Sally Batton, Athletic Equestrian League President and Founder

A lifelong horsewoman, Sally brings a broad range of experience to the AEL. Sally’s diverse interest in the world of horses has led her to believe in the critical importance of developing correct and effective horsemanship skills at an early age. She founded the AEL because she saw a need for young riders to have the opportunity to compete in a format in which clear and objective feedback was available. AEL emphasizes the development of correct fundamental horsemanship skills, which in turn allows for progressive improvement in technique and performance.

Sally began riding at Camp Tippecanoe in Ohio in the fifth grade, where she was introduced to western riding. From there, she quickly expanded her interests and went on to experiment with many different disciplines, including gymkhana, dressage, polocrosse, eventing, Morgan breed showing, foxhunting, polo and even side saddle.

Sally received a Bachelor’s degree in Equestrian Studies from Lake Erie College in Ohio, and later a Master’s degree in communications from Farleigh Dickenson University in New Jersey. She began her professional career at Centenary College in New Jersey, where she worked first as the stable manager and later as an instructor and coach in the Equine Studies program, qualifying the team for the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) national championships twice. While at Centenary, Sally learned how to play polocrosse, essentially lacrosse on horseback, and travelled all over the US playing the sport. In 1988 she was asked to fly to Australia to research the sport and in 1990 her book was published, Polocrosse: Australian Made, Internationally Played.

Since 1990, Sally has been the Director of Riding and Varsity Equestrian Head Coach at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. In the years since she has managed as many as 150 riders per week from both the school and the surrounding community. Through the Tiny Riders program to her most “senior” of students, Sally has had the chance to work with riders from ages three to seventy five. The Dartmouth Equestrian Team has long been known as a group of talented and competitive young equestrians, both in and out of the arena. With Sally’s coaching, members of Dartmouth’s team have successfully competed at the IHSA national championships at many different levels, and in 2015, the top two places in the McDonald Scholarship Challenge (an unmounted horsemanship test) were won by Dartmouth team members.

Sally has been on the Board of Directors of the IHSA since 1984. She has served as the organization’s National Steward since 2001, and was recognized in 2013 with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award. Sally is also a Level III certified instructor with the American Riding Instructor’s Association (ARIA), and in 2008 was awarded Instructor of the Year.
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