Hollins University hiring assistant riding coach

Hollins University is hiring a full-time, year-round assistant riding coach.

The assistant coach teaches riding classes throughout the academic year, but also helps prepare team riders for shows, and assists with the care of the horses and facility as needed.

Additionally, this position works with the Admission and Marketing offices on program recruiting including attending events, facilitating social media outreach, coordinating campus visits for prospective student riders, and helping them through the application, admission, and enrollment processes. The assistant coach also helps in the direction and planning of the summer riding camp.

Hollins University in Roanoke is one of the nation’s strongest equestrian schools.

Think you might have what it takes? Hollins University says successful applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in education, equine science, or a related field; a minimum of three years of successful experience with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and collegiate competitive equestrian teaching/coaching at all levels; understanding and working knowledge of ODAC, IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association), SWVHJA (Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association), and other equestrian organizations and their rules and policies; understanding and working knowledge of horse health; Microsoft Office proficiency; and a valid U.S. driver’s license with minimal violations.

Candidates must have effective teaching methods; demonstrated horse and rider safety skills; ability to articulate the benefits and unique experience of a liberal arts institution for women; excellent leadership, role-modeling, organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills; and demonstrated success working with diverse populations.

Applicants must also have abilities to work well with student, campus, alumnae, and equestrian organization constituencies; work independently and as part of a team; and drivea horse trailer. Must also be able and willing to travel by air and ground and to work evenings and weekends. Applicants with experience in collegiate admission or marketing and those with knowledge of the Hollins riding program are preferred. Final candidates will be subject to criminal history and motor vehicle background checks.

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, salary requirement, and contact information for three references to hollinshr@hollins.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

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Hollins hiring director of equestrian program

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Courtesy Hollins University

Hollins University is hiring a Director of Equestrian Program and Head Riding Coach after the retirement of longtime director Nancy Peterson.

Peterson, who turns 79 this month, told the Chronicle of the Horse in April, “I just thought it was time. I have not been coerced or pushed or pressured to do this. It is my decision. I’m really happy with it. I just feel like it is time for new leadership and somebody else to come in and take over the program—[someone] who’s younger maybe and more energetic, more stamina than I’ve got. The only expression I can use is, ‘It’s time.”

Peterson arrived at Hollins in 1972. Since then Hollins riders have earned 19 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association individual national championships, four Fitch Trophy/Cacchione Cup Individual National High Point Rider titles, 21 Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles and two IHSA national team championships.

The job description for the director position includes:

  •  management of barn staff and assistant coaches
  • oversight of horse health and a donation program that ensures top quality care and safety.
  • teaching riding classes, conducting practices with other coaches, coaching at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) horse show and open horse shows and managing and training donated horses
  • responsible for developing and maintaining the equestrian budget
  • oversight of the riding facility
  • administrative duties related to students and horse show participation and recruitment of student riders working collaboratively with the admissions office.

Hollins Spring Welcome Horse Show returns to Virginia Horse Center in March

hollinsThe Hollins Spring Welcome Horse Show will return to the Virginia Horse Center March 2-5 and will feature a variety of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The Spring Welcome is a “National/A” rated show and will have USEF 1* Jumper classes as well as USHJA Outreach classes.

Hollins University has had a competitive equestrian program since the 1930s. In the past 30 years, Hollins students have won 18 national individual championships and four have gone on to win the coveted Cacchione Cup. As a team, Hollins has won the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Team Honors twice.

The March show will include a $1,000 WIHS/NAL Children’s & Adult Hunter Classics, $1,000 Hollins Amateur Owner Hunter Classic, $1,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Stake, a $1,000 Hollins Junior Hunter Classic, a $500 Hollins Pony Hunter Classic and a $225 Hollins Children’s Pony Hunter Classic. The show also includes several other special awards and perpetual trophies.

The show will use four arenas at the horse center, including the Coliseum. Judges are Chance Arakelian of Rancho Santa Fe, California, E. Sue Bopp of Remington, Virginia, Randy Henry of Castle Rock, Colorado and Judy Spitzer of Mount Sidney, Virginia.

Equine community mourns death of Hollins riding coach L.M. “Sandy” Gerald

Sandy Gerald
L.M.”Sandy” Gerald

The Roanoke Valley horse community is mourning the death of local horseman L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, head coach of the Hollins University riding team.

Besides his work at Hollins, Gerald was a well respected course designer and USEF “R” judge; was awarded the Virginia Horse Show Association’s Susan H. Hagan Memorial Trophy; was a seven-time ODAC Coach of the Year; was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Hall of Fame in 2006; was the VHSA Horseman of the Year in 2006 and 1992 (making him only the second person in the history of the VHSA to earn the honor a second time) and also was inducted into the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame in 2015.

Gerald also served as hunter/jumper manager for the Roanoke Valley Horse Show from 2009 – 2014. The Roanoke Valley Horsemen’s Association released this statement today:

“The Roanoke Valley Horsemen’s Association along with the Roanoke Valley Horse Show were shocked and greatly saddened by the sudden loss of our very dear friend LM Sandy Gerald. He has been a great asset to our association and show for many many years, but more importantly he was a very dear friend who was above all else a true Southern Gentleman. His absence will be felt for many years to come. Out thoughts and prayers are with His family, His Hollins family, his friends, and the hundreds of riding students he has impacted over the years.”

He is reported to have fallen while decorating  a jump at Hollins and later died while in surgery to repair a broken hip.

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