Site last updated May 22, 2013
The WVS Team
It was my childhood dream to own a riding school, so when we got the stables in 1980 I could hardly believe my luck. I am even more delighted that now, many years later, the stables is still thriving; Wimbledon Village Stables truly is a family business, as both my daughters, Sasha and Stephanie, are very involved and Caroline, my sister in law, is our Chief Instructor while her daughter Ella is also a keen rider. Developing and improving the business over the past 30 years has, of course, been challenging but it has also been a lot of fun and very fulfilling. In the past I have competed in dressage, eventing and show jumping. Now Caroline and I gain enormous pleasure and satisfaction from watching our daughters participating in and enjoying the same equestrian disciplines.
In 1999 I created our very successful Members’ Club in order to ensure regular riders received discounts and to enable closer relationships to be developed between our clients, instructors and horses. I love the sense of community that exists at the stables and am very proud that our Members’ Club has played such a major part in advancing this team spirit. It is wonderful to see how much enjoyment people can derive from riding as well as the friendships that develop between riders, fostered by their shared interest.
Caroline and I are very committed to charitable works. We organise three main fund raising events in the year: our Charity Ball in March, our Summer Show in June and our Sponsored Horse Ride in October and over the years we have raised over half a million pounds for various charities. It is very rewarding organising events that our riders really enjoy which also benefit a variety of good causes and we are constantly amazed by everyone’s generosity which is not limited to financial donations or sponsorship, but also includes people’s time in helping us to organise and promote these events.
I look forward to welcoming you soon.
How we value our Instructors
This page is devoted to our dedicated team of instructors. Over the years we have attracted very talented Instructors and our current team is no exception. We like to keep a very high ratio of staff to clients. We have learnt that we need to employ qualified and experienced staff in order to ensure that not only our horses but also all our riders are well looked after and receive the level of personal attention they deserve. We know that only a happy and fulfilled team is able to provide the service required to keep our clients happy. We therefore provide regular training sessions for our staff from experts such as Patrick Print OBE, FBHS, and all our instructors are keen to participate in seminars and workshops held in-house and externally.
As part of their continuing professional development they are also all encouraged to study for further qualifications. In addition, all our instructors are trained and qualified in first aid and have attended child awareness and protection courses. Our instructors particularly enjoy schooling the horses which not only improves their riding but is also good for the well-being of the horses. They are able to participate regularly in dressage, show jumping or eventing competitions, opportunities that are much appreciated. We also reward our instructors for their hard work and dedication by organising a variety special events for them but the real proof of how much they are valued is the glowing testimonials we regularly receive and the many goodies brought in for them by liveries and riders.
If you are a qualified Horse Riding Instructor and would like to hear of any future Riding Instructor vacancies we may have please e-mail your CV to the Stables.
Meet the Wimbledon Village Stables Team of Horse Riding Instructors
Caroline Stevenson, BHSI
Caroline is a very talented instructor who holds her BHSI exam. She has chosen to dedicate herself to teaching riders of all levels to become confident horsemen and women and has been at Wimbledon Village Stables since 1980. She is a much sought after and popular instructor, who is as happy teaching beginners as she is helping riders to develop more advanced dressage skills. Regular private slots with Caroline, whether in the arena or on training hacks, are much in demand.
Not only has Caroline been involved in riding and road safety issues for many years, she is also the BHS Assistant Regional Road Safety Officer for South West London, sits on the BHS Riding School and Livery Yards Advisory Group and is Assistant District Commissioner of Wimbledon Pony Club. Hers is an impressive CV, and Caroline is a valuable leader within the WVS team.
“I bring sports psychology into my teaching along with Ride with your Mind techniques learnt from Mary Wanless. I enjoy breaking down my teaching into bite-size essentials and I hope to encourage riders at all levels.”
Jennifer Hesketh, BHSII
Stable Manager and Riding Instructor
Jennifer is an accomplished horsewoman who was riding before she could walk! Jennifer started her competition career at a young age on her own ponies, representing her local Pony Club at competitions. Whilst studying at Liverpool University where she achieved a 2:1 Jennifer found time to ride competitively on the University’s Equestrian Team, successfully competing at the BUSA National Championships three years running.
Jennifer trained at the prestigious Foxes Equestrian Centre where she gained her BHSAI. Since joining WVS she has continued her training and obtained her BHS Intermediate Teaching examination. Jennifer has a particular flair for dressage and inspires confidence in her clients regardless of their ability. As well as being a very popular instructor and an invaluable member of the stables, Jennifer also has the responsibility of supervising the WVS team and ensuring that the horses receive the highest standard of care at all times.
Genna Bombardieri, SANEF International Level 1
Riding Instructor. BHS Stage IV Care.
Genna started her equine career at the Plettenberg Bay Equestrian Academy and Stud Farm in South Africa where she worked as an instructor. Genna gained experience in showing and polo and enjoyed teaching clients in these disciplines. She moved to England in 2008 to work as a competition groom for top international event riders, Andrew and Bettina Hoy. She spent two years travelling around the world with the Hoys to 4 star events. Since joining the WVS team she has gained her SANEF International Level 1. Genna is an experienced instructor whose favourite part of the job is working with our clients.
Natasha Riddell BHSAI
Natasha flew through her BHS Exams gaining her BHSAI qualifications at the renowned Greenhill Equitation Centre. As well as instructing at home Natasha has also worked at Camp Vega in Maine USA. She also enjoyed a successful season team chasing and eventing last year on a variety of horses. Her ultimate ambition is to become an officer in the Mounted Police Division. Natasha is a keen sportswoman who completed the Reading Half Marathon in 2011. Her many skills include tap and ballroom dancing so we look forward to seeing her in action at the Ball!
International Coach Assistant at FEI (Equivalent to BHSAI)
Mojca started riding at the age of nine in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Over the last 16 years she has been riding, schooling and competing clients’ horses up to Prix St. George level on a national and an international level in and around Slovenia. In her country she regularly trained with Anica Rojec, international dressage judge candidate as well as Mojca Koren, Kladij Maver and Igor Maver from the world famous Lipica Stud Farm, the cradle of all Lipizzaner horses in the world. She has also trained with internationally renowned equestrian personalities like Kathy Amos-Jacob, Isobel Wessels, Marcel Schönmakers and Christoph Hess.
Mojca has also worked as Hypo Therapy Assistant and is a qualified International Coach Assistant at FEI. In addition to all her training and competing she worked as journalist for Slovenia’s Top equestrian magazine “Revija o konjih”. As if that’s not enough she also has a Masters in Civil Engineering.
Fernanda Zuniga, BHSAI
Fernanda grew up in Mexico before moving to the UK. Since moving to England she has gained her BHSAI. Fernanda is a brilliant instructor and a team player, and her clients love her! Before moving to the UK Fernanda rode competitively as a showjumper and she enjoys demonstrating her showjumping expertise at WVS training days and at competitions. We are very lucky to have a Spanish speaking horse riding instructor at WVS. FERNANDA IS CURRENTLY ON MATERNITY LEAVE.
Kate Fourie SANEF Level 1
Kate gained her teaching examinations at home in Cape Town, S.A. She holds the SANEF Level 1 Instructor and Stable Management qualification. Kate owned a horse back in South Africa and regularly competed in eventing and showjumping competitions – frequently against Genna (another WVS instructor) at George Riding Centre in South Africa before she relocated to England. When she first moved to England in 2005, she worked as a competition groom for a top National show jumper in Staffordshire. She enjoys working with riders of all levels to help them to achieve their goals and specialises in our Ride in a Day course. Kate is a bubbly and energetic member of the team who makes every ride a fun and rewarding experience.
Célia Ahrweiller Le Gall, Galop 7
Celia began her riding at the age of 5 and hasn’t looked back! Growing up in France, Celia was lucky enough to have her own pony, Oural des Fougeres, whom she backed and trained herself. Celia enjoyed working at her local riding school and was so inspired by her own instructor she decided to take her French riding qualifications, impressively gaining her Galop 7 and CEP2. Celia studied a double degree course in English and Law, completing her final year in Dundee where she gained her BA (Hons) in European Business Law. Celia is particularly interested in horse psychology and enjoyed furthering her knowledge on this subject by reading lots in her spare time.
Micol Elmi BHSAI
Micol grew up in Como, just by the famous Italian lake, only 31 miles from Milan, Italy, where she was born. Her very strong passion for horses brought Micol to the decision to leave Italy and follow her dream to be a Riding Instructor here in the UK where she moved in 2008. In just a couple of years she gained her BHSAI certificate. Happy to go back home to friends and family she returned to Italy where she proved to be a successful riding instructor no matter the young age and helped to improve and set up a few riding schools . Pushed by her curiosity she also worked in a reining yard where she followed a western riding training course. Now she is back in the UK where she finds horse riding magical and enjoys teaching our riders and maybe also teach them a little Italian!
Nadia Power BHS PTT & BHS Stage II
Nadia has been part of WVS for many years, her mum and Carol opened the stables together in 1980. Growing up around the stables helped her realise that a career in horses was in her blood. After a brief time away training for her BHS exams she has re-joined us after attaining her BHS PTT and BHS Stage II. Nadia is currently working towards her BHS Stage III. As well as teaching out on the common Nadia is very efficient, making her a wonderful asset the WVS team.
Sasha Andrews BHSAI Int. SM,
Part Time Riding Instructor
After graduating from Loughborough University with a 2:1 in Sport and Exercise Science, Sasha concentrated on gaining her equestrian qualifications, recently passing her Stage 4. Sasha is a talented rider and a natural horsewoman; she has ridden all her life and keeps her own horses, Pod and Donkey, at the stables. She has had a very successful showjumping career in the past and has now turned her focus to British Eventing. Sasha has her HGV licence so she is able to drive the team to shows and events in the WVS horsebox. She has now switched to her other passion of teaching PE in schools.
Natalija Drobysevskaja (BHSAI Equivalent)
Part Time Riding Instructor – specialising in Dressage
Twice Lithuanian National Dressage Champion, Natalija was a manager at a prestigious 40 horse stable in her home country. Her considerable skills in horse training, instructing and competing have brought her to England where we are extremely lucky to have her at WVS. Among her many successes she won several gold medals at FEI World Dressage Challenge, Prix St. Georges Level. We are very fortunate to have our own Russian speaking horse riding instructor who can converse fluently with our Russian clients.
Fiona Jordan, BHSAI
Part-time Riding Instructor
Fiona is an all round sportswoman, who studied for a Sports & Exercise Science with Psychology degree at Christchurch University in Canterbury. She started riding when she was four and has competed in all disciplines and has passed her BHS Examinations. She is a talented instructor working part time at the stables who is able to call upon her teaching skills as a full time PE teacher.
Part-time Riding Instructor
Amanda (known as Panda around the stables) came to WVS at the age of 10 to help at weekends which she continued to do all through her school days. Whilst Amanda was at University she achieved her BHS Stage II and remained as a part time member of staff at weekends. She is a qualified accountant working for AOL and we are very lucky to have her to teach.
Part-time Riding Instructor
Maria started riding at an early age and through the years has competed successfully in various equestrian disciplines. She has spent considerable time schooling horses for special needs riders. She came to the UK from Poland to further her equestrian career, and started by teaching riding for the disabled at the ‘Diamond Centre’. She has her BHS Stage II and is looking forward to furthering her knowledge. She is a patient horsewoman and enjoys seeing her riders progress and enjoy themselves.
The Office staff
In addition to the teaching staff, WVS also has have excellent office staff who keep the yard running smoothly: the Office Manager, Claire, is not only efficient but is also a helpful and friendly voice on the end of the phone from Tuesdays to Saturdays, while on Mondays the office is manned by Sara, who generously volunteers her time.
Hailing all the way from Zimbabwe, Claire grew up on a prestigious stud farm where she helped her parents break and school young thoroughbreds. An expert polo-crosse player, she has been at WVS for ten years and knows the Stables inside and out! Claire has passed her BHS Exams and enjoys taking part in show jumping and cross country competitions. When she is not on duty in the office she enjoys riding her favourite horse, Bamboo and Claire’s BBQs are a legendary addition to the WVS social events during the summer months.
Benji & Crumpet
Head & Deputy Dogs
Benji has a very important role to play at the stables. He meets and greets everyone who comes into the yard but there’s no need to quake in your boots as he absolutely loves children and can often be found with a small child cuddling him. He also keeps a watchful eye on everything that the horses get up to in the daytime and remains on duty during the night.
Our latest recruit is a Jack Russell named Crumpet. She’s second in command to Benji and is much loved by everyone. Her favourite activity is accompanying the horses on their many rides across the Common.
And finally …
There are many facets to a successful Riding School; the horses, the location, the riding country; but none of this would mean a thing without a dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate team to look after our riders, Members and horse owners.
We see ourselves as one big family, we work together and through choice we even socialise together. It is for this reason that Wimbledon Village Stables functions so well and is the true secret behind our success.