Suzanne Martin Lacy
Suzanne is a teacher by education and equestrian through heartfelt passion. She started her career with horses at a very early age. Suzanne shares her knowledge of horses with students of all ages through lessons, eventing, coaching, and caring for animals. Suzanne's goal is to provide a place where all from 8 years to 85 plus can come and learn to ride. Sandy River, now in the 25th year of operation, has 230 acres and 37 horses with 13 school horses that are capable of helping our students compete from competitively through training level. "It is so important to me that everyone who wants to ride is given this opportunity to learn to ride and learn the responsibility of caring for a horse and appreciate what a horse can do for their confidence. Someone has to start our future eventers." Suzanne states enthusiastically!
Suzanne is the owner of Sandy River Equestrian Center and has trained with Jim Wofford, Karen O'Connor, Betsy Steiner, Peter Grey, and Virginia Wiseman. She lives on the property with her husband Rusty Lacy, who is in charge of farm maintenance.
Samantha Burton Henley
Samantha is the Head Trainer and Facility Manager at Sandy River Equestrian Center owned by Suzanne Martin Lacy in Axton, Virginia. Sam came to Sandy River Equestrian Center approximately 10 years ago from the O'Connor Event Team, where she was the Competition Manager for the O'Connors and David O'Connor's Head Groom. In that capacity, she has traveled all over the world caring for 4-Star and Olympic level horses. In addition to the experience with the O'Connors, Sam has been a Head Groom for the 2004-2006 Area II NAYRC Teams and the Head Groom for the 2006 Canadian WEG Team. At Sandy River, Sam is an instructor and trainer for many up and coming young horses, young riders and their horses. Sam also works with adults. She assists Suzanne in creating a world class training center at SREC which hosts YRAP camps and O'Connor Event Camps. Sam resides at Sandy River with her husband, Boe and her daughters, Danni and Riley.
Max Corcoran, Professional Groom, has been grooming at the highest level for over 14 years for some of the best in the world. She worked for the O'Connor Event Team for 11 years (2001-2012) managing the barn for most of those years and traveling everywhere with Karen; Olympics (2008, 2012), World Championships (2006, 2010), Pan American Games (2003, 2007) and numerous CCI's all over the US and Europe. Since leaving the OCET, Max now free lances, continuing to travel around the world and the US - she most recently served as stable manager for the Canadian Team at the WEG this summer and traveled to Mexico for the Central American Games for Venezuela. She also teaches horsemanship clinics for the USEA, and the USEF developing programs. Additionally Max is a Board Member of the Professional Riders Organization (PRO).
Vicky Williams, Recruitment Officer, has been a member of the Sandy River Equestrian Center family for the past 14 years. She returned to riding when her son showed an interest and began riding as a child. When he left to go to college, Vicky stayed. Horses are her passion and she greatly enjoys riding her two horses, Matt and Frog, who reside at the farm.
Vicky is a graduate of Hollins College with degrees in French and International Politics. She and her husband Johnny live in Danville with Vicky's mother Mish. Vicky will assist the Equine Management Training Center with day to day operations and student recruitment.
Cari Zimmer, Marketing Director, has been involved with Sandy River Equestrian Center for over 20 years. It all began when her youngest daughter, at the age of four, wanted to have a "pony party" for her birthday. Fast forward to now - all three of Cari's children have ridden under the guidance of Suzanne. With their persuasion Cari took lessons to learn, first hand, the concentration and strength needed to ride a horse. Her involvement with horses continues to this day as her youngest daughter pursues a career as the Head Groom for Allison Springer.
When you visit the farm, you will notice blooming plants and flowers at each barn as well as the Lacy's home. Digging in the dirt is Cari's passion and she greatly enjoys ensuring the beauty of the Sandy River Equestrian Center property.