Sue Smith is the Executive Director for CANTER PA, a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to re-homing ex-racehorses. A Mount Holyoke graduate, her professional background is in commercial and industrial real estate development. She is currently a board member for the Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series, fundraising for Thoroughbred aftercare through a series of horse shows which promote sport horse careers for ex-racehorses. An avid Dressage rider, Sue is also a board member for the International Equestrian Organization, the first dressage club formed in America. Most recently, she can be found writing guest articles about transitioning ex-racehorses for the popular sports site, Eventing Nation.
Photo: Rough Coat Photography
Now a resident of Aiken, SC, Richard grew up in Woodstock, VT, helping run his family’s horse farm, riding camp and ski lodge, as well as competing in hunters, jumpers, eventing, Pony Club and fox hunting. After graduation from St. Lawrence University, Richard managed his father’s guest house and riding center in Ireland, where he rode racehorses as well as jumpers and eventers; he also worked with Eric Horgan of the Irish eventing team. Richard is certified through the first level of the British Horse Society Instructor Certification and Level III in the USEA Instructor Certification Program and is one of the first to be certified as a Young Event Horse Trainer with distinction.
Richard returned to the United States to teach, train and compete, working with young and adult riders competing at all levels. Since 2002, he’s served as Chef d’Equipe and coach of the US Pony Club Team at USEF National Pony Jumper Championships, and also coached members of the 2012 US Olympic Modern Pentathlon team in riding. Richard has ridden Thoroughbreds all his life and considers the breed to be the ultimate sport horse, and has been a longtime supporter of the Thoroughbred Makeover as a judge and volunteer.
Malinda Lawrence was a founding RRP board member that served through 2015 and actively volunteered for the organization since then. An attorney for the federal government, Malinda can be credited with establishing the RRP’s nonprofit status and laying a strong administrative foundation for the organization in its earliest years. A Pony Club graduate and eventing enthusiast, Malinda has owned two OTTBs over the last two decades, both of whom participated in some of the RRP’s first clinics and demonstrations over 10 years ago. She also serves on the United States Eventing Association’s Legal Committee.
Amanda is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Nine Thirty Racing. Amanda’s love of Thoroughbreds and Thoroughbred racing began in childhood with frequent visits to Arlington Park with her grandparents. She began investing in racing partnerships in 2012 with a partial ownership interest in her first racehorse, and in 2014 she began her partnership management career. Over the past seven years, Amanda has owned and managed interests in several racing and breeding partnerships. Her greatest success came in March of 2018 when Chocolate Martini, the filly she and her partners in Double Doors Racing had claimed for $25,000, won the G2 Fairgrounds Oaks and finished a respectable fifth in the G1 Kentucky Oaks. Since Chocolate Martini’s “claim to fame” story, Nine Thirty Racing has grown to over 40 members and most importantly, has created a countless number of new Thoroughbred and racing fans, something Amanda is very passionate about.
Neil Agate is the founder of business and technology services firms Four Gates, LLC, and Viener4Gates Consulting; he is the former President of the Maryland Horse Council and guided the organization through two major initiatives: the acquisition and management of the Equiery publication, and the formation of a safety net program for horses and owners called Maryland Equine Transition Service (METS). Neil serves on the Board of Directors of the British American Business Association and is a member of the Equine Safety Committee of the US Polo Association. Neil is an avid polo player, and in 2015 was the top amateur in the Thoroughbred Makeover’s polo discipline and has competed in the Makeover four times. He lives with his wife Kathy in Darnestown, MD.
Buck Davidson is an international event rider and coach, having competed at the highest level all over the world and ranked in the top 10 eventing riders globally (he was ranked #1 in 2012). He has coached numerous riders to the Olympic Games and the 5* level. Buck has enjoyed success a the top levels with numerous Thoroughbreds, including one of his current mounts Jak My Style. He is the co-presenter of the RRP’s annual charity golf event in Ocala, Florida and served as a clinician in an RRP Master Class.
JudithAnn Hartman is a long-standing supporter of the RRP who sponsors the Top Maryland-Bred special award at the Thoroughbred Makeover under the name of her racing and breeding operation, Copper Beech Stables. Judy is also a breeder of Welsh Mountain Ponies and actively competes them in combined driving. Judy earned her doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University and, prior to going full-time in her racing and breeding endeavors, worked in research and development as well as serving as a professor of chemistry at the United States Naval Academy.
Born in Colchester, England, Anita Motion worked as an exercise and work rider in England and France, specializing in the early starting and training of young Thoroughbred racehorses. She met her future husband Graham on a summer internship as a pupil assistant to Alain De Royer Dupre, and with Graham, emigrated to the United States. A back injury ended her riding career, but she manages the business aspects of Herringswell Stables. Passionate about Thoroughbred aftercare, rehabilitation and retraining, Anita serves not only on the Retired Racehorse Project board but also on the boards of The National Museum of Racing, Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation, and Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. She also founded the popular event The Real Rider Cup, which has raised over $225,000 for Thoroughbred aftercare to date. She has two children, Jane and Marcus.
Tom & Clare Mansmann
Clare and Tom Mansmann, who operate Pacific Farms in Hume, Virginia, have competed in the Thoroughbred Makeover since 2016, regularly attending with multiple horses and engaging their clients and students in the process. They have been advocates for and promotors of the RRP, organizing demonstrations, cultivating community amongst trainers, and crediting their involvement with the organization for reigniting their passion for training horses. They are a dynamic pair, with riding backgrounds spanning from exercise riding and upper level eventing to foxhunting and cutting.
Pavla and her husband Erik own Thor-Bred Stables LLC, a breeding and racehorse ownership entity. They’re also the previous owners of the Ocala Jockey Club, a farm in Ocala, FL which has a long history as a Thoroughbred farm, where they ran the Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day Event. Pavla admired horses ever since she can remember, but got her first chance to be around them when she bought a just-retired 4-year old OTTB filly at a local cowboy auction in Vancouver, Canada. That mare is now 23 years old and still in Pavla’s care, along with another 10-year old gelding formerly raced by Thor-Bred Stables. Pavla holds a B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and is a NY-licensed attorney.
Photo: Anne Eberhardt
A lifelong equestrian, Jodie Vella-Gregory began her career in eventing in her native Canada, eventually landing a spot on the Young Riders Team for Alberta. After graduation from the University of Alberta with a degree in political science and psychology, she interned at KESMARC in Lexington, Kentucky, then worked as a clinician and surgeon technician for Dr. Scott Hopper at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital before shifting to the racing industry, working at Breeders’ Cup Ltd and Santa Anita Park in various roles. Currently, she is the Manager of Innovation for 1/ST Racing (formerly known as The Stronach Group), elevating the overall experience for horses and horsemen and women at the company’s nationwide facilities. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Retired Racehorse Project, Jodie is on the advisory board for The Jockey Club’s Safety Net Foundation, raising funds for the backstretch community needs.
Steuart L. Pittman, Jr.
Board Member Emeritus
Steuart Pittman is the founder of the Retired Racehorse Project, formed as a non-profit organization in 2010, after recognizing the need for efforts to market the ex-racehorse as a sport horse. A former professional in the horse industry, Steuart operated Dodon Farm Training Center and trained horses and riders for eventing, dressage and jumping. Steuart stepped away from RRP leadership in 2018 to pursue a political career, and currently serves as Anne Arundel County Executive. He is also past president of the Maryland Horse Council and has been actively involved in efforts to revitalize Maryland Thoroughbred racing.
Board Member Emeritus
Dr. Carolyn Karlson is an owner and breeder of Thoroughbred racehorses through her New York-based business Sisu Racing Stables. Carolyn also offers college admissions counseling through her business Starting Gate College Consulting and additionally is employed as an instructor with State University of New York (SUNY) Oneonta. Carolyn was a catalyst for bringing the Thoroughbred Makeover into existence, conceiving of the format for the first Makeover in 2013; she has been the RRP’s biggest benefactor since. She resides in Saratoga Springs, NY.