his dad was called Mr. Charles Owensville. Jennifer kept Charlie Pops as a stallion to use for breeding until his temperament as a stallion proved to be too much handle. He was gelded at 4 years of age. Jennifer began breaking Charlie at the age of 4. One of the methods she used was mounting Charlie in the stall, this way she could be sure the giant baby would not take off with her. In order to be cautious of his stallion mentality, she rode him in a round pen most of his green life.

Charlie Pops was then transferred from Georgia to South Carolina to be boarded with Jen at Lander University. After graduating, Jen trailered Charlie Pops back to Georgia to be with her aunt so Jen could teach 1st grade for 3 years. Then he was brought to Jen’s house in Conway, South Carolina where he started his career as a lesson horse. Jen founded The Riding Academy in 2007, which incorporated 42 students some of which were Coastal Carolina University students. Jen used him as a lesson horse for her students and showed him in hunter seat equitation classes. Jen taught Charlie Pops how to jump at age 6 and he competed in a few jumping classes.

Jen closed the academy and started her move to Greensville, South Carolina in preparation to start her new career in Laurinburg, North Carolina. For a short time Charlie Pops stayed in Greensville where he became diagnosed with the neurological disease of sting halt. Charlie Pops suffered from severe stringhalt for 6 months. During, this time he was brought to St. Andrews University with Jennifer as she transitioned into her role as barn manager. Charlie Pop’s string halted lessened with time and he slowly could be ridden again. Exercise was encouraged to help progress the rehab process so as Jennifer was pregnant with her baby, her sister came to help exercise Charlie Pops. In 2013, Charlie Pops was well enough to introduce into the St. Andrew’s dressage program. Since Charlie had lost drastic amounts of hind-end muscle mass, he required a slow introduction into the program.

Charlie Pops with owner Jennifer Sansbury
Charlie Pops with owner Jennifer Sansbury

Jen expressed gratitude and encouragement as she watched Charlie Pops enter the program. She described it as, “The best thing that ever happened to Charlie and I.” Charlie Pops adapted very well to learning the new style of dressage. He proves to be very reliable and useful to the dressage program as well as the hunter seat program, when he occasionally enters in the hunter seat equitation classes for shows. Jen says, “The way he has transitioned is incredible.” Charlie Pops has also impressed the dressage riders with his potential and willingness to work for the students in the program. The students of St. Andrews University are very fortunate to have such a hard working horse in their program. A big thank you to Charlie Pops and his wonderful owner, Jennifer Sansbury for allowing us to use him in the program.

St. Andrews Dressage Team 2015
St. Andrews Dressage Team 2015

Alumni Then…And Now

Contributed by Jenna Beighle for Equine Business Management Social Media Assignment.


Jamie and Busy

Jamie on Busy, IHSA, 2006

… and Now!


Jamie in 2015

August 2015 with a student at a GHJA Show


Jamie Nickolson (currently Jamie Bertone) is an SAPC alum who has proven just what our program can do for dedicated riders. She was accepted onto the IHSA team in 2005 and remained a lead rider through her early graduation with a Bachelors Degree in Business in 2008. She was qualified for and attended Nationals in 2005, placing 9th against the best in the country, as well as competing in the 2008 Zone Finals.

Jamie began teaching full time in 2012 after completing several more years in the Amateurs, consistently winning in the GHJA Adult Equitation Finals and Adult Medal Finals. Upon graduating with a Masters in Business in 2013 from Baker College, she continued to teach aspiring riders and took many from day one all the way up through successfully competing in the Short Stirrup divisions.

After spending 4 years teaching at various farms, Jamie purchased her own farm, now called JB Equestrian Stables located in beautiful Covington, Georgia, where she runs her training programs. JB Equestrian currently has several adult equitation riders and Jamie is an active fanatic of the TIP (Thoroughbred Incentive Program). She successfully re-trains off the track thoroughbreds and has given many a shot at a second career.

This outstanding rider has also completed two George Morris clinics; one in 2014 and then got the honor of being invited back in 2015. During one of the clinics, Chandler, the horse she raised and trained from the ground up was specifically chosen by George to personally ride and was heavily complimented. In just a few short years after the training and experience at St. Andrews, Mrs. Bertone has accomplished more than most have dreamed. This is just one example of the many accomplished equestrians that the St. Andrew’s program creates.


Benji – Excellent Equine

The Excellent Equine series is bought to you by The History & Theory of Modern Riding class Fall 2015. “Benji – Excellent Equine” was researched and written by Cailey Culp.

No Big Detail

Benji and Kelli Morrris
Benji and Kelli Morris

Benji came to St. Andrews University equestrian program six years ago as a

donation. He is a favorite of the western program, and is also a star when he is used in IHSA hunter seat shows. After being at St. Andrews for three years and spending countless hours at the barns, I could not tell you anything about Benji, other than he is absolutely massive! Aside from his easily recognizable quality of size, he is loving, sweet, and an absolute pleasure to ride.

As I said before, Benji was donated six years ago by his previous owner Kellie Morris of North Carolina. From getting in contact with her, Benji’s phenomenal story can finally be shared with the students who love him.

Kellie explained that it all started in 2008, at a horse show in Lexington Virginia. At the show, she and her mother had gone to the arena to watch some of the hunter under saddle classes. The first class was a walk trot class, and as they were watching the exhibitors file into the arena, she saw a big bay named No Big Detail. She kept her eye on him, and as soon as he began to trot, she recalls, he took her breath away. Mesmerized by the big bays trot, she began to wonder if he could canter. To her delight, No Big Detail returned to the show pen to compete in the green hunter under saddle class. “Yep he could canter!” Kellie and her mother fell in love with him, and she knew she absolutely HAD to have him. She talked with his owner, and arranged to try him out that afternoon. Kellie explained that when she got on him and rode him around she just knew that this was the horse for her, and two weeks later, she was the proud owner of No Big Detail.

When she first saw and purchased “Ben”, he was a green three year old, who was just getting out to shows. Her goal was to get him ready to show at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in the three year old Hunter Under Saddle futurities. So to test him, she sent him with her trainer to the NSBA World Championship show. To her excitement, Ben left that show as the Reserve World Champion in three year old Hunter Under Saddle.

Excitedly, they got ready for Congress. Competing in the three year old Hunter Under Saddle futurity at Congress had always been a dream of Kellies, however her goal was to simply make it to finals. She explained that Ben gave her the most incredible rides, and they ended up winning the Limited Non Pro Hunter Under Saddle Futurity, and the Open Non Pro Hunter Under Saddle Futurity. Her trainer also rode Ben in two classes, the Limited and the Open Hunter Under Saddle Futurity. Ben won the Limited, and he tied for first in the Open, however he lost it to the tie breaker judge, so he ended up Reserve Champion in the Open. “Ben left that show a three time Congress Champion and a Reserve Champion earning more than $20,000 for me. He surpassed all of my wildest expectations and made one of my lifetime dreams come true.”

As time progressed it became apparent he was no longer enjoying his job. After turning him out for a while and agonizing over what to do with her beloved horse, Kellie decided it was time for him to retire. She wanted her once in a lifetime horse to have a less stressful job, and plenty of love, which is where the St. Andrews Equestrian program comes into play.

Benji's Show Record
Benji’s Show Record

Teddy – Excellent Equine

The Excellent Equine series is bought to you by The History & Theory of Modern Riding class Fall 2015. “Teddy – Excellent Equines” was researched and written by Nina Jurac class of 2016.



Once upon a time in 1997 there was an adorable little foal named Teddy. Teddy was a bay Warmblood with a star and three white socks. Teddy loved to run around and play in the fields with all the other horses. One day, Teddy was bought and broke. Teddy learned how to do everything from walk, trot, canter along with jumping, all the way up to Adult Amateur. Teddy is a down to earth cuddly horse that anyone can hop on and have a great time on-he is sweet, reliable and consistent.

Although Teddy was good with most things, he never really did like the pressure of a show ring. Teddy would refuse to walk into the ring and would have to be led in with his favorite treats, peppermints. Once Teddy was through with showing and ready to ease his way into retirement, Daniel Geitner was kind enough to donate him to St. Andrews in 2007. During the fall semester, barn managers and advanced students worked with Teddy, getting him use to the school program, surroundings, and helping him find his new niche. During the school year of 2008 and 2009 Teddy was leased out to Courtney Branscome. Courtney took Teddy all over- showing him in pre-adult and even ANRC. Once Courtney graduated, Kelsi Peterson stepped in and was Teddy’s next lease in 2010. Teddy had and still has a special place in Kelsi’s heart. Kelsi showed Teddy in everything from Amateur Hunters to Equitation. During Kelsi’s senior year she was supposed to show Teddy in ANRC. Due to some lameness issues that he was having, this was not possible. Once Kelsi graduated and Teddy was no longer having lameness issues, he officially entered the lesson program.

When Teddy started getting used for the lesson program he taught many different riders everything that they needed to know in order to advance. Teddy is capable of taking a beginner rider over their first cross-rail or even a more advance rider over a two foot oxer. “Teddy was one of the first horses I rode when I came to St. Andrews, he helped me with my release’s when doing gymnastic exercises. He has definitely saved my butt a few times!-Nina 16’. Teddy is a big asset to the Riding program here at St. Andrews. Teddy has participated in many different horseshows including Showing Under the Stars, mock fox hunts, IHSA and IDA shows.

Now, in the year 2015, Teddy continues to live his happy life at St. Andrews. Moving his way down the line and relaxing a lot more. Teddy now participates in flat classes during horse shows, with peppermints leading him into the ring of course along with participating in mostly beginner lessons and small jumping courses. With his pals Bill and Scot by his side, he will continue to reside at St. Andrews Riding Center. Continuing to live a long, happy, and cuddle filled life.


Harley & Tony – Excellent Equines

The Excellent Equine series is bought to you by The History & Theory of Modern Riding class Fall 2015. “Harley & Tony – Excellent Equines” was researched and written by Vanessa Bradley in her final semester at St. Andrews.

Harley and Tony are both currently assisting the St. Andrews University Equestrian Program to help teach students further their riding career and to ride in an educated manner. They are both in the Western riding program and are used in the horse shows.

Harley was foaled on March 18, 1999; making him 16 years old today. His sire is “Trouble in Town” and his dame is “Crimson’s Chigger”. North Carolina State University was the one that bred him. The owner at the time he was foaled was Susan H. Acord. Harley is a quarter horse gelding that is chestnut colored with a left fore sock and left hind sock. He is in the American Quarter Horse Association registered under the name: “I’m Talking Trouble”. He was 10 years old when he came to St. Andrews University (then it was still St. Andrews Presbyterian College). He came from Melissa S. Woodell out of Sanford, NC. The previous owner never showed him. He was simply used for a fun, riding horse. Currently, he serves in the lesson program and is turned out with Holly at night in paddock 5.

Tony was foaled on April 1, 1994; making him 21 years old today. His sire is “Calyx” and his dame is “Miss Mighty Cajon”. Buford Dugger breed him and Nancy Sue Ryan was his owner at the time he was foaled in Texas. Tony is a bay quarter horse gelding with a bit of white on his forehead, white left fore pastern, partial white on the right fore coronet, white hind pasterns, and dark spots on all coronets. He is also in the American Quarter Horse Association registered under the name: “Would I Lie”. Tony has a traveled to a few different homes throughout the United States. On December 15, 1995 he was purchased by Jessica Dunn to live in Greenville, North Carolina. Then, on June 23, 1999 he was purchased by Kristi L. Smith to live in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Next, on February 27, 2002 he was purchased by Diana K. Davidson to live in Franktown, Colorado. After that, on March 9, 2005 he was purchased by Marcia H. Moller to live in Scottsville, Texas. Throughout the years he was an All Around Amateur shown gelding for AQHA. He mainly showed in Hunter Under Saddle and Equitation on the Flat but also did Showmanship at Halter. Finally, Chelle MeGauley, who is a trainer friend of Carla Wennburg, found Tony and was able to get him to assist Carla in the program at St. Andrews University (then it was still St. Andrews Presbyterian College). Currently, he still serves in the lesson program and gets turned out at night in Church Right pasture with this buddies: Pops, Benji, and Ziggy.

I have had the pleasure of riding both Harley and Tony. Both are sweet boys. Harley gives a smooth ride. He is known as the “Cadillac” of the western horses. Harley has always been one of my favorites to ride and I have rode him the most out of all the western horses. He made me have to focus on my position as well as tested my ability to keep him at a good pace. Tony is a bit more bouncy but is an overall good ride. He made me focus on my position and use of aids to correctly communicate my directions. Both horses have made a huge difference in my horsemanship with the instruction and guidance of Carla Wennburg and Lindsay Agaliotis. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to ride these wonderful horses.




What’s Happening in January?

January, the start of the New Year, a time for resolutions and new beginnings. For the equestrian program January is the start of a busy semester that leads to the various National Championships and the pinnacle of academic achievement recognized at graduation in May.

Classes begin January 13th with riding lessons beginning January 19th. January 18th we celebrate the Martin Luther King Day of Service with volunteer work within the Scotland County community both on and off campus. Ride-Like-A-Knight lessons begin Jan 25th. Horse show wise nothing at home until February but lots of travel starting with the invitational Tournament of Champions at the University of Mary Washington. The show team has Triangle Farms Winter Indoors “C” show Jan 22 – 23 and the Raleigh Winter I “A” show Jan 28-31. The western team travels to Campbell University, Jan 30 – 31, for two IHSA shows.

Staff and students will be busy legging up horses prior to lessons (this has been an on-going project over break) and teams will be getting back into “show mode” with team practices.

Happy New Year!

13                           Classes Begin

19                           Lessons Begin

14-18                     College Prep Invitational in West Palm Beach, FL

18                           Martin Luther King Day of Service

22-24                     Tournament of Champions at University of Mary Washington

22-24                     Triangle Farms Winter Indoors ”C”

25                           RLAK lessons begin

28-31                     Raleigh Winter I “A”

30-31                     IHSA Western Show at Campbell University


Hula – Excellent Equine

The Excellent Equine series is bought to you by The History & Theory of Modern Riding class Fall 2015. “Hula – Excellent Equine” was researched and written by Shannon Hahn.

In March 2013, Hula came to St. Andrews to join our Therapeutic Riding program. He is a Belgium Warmblood who was born on November 3, 1991 in Germany. He is part of the line of African Drum, who is a well-known show jumping stallion. Hula is by Prins-Drum Van Bellet and out of Diablesse Du Ruisseau. He was registered with the name Houla-Hop Du Ruisseau.

Hula had a successful career showing all across Europe. He showed as a young jumper and progressed through the ranks while in Europe. 1999 found Hula showing in Greece where he was purchased by Wilhelm Genn. After Mr. Genn bought Hula, he imported him to the United States for Randy Hannold and Holli Adams.

After arriving in the United States, he was registered with the name “Hula-Hoop,” which is a shortened version of his European name. Mr. Hannold then purchased Hula from Mr. Genn with the intention of showing in the Grand Prix division. Hula did compete at the Grand Prix level for a while before Randy Hannold and Holli Adams made the decision to occasionally show Hula in the Regular Working Hunter Division. This division is now the High Performance Hunters. This is a lot of Hula’s history before he entered the lives of the Porath Family back in 2003.

In March of 2003, Elizabeth Porath was at a show in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently had an injured pony and did not have anyone to show. Looking back she cannot remember who actually proposed the idea, but during second weekend of the show in Atlanta, she showed Hula in the pre-children’s hunters division. She remembers the jumps being so small that he halted in front of one of the jumps, and being so tiny herself, she just slid down his neck! She went on to show Hula in Aiken the following month, and in her words “after that it was game over.” She recalls that Randy and Holli insisted that he was “not for sale” since Hula was a favorite of Holli’s in the barn. Luckily for Liz the ended up allowing her family to buy him.

2003-2008 consisted of a lot of traveling, competing, and winning for this duo. Hula took her all the way from the younger Children’s Hunters to the Large Junior Hunters. He also took her all the way to Devon, Capital Challenge, Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the Washington International Horse Show. The duo amassed many ribbons in equitation classes, the $100,000 hunter classic at the Queen City Classic, ribbons in all of the finals, as well as many tricolors and grand championships at shows. Some of these shows include the Aiken Spring Classic and the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show.

Hula’s prolific showing career ended suddenly after a freak trailer accident on his way to Devon. From here, Hula entered our Therapeutic Riding program in March of 2013. Hula has been a huge addition to our TH program. According to one of our TH instructors, he is one of the few horses that we have in the program that is lift trained. This means that he will stand quietly beside the mechanical lift used to place riders on the horse’s back who are unable to use the ramp or a mounting block. Overall he is a great TH horse who always takes care of his riders. Due to his background, he has more movement than some of the other horses in the program, which is good for those riders that are “seeking movement” and can feel the horse’s movement. Hula is such a versatile horse that he is able to aid the program in many other ways. It was said that he “is a TH pony by day, and an IDA and IHSA horse on the weekends.” Hula has truly been a great addition to our program here at St. Andrews.


All of Hula’s history is courtesy of Liz and Sandra Porath. The information regarding his participation at St. Andrews is courtesy of Rachel Gaardsmoe.

IHSA Hunter Seat Show – Saturday, Dec. 5th

St. Andrews tied with N.C. State for High Point team at the show on Dec. 5 with 37 points.  Duke University was Reserve High Point with 35 points.
Overall Team Standings (after 5 out of 7 shows)
St. Andrews University                        199
NC State University                             165
UNC-Chapel Hill                                  140
UNC-Charlotte                                     144
Duke University                                   144
UNC-Wilmington                                 121
East Carolina University                     111
Campbell University                           58 (DNC)
Individual Results
Walk Trot      
Steven Dennis – 2nd
Beginner Walk Trot Canter
Jordan Belanger – 2nd
Samantha Garriques – 3rd
Advanced Walk Trot Canter
Jarett Vaughn – 1st
Kathleen Wilson – 1st
Charlie Robuck – 4th
Novice Flat
Mackenzie Parks – 1st
Janelle Petruska – 1st
Alex Varisco – 1st
Kirsten Farley – 3rd
Novice over Fences
Kirsten Farley – 2nd
Stacy Ferraro – 4th
Zoe Cluck – 6th
Intermediate Flat
Kat Owens – 4th
Liz Shaffer – 4th
Intermediate over Fences
Scout Maddox – 2nd
Open Flat
Kelsey Kocher – 1st
Amy Wrozek – 4th
Open over Fences
Kelsey Kocher – 2nd
Amy Wrozek – 3rd