Board of Directors
- Ginny Iverson, Executive Director
- Kathy Spear
- Scott Hamshaw
- Chigee Cloninger
- Patricia Fobare-Erickson
- Kelly Hamshaw
- Deborah Roderer
- Nico Amador
Legal Advisor: Nanci Smith, Esq.
Director of Fundraising: Cristina Piergentili
2017 Interns: Madison Berry, Cristina Piergentili, Mollie Horan, Mattie Watts, Kaitlyn Wurzer, Emilia Dronkert, Sienna Marcotte, Hannah Hill, Julie Fosberg
Ginny Iverson, Executive Director and Head Trainer
I grew up in a city. My parents were mystified as to why “horse” was my first word and how I came to be a horse crazy child. My only horse experiences were television and Sunday drives through the countryside with me screaming “HORSE” every time we passed one grazing in a field. My parents tried to support my passion and I began regular weekend journeys to riding stables. The summer I graduated from college with a degree in education, I purchased my first two horses. One was aptly named “Halleluja I Finally Got A Horse”. The other, Tequila, became my first show, dressage and event horse. With Hal and Quila, I began to live my dream of living and playing with horses every day of my life. Ever since, I have operated a boarding, training and teaching facility, not as my job, but as my lifestyle. Each horse who has entered my life has taught me something valuable. And so have most of their people.
My third horse was a Thoroughbred named Maggie Mae. Yup, I became hooked on TBs and realized my passion: starting young horses, retraining wayward horses and introducing them to the lower levels of competition. Helping unwanted horses became my mission, and Thoroughbreds at the racetrack provided the perfect opportunity to put my skills and passion to use.
I have had the good fortune to build my dream, Lakota~Way Farm and AFTER the Track. My graduate degree and extensive experience in education, along with my intensive focus on precision instruction, have uniquely prepared me to be a successful horse trainer and riding instructor. And my professional career in higher education has also been the impetus behind AFTER the Track’s Educational Outreach Program. I am honored to be the founder of AFTER the Track.
Hello. I’m Nanci Smith and I’m honored to serve as legal advisor to After The Track. I remember going for a “hack” (a fancy word for a trail ride) with Ginny several years ago when she shared her vision to start a not-for-profit Thoroughbred rescue program. I said something like: “Wow. What an incredible idea!” The dream has become a reality and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as legal advisor . First, I love horses. Always have. Always will. Everything we do at After the Track is for the love and welfare of horses. I hope that my 20+ years of being an attorney licensed to practice in Vermont and New York, my passion for resolving disputes and conflict peacefully, and my natural optimism, tempered by some healthy skepticism will serve the board and After The Track well. Horses teach us so much about ourselves, and they are always honest if we take the time to listen. Saving these horses from destruction, allowing them to re-discover their worth as individuals, exploring meaningful and fun work for them to do, and finding lasting partnerships with humans through the adoption program is an amazing mission. I can talk about horses (or divorces) all day long, but I better get back to work so I can get to the barn later!
Chigee J Cloninger
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” “Work is love made manifest.” My career in all its variations has been a fulfillment of these quotes, with the “beauty” being communities that value each person’s diversity as contribution and normal rather than as deviance and compliance. And the “love” being to make meaningful difference in the lives of those I touch — children and adults with disabilities, their families, the people who teach and serve them and those who teach those who teach and serve, and their community friends. My work has been to bring everyone to be leaders who are courageous, embrace the questions, gracious, expect surprise, consider the hearts of others, build relationships, and are animated by purpose and hope. This is the story I’m proud to have given my life’s work to.
Since retiring from the University of Vermont several years ago, I’ve taken my story to other experiences, circumstances, people, and animals — to all I have the opportunity to encounter in the various new paths I find myself on. Pete, my husband and I sold our Vermont home, bought an RV, our (motor) Coach House, and travel, always returning to Vermont for the beautiful summers and our wonderful friends. So, when my friend Ginny asked me, with unbridled enthusiasm and passion, to be on the AFTER the Track Board, assuring me I was not needed for my horse expertise, of which I have none, I agreed. I can contribute in a variety of ways to this newly minted organization, including skills in organization, working collaboratively with others, writing, leadership, recruiting support, photography, and so forth. I like the challenge of new encounters and new applications of knowledge and skills and learning anew, which I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunity for.
And, I do like horses, a lot. Over the years I have pleasure-ridden various horses, with joy and scarce form. While working on my graduate degree at The Ohio State University, Pat, a mentor-professor taught me enough to ride and take care of her horse, PlayMore, alone. This gave me a welcome break from my studies, teaching, and research, riding PlayMore in the fields and paths around the stable. Over the years, I have learned an immense amount about horses from Ginny. One of the accomplishments I hope for while on the Board is to learn even more about these horses, then share that information with others. I also hope to see AFTER the Track become a viable organization, restoring these exceptional horses, with their new owners, to a life of fun, health, and service.
Scott Hamshaw is an environmental engineer from Bristol, Vermont who is also pursuing a PhD at the University of Vermont. His work at UVM focuses on research related to water quality. In addition, Scott has been active in local community organizations including The Watershed Center, Partners of the Americas Vermont-Honduras, and AFTER the Track. He also enjoys his work as a part time web developer through which he is able to work with several local organization and businesses. He and his wife Kelly own two horses, including Backside Diva who was adopted through AFTER the Track.
Kathy Spear, Secretary
Kathy Spear founded Kathy and Company Flowers in Burlington, Vermont in 1992. In addition to being an expert florist, Kathy is a highly successful and respected businesswoman. Kathy and Tilton, her Thoroughbred gelding, came to Lakota~Way Farm as boarders in the late 1980s, and has been a close friend of LWF ever since. Kathy is a lifelong learner of horsemanship, and actively studies and practices dressage, trail riding and natural horsemanship. AFTER the Track is fortunate to benefit from Kathy’s great wisdom, knowledge and years of equestrian experience.
Pat Fobare-Erickson,DVM is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Animal Science at the University of Vermont. Currently, she teaches a variety of science based, animal related courses during the school year and during the summer. In addition, Pat has taught while on invited sabbatical in the Caribbean and in Tanzania where she maintains appointments in local colleges and organizations. Topics include Zoo Conservation, Animal Health and Medicine, and Equine Rehabilitation. In addition, she is on the Board of the Conservation Research Foundation and leads the Curriculum and Admission Standards Committee in the Animal Science Department at UVM.
Kelly Hamshaw is a Lecturer in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont where she teaches courses focused on sustainable community development. Horses have been an integral part of her life since taking her first riding lesson at the age of 11. Horses have brought lifelong friends into her life, including her husband Scott Hamshaw–thanks to a chestnut OTTB gelding named Tucker. After an opportunity arose to start riding at Lakota Way Farm in the summer of 2013, Kelly quickly became impressed with Ginny’s approach to working with her OTTB’s and shortly thereafter Backside Diva became the newest AFTER the Track horse following her last race at Suffolk Downs. The stars aligned to allow Kelly to adopt the beautiful gray mare in October 2014. Kelly is looking forward to contributing to AFTER the Track to enable more OTTBs to transition to the next steps in their lives beyond the track and find their new people.
I am the assistant director at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library in Williston, Vermont, where I have worked for 29 years. I have honed my leadership and organizational skills through my library work and volunteer positions with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and PTO in my home town of Richmond, as well as with AFTER the Track. I started riding at the age of 6. My first ride was on a horse named Tractor– and he was built like one! When the instructor told me, “Don’t look down,” of course I looked down and tumbled right off. I scrambled back on and have been passionate about horses and riding ever since. I have at times owned my own horse, including an OTTB back in the 1980’s, and at times have ridden horses owned by friends. My focus is on eventing and dressage, but I enjoy a long trail ride the most. I have been a member of the Lakota~Way Farm family for many years and am grateful for the opportunity to know the OTTBs at AFTER the Track. I am proud to be helping to train and re-home these noble animals through my efforts on the board.
Nico Amador lives in Bristol. VT and has over 10 years experience in the non-profit sector. From 2008-2015 he served as an Executive Director of Training for Change, whose mission is to build the skills and capacity of those standing up for social, economic and environmental justice. He is currently works as the community organizer for the ACLU of Vermont and runs his own coaching and consulting business to build leadership and facilitation skills for people leading community based projects and campaigns for social change. Nico got involved with AFTER the Track in 2016 as a regular volunteer and is excited to continue his support for this important project as a board member.
Cristina Piergentilli, Director of Fundraising
Cristina graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Animal Science. With her degree Cristina was hoping to make a difference in animals lives, no matter the species. Her love of all animals started when she was very young and intensified when she adopted her first dog, Mason. She owns Exploration Dog Camp where she gets to explore the woods with her dog packs each day. Cristina got into the horse world when she was 6 years old by taking lessons at a local farm since then she has worked at barns all over the state. She came to AFTER the Track after seeing a presentation done by Ginny in one of her UVM classes. There was an instant connection with the works done by AFTER the Track and she wanted to be apart of it in any way she could.
Madison is new to the Vermont area and is happy to now call it home! Hailing from Columbia, MO, she is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Though she originally planned to take her Radio/TV/Film degree to the West coast, a fateful Google search for OTTB internships led her all the way to New England and to AFTER the Track. She began both riding and following horse racing at the age of 10, and brings with her a passion for all things equine as well as a bevy of nerdy racing facts. Her favorite thing is spending days at the barn and seeing how our horses change and progress each and every day. Madison spends her time outside of the farm writing, reading, pursuing photography, and watching way too much TV. She moonlights in education to pay for her horse habit, and hopes to one day combine her love of horses with her passion for progressive education.
Mollie Horan, Horsemanship Intern
“I was born and raised in the city of Boston, so horse barns weren’t that close or accessible. However, my parents took notice to my relentless obsession with horses and decided to help fuel that fire by driving me to and from riding lessons starting at the age of 11. I have dreamed of having a career in the equine industry for as long as I can remember – and I couldn’t be happier studying animal/equine science at UVM. I stumbled upon AFTER the Track last April and I became hooked. The horses are incredible, the people are passionate, and their dedication to the program is unparalleled. I was attracted to the horsemanship internship because of how hands-on and detailed it is. You grow together with the horses and people around you, and you never stop learning.
Every horse here has a unique personality and their intelligence and drive shines through during their training. I’m looking forward to a great semester with my fellow interns as we get to help give these horses a chance to live out a long and fufilling life.”
Mattie Watts, Horsemanship Intern
Hi everyone! I am a junior at University of Vermont and studying animal science. I am also a student-athlete at UVM. I am very excited to be working with AFTER the Track to connect my passions: athleticism and animals. I hope I will be able to apply my athletic experiences along with my animal science background. These horses are incredible athletes, and I am honored to help make new careers for them. I can’t wait to start interning for the spring semester!!
I am a junior at Saint Michael’s College majoring in biology and a member of the women’s ice hockey team. With hopes of attending veterinary school, I wanted to become an intern at AFTER the Track to improve my horsemanship skills and to learn about the holistic retraining process that helps these at risk thoroughbreds find their new purposes.
Emilia Dronkert, Horsemanship Intern
I’m Emilia, I’m 19 and from Seattle, andI’m a political science major. I have been around — and riding — horses for most of my life. I love what Ginny does at AFTER the Track. It is so sad how many racehorses face an uncertain future and AFTER the Track is a wonderful, rewarding cause. All the horses at AFTER are so sweet and truly a joy to be around!