Downloadable Forms Equine Management Training Center


Suzanne Martin Lacy
President of Equine Management Training Center

Suzanne is a teacher by education and equestrian through heartfelt passion. She started her career with horses at a very early age. Suzanne shares her knowledge of horses with students of all ages through lessons, eventing, coaching, and caring for animals.

Suzanne's goal is to provide a place where all from 8 years to 85 plus can come and learn to ride. Sandy River, now in the 25th year of operation, has 230 acres and 37 horses with 13 school horses that are capable of helping our students compete from competitively through training level. "It is so important to me that everyone who wants to ride is given this opportunity to learn to ride and learn the responsibility of caring for a horse and appreciate what a horse can do for their confidence. Someone has to start our future eventers." Suzanne states enthusiastically!

Suzanne is the owner of Sandy River Equestrian Center and has trained with Jim Wofford, Karen O'Connor, Betsy Steiner, Peter Grey, and Virginia Wiseman. She lives on the property with her husband Rusty Lacy, who is in charge of farm maintenance.

Samantha Burton Henley
Facility Manager/Instructor/Trainer
Program Administrator for Equine Management Training Center

Samantha Burton Henley is the Head Trainer and Facility Manager at Sandy River Equestrian Center owned by Suzanne Martin Lacy in Axton, Virginia. Sam came to Sandy River Equestrian Center in 2004 from the O'Connor Event Team, where she was the Competition Manager for the O'Connors and David O'Connor's Head Groom. In that capacity, she has traveled all over the world caring for 4-Star and Olympic level horses. 

In addition to the experience with the O'Connors, Sam has been a Head Groom for the 2004-2006 Area II NAYRC Teams and the Head Groom for the 2006 Canadian WEG Team. At Sandy River, Sam is an instructor and trainer for many up and coming young horses, young riders and their horses. Sam also works with adults. She assists Suzanne in creating a world class training center at SREC which hosts YRAP camps, pony club camps,  and and various event camps. Sam is the Program Administrator for the Equine Management Training Center, a professional groom training program.  Sam resides at Sandy River with her  daughters, Danni and Riley.

Kristie Compton
Barn Manager

Kristie is responsible our entire 40 horse farm.  She also manages the rest of our staff and keeps them all happy, laughing, and motivated.  Kristie has been working with and riding horses since she was a little girl and is currently working on her Shenandoah Gin, a nine year old off the track thoroughbred.  She also enjoys helping Sam with the training the horses that come in.  Kristie lives on the farm with her husband, John, her daughter, Mikayla, her son Braydenn and her two dogs, Sarge and Major.


Franz-Hahr Phillips
Summer Camp Coordinator

Franz-Hahr has been involved with all aspects of daily activities and special events at Sandy River Equestrian Center for nearly 20 years. She has competed through the Preliminary level.

Kathy Rowe
Stylist to the Riders

Kathy's profession as an excellent hairstylist helps pay for her passion, horse lover. She assists Sandy River Equestrian Center staff with a multitude of chores on her days off and travels with the event team.

Working Students
Jacky Bendall

Virginia Jones

Margaret Lewis




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Sandy River Equestrian Center
PO Box 37
Axton, VA 24054
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