Ride With Pride serves riders in the greater Augusta County area who have physical, emotional, & developmental special needs with a wide range of therapeutic equine activities. We are able to provide this invaluable service to the community through charitable donations.
Since it was founded in 1989, Ride With Pride has provided services to about 135 therapeutic riders each year.
Our riders have represented more than 8 community groups including foster care, public schools, the
youth shelter, and Veterans.
The mission of Ride With Pride is to serve those in Greater Augusta County with physical, emotional, and developmental special needs through a wide range of therapeutic equine activities.
Ride With Pride Board of Directors
Laura Martlock (President)
Laura has been a riding instructor and trainer for 35 years. She teaches Balanced Seat riding, Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Eventing, Trail Riding skills and Orienteering both at her place, Wildwood Farm, as well as at clients’ homes in Augusta County. Laura has been involved with Ride With Pride in one capacity or another for 23 years, including instructing, Volunteer Coordinator, special events coordinator, and board member.
Pam Stoneburner (Vice-President)
Pam Talley Stoneburner has been involved with Ride With Pride for 10 years as a volunteer, instructor, member of the RWP Board, and has loaned 2 horses to be used in the program. Pam and her husband, Rob, have 3 grown children and a granddaughter who all enjoy horses. Daughters Kelly and Melody have been RWP volunteers. Now, Dr. Kelly Stoneburner is a veterinarian with Westwood Animal Hospital and helps care for the RWP horses. Pam is an animal portrait artist and photographer and donates her work to help support RWP and her website is www.pamtalleystoneburner.com
Bernie Bekken (2nd Vice President)
Bernie graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a degree in Medical Technology. She retired after 25 years as the Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at Augusta Health in Fishersville. Bernie served on the national American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Board of Directors for 9 years, serving 3 years as a Presidential Officer and currently serves on the Augusta Healthcare Credit Union Board of Directors. She joined Ride With Pride as a volunteer and assumed the role of Volunteer Coordinator joining the Board of Directors in 2011. She enjoys promoting RWP, traveling, golf, horseback riding and playing with her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Cassie.
David Schroen (Treasurer)
I received my Associates Degree in Accounting and Business Management from Blue Ridge Community College and my Paralegal Certificate from JMU.
I am married and have two grown children. I love road cycling and the outdoors. My wife has a horse and rides and I have started riding lessons myself.
Ride With Pride provides a beautiful service and is made up of the most amazing individuals. I treasure my experience working with Ride With Pride and encourage you to get to know our organization as well.
Alisa Fernez (Secretary)
I am a native of Augusta County. I graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College with degrees in English and Theater, and have written a book, a play and two screenplays, and am currently writing my third screenplay. I first became involved in RWP as the parent of a student, then as a volunteer, before being invited to serve on the Board several years ago. Shortly after joining the Board I began serving as Secretary, an office I still hold. I have witnessed many times the positive impact RWP has on those involved, and feel fortunate and honored to be part of this wonderful organization.
I have been giving riding lessons for beginners through advanced to adults and children at their farm or ours. I love teaching people how to work with their horses, whether they show or trail ride, it’s all about communication. I love to show in combined training, foxhunting and a sport called TREC, which involves map orienteering and obstacles.
I have been more involved with RWP for the past couple of years and have seen how it helps people of all ages overcoming their difficulties and makes them mental and physically stronger.
Dr. Julia Hecking
Julia Hecking Dvm is a local veterinarian with Blue Ridge Equine Clinic. She has been on the Ride With Pride board for 2 years and assists with organizing events and helping take veterinary care of the Ride With Pride horses. She lives in Goshen and enjoys eventing and foxhunting.
Pat retired from the US Army as a colonel following a career of 30 years. In that time, he served in both staff and command positions. Since retiring from the military, he served in several development positions. He was the Director of Information Services for Office of Advancement at Ohio University. He subsequently was the Vice President for Annual and Reunion Giving with the VMI Foundation until he retired for the second time in 2013. Pat serves as a trustee on the Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ Veteran Services Foundation. He is president of the George C. Marshall Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America in Lexington. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the Florida Institute of Technology.
Kim West Clark has been a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) for over 15 years and has worked for Grifols Inc for four years. Dr. Clark was a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist for the Neurology/Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. She has volunteered with numerous community service organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association, Special Olympics, and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. She and her husband, Ed Clark, live in Waynesboro, VA with their five dogs, three cats, and (not too far away) two horses at CCS. She joined the Ride With Pride board in 2015
Born and raised in Harrisonburg. She has worked in the securities industry since 1977, and most recently joined Edward Jones as a financial advisor in February 2013. She currently serves on the Denton Family Charitable Foundation board as well as SVSHRM. She also volunteer on the fundraising committees for our local ALS and Boys and Girls club. She joined the Ride With Pride board in 2015.
Kathy lives in Harrisonburg. She graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Roanoke College and joined Merck & Co. in 1996. She worked in many different areas as a lab technician and is now a process coordinator in the Chemical IPT department. Kathy has been volunteering for Ride With Pride since 2012. Her love for animals and passion for seeing them make a difference in the lives of people with special needs inspired her to be involved with the program. Her other interests include traveling, sports, reading, photography, baking, and cooking.