SOUTHLANDS RIDING CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A volunteer Board of Directors is elected by the membership. All Board members are Senior, Golden Age (65+) or Student members of the Club, and non-voting Junior/Intermediate, Parent and Instructor representatives also provide input at regular Board meetings. Elections are held annually at the Club's AGM, with Directors serving two-year terms to a maximum of four consecutive years. The Board's mandate is to set policy, guide and ensure the continuing future viability of Southlands Riding Club, while serving the best interests of its membership.
BRONWYN WILKINSON - President
Bron is a communications consultant with about 26 years’ experience as a journalist, daily newspaper editor and in Investor Relations and corporate communications in South Africa, the UK and Canada. Bron started out as a reporter covering the troubled transition to democracy in South Africa in the 90s before a stint in sports journalism. She eventually switched to the other side of the “fence” as media manager for the South African cricket team and later moved into more corporate roles. Having learned to ride on borrowed horses for a couple of years in her early teens, Bron came back to riding in 2001 when she could almost afford her own horse. She joined Southlands Riding Club soon after moving to Vancouver from London, UK, in 2009. Bron is owned by the distinctive 17.2HH pinto warmblood, Sky, with whom she does dressage and a bunch of tricks.
jane milton - Vice president
Jane Milton is a trust and insolvency litigator with more than 30 years of experience and is a partner in a large downtown law firm. Jane is also a Q.C. (Queen's Counsel). Jane Milton has been a board advisor to a number of her clients and has also been a member of her firm's executive committee for four years. At 10 years old Jane was given her first pony as a Christmas present. She competed for several years throughout the province in equitation, English and western pleasure until she went to university. It wasn’t until 2013 that Jane re-entered the horse world when she wanted a refresher riding course to prepare her for a horse back safari in Botswana. Shortly thereafter, Jane realized her passion for horses was soon to become a reality once again and the search for the perfect horse began. In 2014 Jane found Hershey and she became a member of the Southlands Riding Club. Jane has been instrumental in revising our club bylaws which was a very complex process lasting several months. Jane also has a private pilot's license.
Deborah Bell started riding lessons with Nancy Brook at the age of 6. Since then horses have been a huge part of her life. She spent many years as a member of the Vancouver Pony Club which included winning the 1997 Canadian National Championship as a member of the Prince Philip Games ‘A’ Team with Margot Vilvang as coach.
Deb’s special interest in show jumping began when she started taking lessons with Amy Dundas Head and had the opportunity to travel to several shows as Amy’s groom. Deb and her parents bought Shannon Stables in 2010 and started a riding school. She also was a working student for Jay O’ Jay learning natural horsemanship and helping start many young horses. During that time Deb met her husband Darren, and moved to San Diego, California. While in San Diego she trained with World Cup rider Mandy Porter and showed extensively throughout Southern California.
Deb and Darren moved to Zurich, Switzerland where she connected with Hauri Stables. During this time she trained with two-time show jumping Olympian Max Hauri and one-time Olympian Heidi Hauri. While in Switzerland, Deb had the opportunity to compete internationally throughout Europe, with much success. After spending two years abroad, Darren and Deb moved back to Vancouver and now call Southlands their home. Deb currently trains with Laura Balisky and has brought along a young mare that she plans to compete in the 1.30m classes this year.
Deb also owns a rescue horse that she brought home with her after living in Nelson for 5 years in her early 20s. She was heavily involved with the Nelson SPCA during this time and worked as an assistant at a Veterinarian Hospital while attending school.
Southlands Riding Club, where she obtained her first membership at the age of 10 is a very special place for Deb and she hopes she can be an asset to the board with her almost 30 years’ experience. She is looking forward to helping preserve the club while making it an even better facility for the members to continue to use.
Originally form the UK, Tina has lived in Vancouver for the past 18 years. She met and married her husband in Vancouver and they have a 7 year old daughter and a horse called Foster. Tina has been riding in Southlands for the past 12 years and while not wholly competitive, enjoys the razzle dazzle of the shows and a bit of fun competition.Mad about ponies and anything furry from a young age, Tina was lucky to grow up riding in the Dorset countryside. Pony club camps, rally’s in the middle of no-where, endless summer days of hacking all over the place on cheeky ponies made for a great introduction to riding that has become a life passion.
Outside of Southlands life Tina is an Associate Partner of the Transfer Pricing & International Tax practice of Ernst & Young LLP, Ernst & Young’s global member firm in Canada. A lawyer by training, Tina specializes in dispute resolution services, corporate restructuring in connection with IP migration, relocation of business functions, risks and assets, and advance pricing arrangements.
alison martin - finance chair
Alison Martin was the Chef d’equipe for the Canadian Dressage team at the 2015 Pan Am Games, that team won the Silver Team medal and Individual Bronze. In 2013, Alison volunteered to put together the SRC 70th Anniversary book, a nine-month project that included researching, writing, sponsorship programme and final production. She has also been an active volunteer on her mom’s literacy project “Reading Lights” with the Vancouver Public Library. Alison is a UBC grad, having majored in Pacific Rim trade - specializing in trade relations with China - and a minor in NAFTA. Alison started riding at 12 year of age in Prince George when a neighbourhood child got a pony. Alison has trained multiple horses to the FEI level including two horses long listed for the Canadian Dressage Team.
bridget martin - secretary
Bridget is the Director of Finance for the TwentyTen Group Strategic Marketing and Communications Inc., a legacy company from the Vancouver Olympic Games. She also manages the financials for the board of the 2010 Games Operating Trust. An SRC member for more than 10 years, she can usually be found down in the flats at Straight-Up Stables or practicing dressage tests in the McCutcheon ring. Bridget grew up taking riding lessons and leasing horses on the North Shore. At 13, she finally convinced her dad this wasn't "a phase" by getting a part-time job at MacDonalds to save up for her first horse, Maxcima. Bridget and Max evented every summer until Bridget went to university, when she bred Max and got a lovely colt, Rataxus, better known around Southlands as Tazz. Outside the barn, Bridget can be found on easy hikes on the North Shore or trying the latest Vancouver hipster coffee shop.
Jackson is currently a graduate candidate studying towards a Masters in Public Health. He first started riding in Southlands at a very young age, only to take a hiatus from the age of 6 to 12. However the horse-bug had bitten, so he returned to the equestrian world and he has been riding ever since. Since then, Jackson has had the opportunity to ride and work extensively in the equestrian industry, as a groom, rider, and veterinary technician. He has worked in the Lower Mainland; Calgary - as a working student for Jim Ifko; the United Kingdom; the Netherlands; and France - where he helped manage the insemination centre of one of the national studs.
Outside of horses, Jackson has diverse professional experience that he believes will be an asset to the Board. During his undergraduate degree at UBC, Jackson was a Vision Portfolio Director for the UBC Arts Student Centre project: a $2.5 million student lead initiative. He was the liaison between the member-at-large committee and the professional planning committee, and he was responsible for the compiling the year-end strategic report. More recently, while living in Montreal he managed two ISP remote technical support campaigns
Whitney has been a member of SRC since 2000 and has been a horse lover and rider her entire life. What started as a one day a week lesson at Maynards turned into horse ownership and barn management in Southlands. Whitney has volunteered at SRC throughout the years, most notably hosting the TREC event and Sunday morning road walks from her barn Hurlingham Stables. Whitney, together with Debra Schmidt, are the current “Co-Presidents” of the Trail Riders Group.
In her non-horse life Whitney is the Practice Manager of the class action department and a Paralegal at the law firm Klein Lawyers. She is a Bar Method disciple and Instagram enthusiast. In addition to her adorable horse Tango, Whitney is blessed to have a wonderful husband and two crazy cats (see Instagram).
BROOKE SAUNDERS - PAST PRESIDENT
Brooke Saunders is a Paralegal with experience working in a busy downtown personal injury litigation firm. Brooke also has extensive customer service experience from working in the retail and restaurant industries from her teens through early twenties. Brooke grew up riding as a child in North Vancouver at the North Shore Equestrian Centre. She made the move to Southlands in 2009. You will often see Brooke at the club on Wednesday evenings taking training lessons with her coach, Pippa Emrick. Brooke joined the SRC Board in 2013 and has been acting as President of the Board since 2014. Brooke has also actively volunteered with the Vancouver Food Bank in the past. You may have seen Brooke announcing and filling the Master of Ceremonies role in some of our SRC events including the Country Fair and the Pacific Polo Cup.
Chris Wyatt is a self-employed project manager and manager of a professional association. She has a habit of collecting 2-year old equines, the first one being a 10 hand palomino pinto 4-H project named "Sweetie" who was anything but! After 2 years of western barrel racing and pole bending, Chris' feet were scraping the ground, so the pony was replaced with a larger version who stayed in the family for 29 years and carried us through Pony Club B levels. The current model is now 13 and Chris would really be tickled if this one could get to Prix St George someday. Chris has served on the SRC board in the past and can always be found after Country Fair with her power tools in hand to help dismantle the signs and props. Little known fact is Chris did all the low voltage wiring (speaker, phone and Internet) in their entire home during recent renovations.
Jane is a paediatric Occupational Therapist by profession and has owned a private practice for over 30 years. She has loved horses all her life and rode briefly as a child but returned to riding in her 40’s. Her horse, “Jack”, a DWB/Trackener is the third horse she has owned, they train in dressage, do natural horsemanship and trail riding. Jane joined SRC more than 25 years ago and has been elected as a Director twice before. Her interests and strengths are in Long Range Planning, includingher role as chair of the committee responsible for developing the SRC Master Site Plan. The work included development and membership consultation for the Master Plan, followed by working with management and creating committees to work on bids, construction, financing and fundraising for the Covered Arena, McCutcheon Ring, portable Cross Country Jumps and most recently the Covered Lunge Ring. Jane is an avid traveller and has done some amazing adventure hiking trips in the mountain regions of such countries as Guatemala, Oman, Myanmar and Southern India.
margot vilvang - instructor REPRESENTATIVE
Margot Vilvang has been a riding instructor at Southlands Riding Club for more than 20 years. Margot was born and raised in Southlands and continues to live here with her husband Jim. Jim and Margot raised their three children in Southlands. Margot has a BSc. in Animal Science from UBC and her Canadian Pony Club "A" level. Margot serves on the Society Board as the instructor representative. She also serves on the Southlands Riding Club Company Board as President and volunteers as an instructor for the PRDA program. Margot was a coxswain on the Canadian National Women's Rowing team (1983) placing fourth in the World Championships in Germany. Horse wise, Margot has represented Canada for Prince Philip Games as both a rider (1976) in England and as a coach two times in Australia. In 1984 Margot represented Canada in Holland (individual bronze) at the Student World Cup (dressage and Show jumping). In 2011, Margot coached the Inter-Pacific Exchange Team (Gold) in New Zealand.