Conversation on Community
Richard Longworth, senior fellow of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an expert on globalization's impact on the Midwest, spoke with WMUK in Kalamazoo leading up to his participation on the September 11 "Albion Tomorrow" panel discussion.
Hunt Seat Team
A Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) master-level instructor, Randi Gardner joined the Held Center staff in October. Previously an instructor, stable manager, and team coach at YMCA Camp Letts Equestrian Center just outside of Washington, D.C., Gardner has a wealth of experience working with horses and riders in multiple disciplines, including hunt seat, western, eventing, dressage, and even polocrosse. Prior to her work at Camp Letts, she was the barn manager and head riding instructor at Reverie Acres Riding Academy, the first United States Pony Club-approved riding center in Maryland. Gardner was also the center administrator for the USPC program at Reverie Acres, as well as the leader for the stable’s 4-H club.
Since coming on board as coach in 2011, Gardner has had individuals and the team compete at the IHSA regional, zone and national levels. The Albion College hunt seat team was the champion regional team in 2013 and 2014, and Gardner coached the team's first individual rider to IHSA Nationals in 2014. She also serves as the associate director of the Held Equestrian Center.
Previously an instructor and coach at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, Danielle Menteer joined the staff of the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center in July of 2007. She holds a B.S. degree in Equine Studies from Lake Erie and represented the Lake Erie Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) hunt seat team at the IHSA National Finals during her time as a student there.
Since then, Menteer has worked in eastern Ohio as a professional trainer and stable manager, working with horses and riders in dressage, hunters, and jumpers. Her experience is extensive: she has successfully competed on the Florida winter circuit, shown hunters and jumpers in "A" rated shows, and earned her United States Dressage Federation (USDF) bronze and silver medals in recognized dressage competitions, competing through the FEI level. Currently, she is a participant in the USDF "L" education program.
Menteer coached the Albion Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team to National Finals berths in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013 with top ten team finishes. Individuals from Menteer's team competed at IDA Nationas in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 where she coached three reserve national champion individual riders to their titles.
Stock Seat Team
Denise Webber brings over 45 years of riding experience to her role as coach of the Albion College western team. As owner and head trainer of Nottawa Paint Horses, LLC in nearby Marshall, Michigan, Webber is active as both a trainer and a judge for 4-H, open, and Pony of the Americas (POA) horse show circuits.
As coach of the Albion College team, Webber's riders have won multiple high point and reserve high point awards not only as a team, but also as individuals. Riders from the Albion College western team have competed at IHSA Nationals as individuals in 2009, 2012 and 2014. Webber's students have also made appearances at the IHSA Semi-Finals every year since 2009. In just a few years, Webber has built the western program into a top contender in IHSA Zone 6, Region 4, consistently qualifying her riders for post-season competition in the Regional, Zone, and National finals.