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About the Team: As the official University of Richmond Equestrian Sports Club team, we compete against the equestrian teams of other colleges in Virginia and the surrounding states in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) sponsored shows. We are a group of energetic and passionate students who are dedicated to improving our riding abilities with the help of our coaches and trainers Jessica Straus and Tracy Harmon. Our home barn is Haverhill Farm, a wonderful facility that is only twenty minutes away from the University of Richmond campus. Riders have the option of boarding their own horses or riding some of the fantastic school horses Haverhill has to offer. Members can either be a part of the Show Team and compete at IHSA shows, or they can be a part of the club team and ride just for fun!

Want to know more about the team? Check out our website! Please contact one of our Leadership Council members with any questions, comments, or concerns about the team!

Membership Dues: $50

Team Size: 20

Tryouts: We have assessment lessons before beginning a practice schedule

Experience Level: All experience levels are welcome.

Practice Schedule: Different lessons throughout the week depending on class schedules and level of experience 

  • Practice Facility: Haverhill Farms, 12415 Whisana Lane, Ashland, VA 23005

Club Officers

For more information, please contact: 

President: Emily Kuhlmann

Coach Information

Carol Straus, Haverhill Owner/Manager: 

Carol began riding as an adult with her daughter, Jessica, and before owning Haverhill Equestrian boarded locally at both private and show barns. Her experience boarding with other barns allows her to understand her clients’ expectations at Haverhill. Carol’s mission is to provide the type of care and service to her clients that she expects for herself and her own horses. Carol has recently taken up dressage with her new horse, Kensington. Carol is dedicated to her dressage training and was recently invited to participate in a clinic with internationally ranked dressage rider, Catherine Haddad. Kensington had a successful showing and Carol continues to improve her skills.


Jessica Straus, Scheduler/Trainer: 

Jessica began riding at eight years old and got her first horse when she was fourteen.  She graduated from CNU in May 2008 where she was the Equestrian Team President for two years, and vice president for two years, in addition to being the program assistant for sport clubs.  While on the team, Jessica competed on the IHSA circuit (2nd at Regionals, 4th at Zones) and at ANRC. Jessica began her coaching career in the fall of 2013 with Randolph-Macon College’s Equestrian Team.  In R-MCET’s second year, and Jessica’s first year of coaching, the team rose from 11th out of 16 teams to 5th out of 17 teams. R-MCET was also High Point College at Towson University and had one rider place first and another fifth for their divisions for the year in the region. Jessica is available for lessons for students that are showing and training rides. She teaches rider effectiveness and equitation skills for both riding and training, and she believes exposure to every discipline helps riding students.  While her focus has always been the hunters, she has ridden with an eventing, dressage, jumper, and even a western trainer.  Jessica’s extensive and diverse training allows her to bring many different techniques to training horse and rider. In addition to teaching lessons and training, Jessica is a high school science teacher.


Natalie Shinnamon, ARIA Certified Trainer: 

Natalie joined the Haverhill family in 2008 when she brought her horse Jewely to board at the farm; she began teaching lessons shortly after. Natalie began taking lessons at age three and trained with numerous coaches in the Richmond area. As a young rider, she showed on a pony in a wide range of categories from the Short Stirrup Division to the Pony Hunters. When she received Jewely at age eleven, she trained her in different arenas and hunter divisions. Natalie is now the proud owner of “One of the Perks,” or Perkins. As a trainer for Haverhill, Natalie teaches riders of all ages and levels and is also available for training rides. Look for her in the show ring this summer. Natalie began coaching the University of Richmond Equestrian Team in the fall of 2011, and has been instrumental in the team's success in the IHSA.