RIVER WIND FARM
Carl is one of the most well respected trainers in New England. A lifelong horseman, he trained early on with Leo Boyle, an old-school trainer who broke all horses to ride, drive, race and jump. After graduating from Utica College, Carl opened River Wind Farm and entered the hunter/jumper scene. Carl oversees the facility, staff, sale horses, lesson and training programs and show season. Carl’s students have found great success on the “AA” circuit in the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings, and many have gone on to become successful professionals in their own right.
Several of the best known trainers in the area got their start riding with, or working for, Carl. He demands good sportsmanship from his students, a number of whom have been honored with the sportsmanship awards at New England Equitation Championships and MHC Days of Champions. Carl is known for his uncanny ability to evaluate horses, and to match a rider with the right horse. He has sponsored countless working students who have shown themselves to be dedicated and talented kids who otherwise could not afford to ride.
Carl serves the horse community as an “r” judge and by serving on many committees helping to improve competition on many levels, including the New England Equitation Championship Committee. In 2010, he was honored with the New England Equitation Championship Lifetime Achievement Award.
Spencer Catani has been involved with horses for many years, riding casually as a child, and then competitively as an adult. She has shown in the Amateur Owner Hunters and in the Jumpers with RWF, collecting many ribbons along the way. In 2010, Spencer won the Massachusetts Horsemen's Council Adult Medal final with her longtime partner, Amazing Grace. A few years later, she turned in her amateur card and began teaching at the farm. Spencer specializes in teaching our youngest students and beginner adult riders.
When Abby Greer began riding with Carl Catani at the age of eight, she could hardly have known that she was embarking upon her career; after a successful run in the junior hunters and equitation (including an 11th place finish at the USEF Medal finals), Abby graduated from Babson College and returned to RWF as a professional rider and trainer. With over twenty years’ teaching experience, Abby inspires her students to always give their best without ever compromising compassion for the horse. Under Abby’s tutelage, RWF juniors have consistently qualified for the Maclay, USEF Medal, and USET finals, including top finishes at Maclay regionals and USET finals. She has also coached many juniors and adults to top ribbons and championships at New England Equitation Championships, MHC Days of Champions, and MHJ finals. In the tack, Abby’s grace, athleticism and talent combine to enhance a horse’s natural ability. She specializes in bringing along green horses, and has enjoyed tremendous success in the professional hunter divisions on the "AA" circuit and at the national indoor shows. At home, Abby shares her knowledge with riders of all levels.
Lia is a lifelong rider who competed as a junior under the tutelage of Linda Langmeier and earned top honors at shows such as WEF, Devon, Lake Placid, Saratoga, and Harrisburg. She was recruited to ride for the Division I NCAA team at Texas A&M where she still holds the record as the winningest hunt seat rider in team history. As a captain of the team, Lia helped guide Texas A&M to four national championships as well as being a two-time individual All-American.
As a professional, Lia has gained a wide range of experience at large show and sales barns. She has successfully brought along young hunter, jumper, and equitation prospects and is adept at matching horses and riders based on ability and compatibility.
Deirdre began riding with her dad at River Wind Farm when she was still in diapers, progressing from leadline to the Medal, Maclay, and USET finals. As an adult, Deirdre continued her winning ways in the Amateur Owner Hunters and Jumpers, and was simply unbeatable in the equitation ring. She won the MHC Adult Medal Finals in 2002, and in 2003 won both the New England Equitation Finals and the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals. Also in 2003, Deirdre was honored with the NEEC Adult Sportsmanship Award. In 2008, Deirdre was again champion of the New England Equitation Finals, this time as a “middle” adult. After spending three years as a working student with Emil Spadone, Deirdre turned in her amateur card and began her career as a professional at RWF in 2009. Deirdre focuses on developing young hunters and jumpers. In 2013, Deirdre qualified for the Devoucoux Hunter Prix and competed in her first Grand Prix. Deirdre teaches young riders with warmth and fun, with an emphasis on horsemanship and sportsmanship.
Sarah Ward was raised with horses from a young age; her mother first taught her to ride at home before sending her to Biscuit Hill Farm at the age of seven. There, Sarah competed in the junior medals and had the opportunity to ride in the College Preparatory Invitational in Palm Beach, Florida. Sarah spent three years working in the horse business as a professional before coming to River Wind Farm in 2017. Sarah has impressive horse sense and is responsible for all aspects of our horses' care. She is a Massachusetts licensed riding instructor and specializes in riding young horses as well as rehabilitating horses following injuries. Sarah is the head coach of the River Wind Farm IEA Team.
Deb Sloan began riding with Richard and Julie Ulrich at Friars Gate Farm in Pembroke, where she also trained in classical dressage with Karl Mikolka from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. At age sixteen, Deb joined Carl Catani and Leo Boyle at Fleetwood Farm, and went on to become Carl’s first student at the incipient River Wind Farm. Deb and her Amateur-Owner Hunter, Audacious, notched champion or reserve at nearly every horse show they attended, earning high ribbons at Madison Square Garden, Harrisburg and Washington. Deb returned to RWF as an instructor following a career as an elementary school educator.
Susan Boyer’s love of horses has taken her from the trails behind Briggs Stable in Hanover, Massachusetts at age ten, to competing in local hunter/jumper shows as a teenager with her first horse, Doorshop, to a three-year stint working at a dude ranch in Wyoming, and finally to River Wind Farm, where she has been teaching since 2002. Susan teaches weekend lessons during the school year, and runs RWF’s Summer Riding Program, teaching kids the fundamentals of riding, horsemanship, and stable management. Susan is currently the Coordinator for Special Education at Norwell High School, where she has spent the majority of her 30+ year career teaching Special Education. This experience allows her to see the potential in every rider and to craft an individualized program to ensure each student’s success in riding. Susan tries to instill in each of her students a love of riding for the joy of it, and an appreciation for all a horse has to offer.