Mahogany Bay Farm's Owner/Trainer/Director of Riding & Educational Programs, Erin Sheffer, M.Ed, has had a lifelong passion for horses! She has over 15 years of training and teaching experience. Erin spent her youth riding young and green horses, mostly off-the-track Thoroughbreds, and having fun competing at horse shows in the hunter and equitation divisions. While receiving her Bachelor's degree in Business and her Master's degree in Education, she worked for several hunter/jumper, dressage, and eventing barns doing everything from mucking stalls to training horses to teaching. She also volunteered at a 24-hour emergency equine veterinarian clinic to solidify her education in horse care and stable management. Erin has realized that teaching is her other passion, either in the classroom teaching business, computer and STEM classes to 6th-12th graders, or in the ring! Erin is a firm believer in lifelong learning and continues her riding and training education by attending clinics, workshops, and seminars with top trainers each year. Erin's biggest influencers in her riding and training are five-time Olympian show jumper, Anne Kursinski, international Grand Prix dressage trainer and Olympic alternate, Jane Savoie, and Grand Prix dressage trainer and international natural horsemanship clinician, Karen Rohlf. Erin strives for a relaxed family atmosphere where lessons are not centered around the pressures of competitions but rather focused on achieving the student's individual goals and needs while learning proper horsemanship. Whether your interest lies in riding for pleasure, competing at horse shows, or somewhere in between, Erin creates personalized riding and training programs to suit every horse and rider. She is qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable and loves explaining riding theory, the how and why of riding, to her students!
Mahogany Bay Farm is named after Erin's beloved off-the-track Thoroughbred stallion, J. Cooper, who was the grandson of the 1977 Triple Crown Winner, Seattle Slew, and raced under the name of Alone in Seattle. Just like his grandfather, J. Cooper started his racing career as a youngster, however, his heart wasn't in it. Years after his race track days he ended up being saved from slaughter at the New Holland Auction in Pennsylvania and given to Erin.
J. Cooper might not have been fast enough on the racetrack but he excelled in everything else. His sweetheart demeanor, quiet confidence, and friendliness stole the hearts of everyone around him. J. Cooper's natural athleticism and willingness to try anything new made him a phenomenal horse to ride and train. He loved hacking in the field and over new terrain, jumping, beach rides and grazing with his best friend, Cub Scout. J. Cooper was a stunning, majestic, and lovable stallion that broke every stereotype stallions hold. His mahogany bay coat will forever shine on!