Danielle Menteer, Director/Instructor
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 as associate director and was named director in 2012. 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 National Finals during her time as a student there.
Prior to her arrival in Albion, Menteer 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 competes Albion College Lenox at Prix St. George and Intermediate I.
Menteer's duties at the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center include development of the programs and facilities, event coordination and planning, oversight of all equestrian staff, recruitment of future students, and instruction of current students. She is also the coach of the Albion Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team. Under her leadership and tutelage, the team earned National Finals berths in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013 and individual riders were selected in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Elizabeth Poulin, Associate Director/Instructor (photo coming soon)
Previously a self-employed professional dressage rider, trainer, and clinician, Poulin came to Albion College’s Held Equestrian Center to join the staff as associate director in May 2013. She has ridden, trained, and competed through Grand Prix dressage under the tutelage of her father and USEF “S” judge, Thomas Poulin. As a current USDF “L” program participant, she is expected to graduate with distinction in April of 2014.
Poulin’s riding career began when she was just three years old and has brought her many accomplishments and awards including GAIG Regional Championship winnings at multiple levels, year-end, breed, and rider-of-the-year awards. She has qualified and competed at the USDF/Markel Young Horse National Dressage Championships four times on three different horses and earned Reserve National Champion in 2007. Since then she has ridden and trained privately out of St. Charles, Ill., while maintaining a successful marketing career focused on paid search and social media. Over the years she has coached many students to reach their riding goals and looks forward to contributing to the success of the Albion College riding program.
Poulin’s role as associate director includes ongoing support of the director’s responsibilities, lesson instruction, dressage competition, and providing marketing expertise for recruitment purposes.
Randi Gardner, Stable Manager/Instructor
A Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) master-level instructor, Randi Gardner joined the Held Center staff in October of 2011. 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.
At the Held Center, Gardner’s daily tasks include all aspects of stable management, including oversight of the barn staff, arrangement of feeding and turnout schedules, scheduling for all vet, farrier, and specialist visits, horse show and event support, and instruction of students. She is also the coach of the Albion College hunt seat team.
Carolyn Killewald, Office Manager/Show Secretary
Carolyn Killewald is a graduate of Albion College and holds a B.A. in English. She was previously employed as a magazine editor for a trade association in Jackson, MI before being hired at the Held Equestrian Center in August 2008. Killewald's role at the Held Center includes planning events and projects, marketing, recruitment, accounts receivables, purchasing, and serving as a liaison between the Center, students, community members, and faculty/staff of Albion College. During horse shows at the Held Center, Killewald serves as the show secretary, coordinating competitors' entries and fees, issuing awards, and tracking results.
A lifetime equestrian, Killewald competed in the U.S. Pony Club and eventually placed her focus on dressage. Together with her Trakehner mare, Tierra del Fuego, she has competed through Second level at USDF recognized shows and regional championships. She trains with Maryal Barnett on a regular basis. Beyond riding, she also spends time scribing at dressage shows, drawing, spending time with her husband and dogs, and working outside at their small farm in nearby Concord, MI.
Denise Webber, Instructor
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 and 2012. 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.
Eve Newton, Instructor
Eve Newton was hired by Albion College in September 2012 as a riding instructor specializing in the hunter/jumper discipline. She divides her time between the Held Center and also teaching lessons at Windsong Stable in Battle Creek and Fox Brush Farm in Dewitt, MI. She has been an instructor at these two facilities since 1991, during which time her students have consistently qualified for various national hunter and equitation finals (USEF, ASPCA Maclay and USET).
As a rider, Newton has had numerous successes in the competition arena, winning awards in Junior Hunter, Junior Jumper, and Equitation throughout the Midwest. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Bowling Green State University, and she worked as a math teacher before focusing all of her attention on teaching riders and horses. Newton currently resides in Okemos, MI with her family.