Owner of RaxRunEventing & Head Trainer
Upper-Level Event Rider
USEA ICP Level 2 Certified Instructor
Pony Club Graduate A Traditional
Martha was a horse lover from a very early age. She began riding at age 7 in Houston, TX and competed on the local hunter curcuit until a family move to Illinois introduced her to the world of eventing. She was quickly hooked!
After graduation from high school, Martha travelled to South Carolina and Virginia working for Kiki Osbourne. During this time she gained experience at the preliminary level with her horse, Spinner. She also acquired many skills for working with off the track thoroughbreds, retraining them for careers as sport horses.
Eventually, Martha returned to Illinois and started her own business, riding and teaching out of several barns in the area. She was fortunate enough to keep her own horses at Carousel Farm, owned and operated by FEI dressage trainer Lorna Donahue. Lorna gave Martha the opportunity to ride many quality dressage horses, from talented young prospects to grand prix school masters, as well as helping Martha to optimize the performance of her event horses. Under Lorna's guidance, Martha's ability and appreciation for dressage grew exponentially. She also credits Lorna for setting the highest standard of horse and stable management which is evident in the program at Rax Run. During her stay at Carousel Farm, Martha grew to truly love dressage and to understand how crucial a building block it is for every event horse.
Now with two upper level horses, Spinner and Garth, Martha accepted a position working for Paul Ebersole in Bluemont, VA in 2007. Just as Lorna brought Martha's dressage riding to the next level, Paul pushed Martha in the show jumping and cross country. Aspiring for the top levels of the sport, Martha decided to focus on competing Garth while achieving her Pony Club A rating on Spinner. Martha's background as a graduate A makes her an ideal instructor for those wanting to move along the rating system. She also teaches clinics and camps for several of the Virginia pony clubs.
After a year with Paul, Martha set out on her own and has since enjoyed a growing team of horses and riders. From beginners learning to post to serious competitors, Martha has a true passion for teaching and loves seeing riders succeed in their various endeavors, whatever they may be. The same is true for developing horses -taking whatever talent each horse has and building on that until the horse is a confident and capable partner for whatever task he has before him. Still aspiring to rise to the top level of eventing, Martha continues her own education as a rider and trainer through work with Lynn Symansky, Paul Ebersole, Lorna Donahue, and Jan Bynny among others. She has competed through the intermediate level and aspires to reach the top levels of the sport.
In addition to her horse related credentials, Martha has a B.A. in Psychology from George Mason University.
ABOUT OUR TEAM
Hannah & Riley
Directors of Shinanigans at RaxRunEventing
Hannah and Riley are Martha’s german shepherds that are common sites at all the area 2 events and beyond. If you visit Rax Run, they will probably greet you and ask for identification as they take their job as head of farm security very seriously.
When they aren’t greeting visitors, they can be found in the ring helping with lessons or going for a swim in the creek. Their most recognizable and adored trait by far, is the beautiful "Synchronized Sheppie Opera" they conduct, upon arrival at any destination.
In the October of 2017 we lost our sweet Riley to leukemia and in August of 2018 Hannah lost her own battle with cancer. We are comforted by the fact that they are reunited, but their loss is deeply felt.