Susan Van Blarcom
Samantha Whitley
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Susan Van Blarcom

Susan Van Blarcom has been teaching and training horses and riders for over 30 years. A graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University, with a BA in Economics/Accounting, Susan worked for an accounting firm before following her true passion--horses

Starting with one student, Susan worked as a freelance instructor attracting many more students. Susan's students and their horses have won many state year-end awards and have qualified for many finals in a variety of disciplines, including hunters, jumpers, equitation and dressage. Susan's students have been successful at many major competitions on the east coast, including HITS in Ocala, Devon, Vermont, Harrisburg, Washington and the National Horse Show. She also specializes in training the young horse and retraining the problem horse. She has made many horses into reliable and winning mounts for the show ring and for pleasure mounts, as well.

Wanting to provide her customers with better service and care for them and their horses, Susan leased several farms before purchasing Summerfield Farm in Pittstown, NJ in 1994.

Susan's philosophy of teaching is to train riders to be horsemen and women and not just horse show riders. To that end, Susan encourages her clients to learn to care for their horses with her guidance, contribute to developing their own riding programs and goals and to understand the science of riding and then to make it an art. Riders are encouraged to ride other horses. There are always young horses and sale horses at Summerfield available for students to ride when appropriate.

Susan has developed a Summerfield Farm "Tiny Tots" program for our youngest riders to teach them their basics and horse safety, a school horse program, leasing and half-leasing program, Summerfield's Summer program, and a training program for the more advanced rider and for the show enthusiast.

The care of the horse is of paramount importance to Susan. She closely supervises their care. All horses are treated as individuals with frequent hayings, customized feed programs, night barn checks and lots of turn-out.

Susan is a member of the United States Equestrian Federation, USHJA, ASPCA, NJ Horse Show Association, DVHA and the NJ Professional Horsemen's Association. For the past 13 years, she has served as Chairman of the NJ Professional Horsemen's Association. She is a USHJA Certified Category I Trainer and is a USEF "r" Judge in hunters, hunter equitation and jumpers.

Samantha Whitley

Summerfield Farm is proud to introduce the newest member of our family, assistant trainer Samantha Whitley. Sam is a graduate from Centenary College; majoring in Equine Studies with concentrations in Instruction and Training and Equine Business Management, with a minor in Business Management. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Sam began riding at the age of nine in Virginia. From there she progressed to competing in the Children's and Adult Hunters and Equitation. During her senior year of high school, she received a 5th place ribbon in the Children's Equitation at the Virginia Horse Show Medal Finals aboard her own horse, Lionheart. Also in 2008, Sam qualified 4th in the Country for the WIHS Children's Hunter Classic and placed 14th at the competition.

From the beginning of her riding career, Sam was responsible for many of her horse's expensese. While being competitive on the A circuit can be quite costly, she became a working student for Holliday Ryals and Lisa Rex of Somerset Farms Inc., located in Old Westbury, NY. During summer and winter breaks, Sam would travel on the road with Somerset, and was responsible for the daily care and exercise of many FEI level horses, in exchange for lessons and board of her own horse. She was also required to ride and show many customer-owned horses, as well as sale horses.

During her time at Centenary, Miss Whitley was an important member of multiple teams at the college. As a member of the IHSA team, in 2011 she received a 2nd place in intermediate flat and a 6th place in intermediate over fences as an individua at IHSA Nationals. Sam was also selected for the ANRC Championship Team for three consecutive years. In 2010, Sam placed 7th overall at the ANRC Championship, and helped the team recieve the reserve champion title in both 2011 and 2012. As a member of the Hunter/Jumper team, Sam showed many Centenary owned horses, winning numerous ribbons in the Adult Equitation and Hunters. In 2010 Sam was selected for the Level 1 and 2 of the Emerging Athletes Program.

With her active particaption in the many events that the school had to offer, Sam also found enough time to work for the Centenary's veterinarian, Dr. Michael Fugaro. During her time under Dr. Fugaro, Sam became familiar with diagnostic tools, lameness examinations, and surgical procedures. This dedication, self-motivation, and value to Centenary's program, earned Miss Whitley the Amateur Affiliate Sportsmanship Award from USHJA. This was awarded to outstanding amateurs who exemplify good horsemanship, sportsmanship, and integrity. Sam was also awarded Centenary College's Equine Student of Year, and recieved an Award of Excellence in the Classroom. With Sam's experience, passion, and dedication to the sport, we know she will help you excel here at Summerfield.