Meet our team of skilled and experienced instructors.
ANGELA ERICKSON, Instructor
ASHTON BELCHER, Head Trainer & Show Team Coach
Photo by Flying Horse
As a professional, Ashton won her first Grand Prix at age 21 at Brownland Farm in Franklin, TN. She qualified for championship events such as International Hunter Derby Finals in Lexington, KY and the Inaugural $500,000 Hunter Prix Finals in Saugerties, NY. In 2012 while competing in California Ashton consistently placed at the Grand Prix level aboard her horse Willis. In California she rode top level hunters, claiming many Championships during HITS Coachella, qualifying her to compete in the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals. Stationed in Calgary for 2014, Ashton and her students qualified for the Royal Winter Fair. In 2015 Ashton rode Contifax as the top ranked combination in the Canadian Hunter Derby Series. Contifax was honored to be named the Jump Alberta Hunter Horse of the Year of 2015. Ashton’s students have enjoyed great success in all 3 rings at top events and venues in North America, including the Washington International, World Champion Hunter Rider Finals, The Royal Winter Fair, and Spruce Meadows.
Returning home to Ottawa in the spring of 2016 Ashton joined the team of instructors at Wesley Clover Parks. Ashton is an Equestrian Canada Certified Competition Coach, and she looks forward to continuing to develop and mentor students of all levels. Ashton manages our training and competition programs at Wesley Clover Parks.
BRITTANY FEX, Instructor
An equestrian from a young age, Brittany has had a passion for horses since she first set foot on her uncles Clydesdale farm. Brittany currently owns four horses at various stages of the training process. Her competition experience is predominantly in the hunter ring, though she has taken lessons in many disciplines, including hunter/jumper, eventing, dressage and western pleasure. Brittany is an Equestrian Canada Certified Instructor and has been coaching since 2018. Prior to becoming a certified horseback riding instructor, Brittany spent ten years coaching gymnastics and still holds her coaching certification with Gymnastics Canada. Most recently, Brittany has begun taking lessons in vaulting, combining her experience as a former gymnast and certified gymnastics coach with her passion for horses.
Brittany has been fortunate to train under numerous International Training Passport Coaches, and Competition Coaches in the Ottawa area in order to further expand her knowledge of training techniques. In addition to teaching, Brittany has been active in the equestrian community as a volunteer for several years, as a leader and side walker with TROtt (Therapeutic Riding Ottawa), as a volunteer with Kindred Horse Rescue (2019), as the Assistant English Ring Director for Dwyer Hill Riding Club (2016), and as a scribe for judges at many local horse trials.
Brittany truly believes in the bond between horse and rider, and is passionate about promoting the joys of the sport with her students. She believes that every time you sit down in the saddle, or simply handle a horse, you become not just a rider, but a trainer. She strives to create a strong foundation of knowledge within her riders to set them up for success in their future as an equestrian.
KAREN SPARKS, Executive Director
Photo by Jump Media
Karen is not only the Executive Director of Wesley Clover Parks, she is also an accomplished equestrian and horsewoman. Karen started riding in the Ottawa Valley at the age of 6, and began training with the Millar family at 16. Karen has been successful in the show ring from a young age, competing at the Royal Winter Fair in the Large Pony and Junior Hunter divisions. Since then she has enjoyed a number of career highlights, winning the High Amateur division with Victoria at the Royal Winter Fair, and competing at the Canadian Championships with Quervo Gold before having her first child. Karen was named Equestrian Canada’s Rider of the Month after a unique double victory in Spruce Meadows’ prestigious final four competition in both the 1.30M and 1.40M Jumper divisions.
Today she competes at the Grand Prix level across Ontario, and in Florida during the winter months, with mounts Teddy du Bosquetiau and Calvin Klein. In 2017, Karen placed 5th in the 1.40M Open Welcome at the Ottawa National and was the 1.35M Champion at the Ottawa International. Karen’s passion for equestrian sport is apparent both in and out of the ring, and is what sparked her vision for Wesley Clover Parks!
MAEVE ROWE, Instructor & Show Team Coach
MELODIE JOHNSTON, Instructor
Melodie has been riding and showing in the Ottawa area for over 35 years. In fact, she started here at The Parks it was the National Capital Equestrian Park! She worked for 2 years as a show groom with a local rider who was mentored by Ian and Lynn Millar. This was also a barn with many members of the Ottawa Valley Hunt and she often rode out with the hunt. After 18 years working retail at a sporting goods shop that also sold riding equipment, she returned to working at a barn full time and began teaching. Achieving her competitive coach in 2010, she came back to the NNEP as an instructor for the city of Ottawa until it closed. She then worked for a large animal vet for 3 years before again returning to what is now Wesley Clover Parks! Melodie has shown both Hunter and Jumper disciplines and believes in developing confident riders regardless of their desire to show, or just enjoy. She loves sharing her passion and knowledge!
MANDI DUPUIS, Instructor
Photo by Orange Horse Studio
Mandi Dupuis has been riding and training horses in the Ottawa Valley for over 40 years. As a young rider, she was an avid member of Pony Club and showed on the Trillium and A-Circuits. Her early coaches and major influences included Sandi Patterson, Jill Henselwood, Dorothy Langman, Vicki Andrews and Cara Witham, and she has carried their principles with her throughout her own riding and training career. For years Mandi trained horses and coached young riders throughout the Valley, many of whom went on to national levels of competition.
Mandi has been an Equestrian Canada Certified Competition Coach for 25 years. She teaches all levels from beginner to competitive in hunter, dressage, and western disciplines, as well as teaching therapeutic riding programs. She joined our team of instructors here at Wesley Clover Parks in 2014, and along with our regular lesson program, Mandi also teaches our Equestrian Canada Rider Level Courses and is a Level 1-4 evaluator here at The Parks.
As a coach, Mandi focuses on developing good communication and a successful partnership between horse and rider, while prioritizing safety and education in all aspects of horsemanship. She believes that regardless of a rider’s ambitions, they should understand and practice true horsemanship at all times. She shares her years of experience generously and fosters a love of horses in all her students while always maintaining a positive attitude and having fun in the process.
VANESSA GOTH, Instructor
Photo by Sunkist Media
Vanessa’s love of horses began after seeing them for the first time at the Carp Fair right after she turned one. She finally started riding lessons when she was 8 and hasn’t looked back since. She has always wanted to learn as much as possible about horses and was a member of the Ottawa Valley Hunt Pony Club where she started testing for her rider levels in 2013. Knowing that she always wanted to have horses as a part of her life, she started completing her Equine Canada Rider Levels in 2016 and was officially certified as an instructor in 2020. She has competed at all levels on the local show circuit in the hunter ring and was Reserve Champion in the Medium Pony division her first time at Trillium Championships in 2016. Her talent for equitation is apparent in her consistent top placings, having been the 2017 Equitation Champion in her age division for the Eastern Ontario Trillium Circuit. She is excited to start sharing her passion with anyone who wants to learn to ride as she studies to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Ottawa.
Interested in competing? In addition to lessons, WCP Equestrian offers Hunter, Jumper and Equitation showing opportunities at all levels of competition. We provide a wide range of showing options for everyone, from those entering the show ring for the first time to highly experienced competitors.
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