LaRue Sprouse Dowd
LaRue Sprouse Dowd is the CHA Certified Instructor and PATH Certified Instructor at Sprouse’s Corner Ranch, LLC. LaRue grew up in Dillwyn, Virginia. She has been riding since she was old enough to walk. She started showing Hunt seat and Western in her pre-teen years at local horse shows. Following her sister’s suit, she began taking Saddle Seat riding lessons before she turned ten years old. With the purchase of her first American Saddlebred, each show season was filled with Equitation classes, Pleasure classes, Driving and Parade Classes. During this time, LaRue achieved such accomplishments as ASHAV High Point Champion in the Equitation and Pleasure divisions, Virginia State 4-H Horse Show Champion in the Equitation, Pleasure, and Driving divisions, and Regional 4-H Champion, while serving as the Buckingham Pegasus 4-H Horse and Pony Club President for four years. She also began teaching riding lessons to help pay for the horse shows.
LaRue went to college at Morehead State University in Kentucky. There she attained a degree in Veterinary Technology with a minor in Horsemanship. She was on the Intercollegiate Equestrian Team for four years, successfully competing in Hunter/Jumper and Western classes to the Eastern Regional and Zones levels. She was the instructor for the MSU Advanced Saddleseat course during her junior year. During the summer, LaRue was the coach of the Saddleseat summer show team, traveling to shows throughout Kentucky showing three-gaited and five-gaited American Saddlebreds.
After graduation, LaRue worked at George Knight Stables and Nelson Green Stables, two premier American Saddlebred show stables in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky. After two years on the World Championship show circuit, LaRue decided to return to college to further her Veterinary Technology interest. After receiving a degree in Equine Therapy from Midway College, LaRue worked for two years in one of the largest equine veterinary hospitals in the United States; Hagyard-Davidson-Magee Veterinary Institute. During that time, LaRue developed the riding lesson program at Ed Cochriel Stables in Lexington, Kentucky, which has now evolved into the Lexington Riding Academy. She then began to work independently with her own business, Equine Sports Therapeutics, LLC. Her practice included the use of therapeutic ultrasound, laser, electrical stimulation and infrasound modalities on equine injuries. LaRue practiced equine therapy while traveling on the race horse circuit in Kentucky, Florida, and New York. She had the privilege of providing sports medicine therapy to horses in races such as the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes, and many others. LaRue was also the president of the Association of Equine Sports Therapy.
LaRue decided to return home to Virginia to fulfill her life long dream on building a horse farm and teaching the community what she has learned in her travels. While developing Sprouse’s Corner Ranch, LaRue directed the riding lesson program at Grand View Lake Farm in Prospect, Virginia. After 3 years of preparation, Sprouse’s Corner Ranch opened in June of 2008. LaRue is the head instructor, trainer and operations manager. Today she is a leader in Buckingham's Pegasus 4-H Horse and Pony Clubserves as the President of Heartland Horse Heroes and is a member of the Buckingham Chamber of Commerce.
Amy Alliston Hall
Amy Alliston Hall has been an equestrian for over 30 years. She has competed all over the United States from Arizona to Florida, Maryland to Kentucky and in between. She is a graduate, with honors, of Westmoreland Davis Equestrian Institute at Morvan Park, in Leesburg, Virginia, where she studied extensively with Tad Coffin, 1976 gold medallist United States Equestrian Team. As a young person she studied with several USET members and trainers and also with international Grand Prix Dressage riders and competed with accolades at third level dressage in many states and also in eventing at the Training and Preliminary levels. She has enjoyed fox hunting in both Virginia and Maryland and has also successfully competed in Virginia in the Hunter ring and field trials. But more than a competitor she is a horse lover and also has a lot of compassion towards people. She is an RN and has a B.S. from UVA in nursing class of 1992. She has studied for 20 years about the positive medical and emotional effects that animals have on humans. She was the first person to bring a dog (an old Beagle named Otis) into the UVA pediatric ward as a nursing student. Later, in 1999, she founded a pet therapy organization, a Delta Society affiliate in Virginia. Now this same non-profit 501c3 organization has developed to include horses and focus on therapeutic riding for persons with disabilities. She is happy to be able to pursue her interests in the human-animal relationship to work specifically with Therapeutic Riding and has become a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Certified Instructor. She remains an enthusiastic equestrian.