Staff Members

Kyrie Bond, Senior Instructor

Kyrie has been riding, owning and living with horses since she was 10 years old. During her teen years she became involved with caring for children with special needs, taking courses at Queen Alexandra Hospital and The Arbutus Society and doing respite care for families with children who have special needs. After high school she left Victoria for 10 years to work and compete with horses in the Hunter/Jumper discipline, in Eastern Canada and the United States. During this time she achieved her Equine Canada Level 2 Coaches certificate…..and lots of experience. Returning to Victoria Kyrie continued to combine her two interests, taking courses in Equine Assisted Therapy and Behavioral Intervention. She has joined us at the VTRA and has completed her CanTRA Instructors certification. She has been Instructing with us since 2007 and looking forward to many years of seeing happy faces and therapeutic advancement. Kyrie lives with her husband, Doug and her two young daughters, Gabriela and Olivia.

Liz Brown, Program Coordinator

LizLiz joined the staff in 2014 after volunteering in the program and working with VTRA to review and improve IT infrastructure. Liz obtained a BA in Anthropology from UVic, and worked as an Archaeologist prior to working for an large IT firm. Liz enjoys organizing, scheduling, and generally playing with data – so the role of program coordinator is a great fit. Liz grew up on a horse farm, and continues to enjoying hanging around barns.

Lindsay Claggett, Coordinator of Volunteers

Bio to come

Audrey Cooper, Executive Director

AudreyAudrey joined the staff as Operations Manager, and transitioned into the role of Executive Director in June 2015. Prior to joining staff, Audrey spent many years volunteering in the program as a horse handler, assistant instructor, and a board member. While on the VTRA Board of Directors, she was instrumental in the re-branding of the organization, our new and improved website and our growing presence in the world of social media. Audrey holds Masters Degree in Business Administration and has extensive international management and marketing experience. Audrey has been a life-long equestrian, and enjoys spending time with her 2 boys and her lovely horse Sally.

Cecilia Dingwell, Instructor

Bio to come

Liz Gagel, Instructor and Barn Manager (currently on maternity leave)

Liz Gagel, Instructor and Volunteer co-ordinatorLiz grew up in London, Ontario and started riding at the age of 8. She spent her teenage years in the stable; working, riding and training horses. Her first horse was an “off the track” thoroughbred who she retrained to be a hunter jumper. While getting her education in Business Marketing from Fanshawe College she worked teaching riding lessons and horsemanship camps to children of all ages.
Liz moved to Victoria in 2008 and got her certification as a riding instructor through the Certified Horsemanship Association. She also started volunteering with the VTRA. In 2012 Liz became a certified Instructor through the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association. Liz keeps very busy managing the barn and teaching!

 Jessica Game, Instructor

JessicaJessica has been volunteering with VTRA since the day she turned 16, and in November 2014 took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator. Jessica has been riding and cleaning up after horses for the majority of her life, and is also an experienced horse handler and assistant instructor with VTRA. Jess spent 3 years based in Calgary, living the corporate life, before returning to balmy Victoria in 2014. In August of 2016, Jess became a Certified Instructor with Path International.

Kate Masters, Instructor

Kate MastersKate began volunteering with VTRA in 2012, and in 2016 she fulfilled her goal of becoming a PATH International certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She has a BSc. in Psychology from University of Victoria, and has years of experience working as a Community Support Worker and Behaviour Interventionist. Growing up in Calgary, Kate took riding lessons and worked as a barn hand at a local stable. She competed in the hunter/jumper circuit with a mare she leased for many years. Kate is very excited to be working at VTRA as it allows her to combine her two main interests: horses and therapy!

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