Carole Zempel

Carole is a graduate of Rutgers University, and first came to Briarwood as a rider within the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association program.  She fit right into the Briarwood family, and joined our staff upon graduation.  Her attention to detail and her desire to learn is what inspires her as a rider and as an instructor. Her talents as a riding coach and teaching young people to compete has brought her to develop and lead our Interscholastic Equestrian Team (IEA).   It is with great enjoyment that we wish Carole best of luck on her newest ventures and dreams-come-true!  She has moved to a new home in South Carolina, where she will be renovating a farm property with her husband Mike to welcome her horse Magic to his retirement!  But don't worry, Carole will still be managing out IEA Team --- often in person!  She will be happily putting some miles on her tires to come be with us!  She promises us that she is forever in our hearts...and often in the ring, and always available by phone, internet and Zoom!
Katie grew up as a Briarwood student - from the ranks of the Novice rider right through being a successful competitor on the show circuit with great confidence and pride in representing Briarwood.  She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and upon finding that a job in the sciences would just not over-ride her passion for horses, she returned to Briarwood to ride, teach and train.  Katie married the founder of Briarwood, Jack Benson in 1991, and they had two children, JW and Elizabeth.  Jack passed away in 2010, and Katie continues to bring an outstanding business of teaching and training to the community, all in sharing the love and respect of horses.  She thoroughly enjoys the teaching the academic science of riding, and the art of equitation, all of which carry into any discipline.  

Katie Benson

Sandie Dagnall

Sharon Murdoch

Sandie first came to Briarwood to receive the seriously focused training needed to become a competitive rider in the nationally recognized Medal/Maclay division.  She rode to great success in the Equitation divisions on her first horse, Corey and later enjoyed the freedom and fun of the Jumper Division on her black mare, Licorice Chic.  Sandie now teaches a multi-faceted training program utilizing her knowledge of all disciplines.  She enjoys a farm life at home with her husband Todd, and their two children Justin and Sarah, and ships her horses Twizzler and Victor in for instruction and training.