Our Instructors

Under the tutelage of top-notch local instructors, you and your horse will shine…

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Christine Vitkus, Owner

Christine began her love of horses at age 10, where she attended weekly riding lessons and summer riding camps in Fairfax County. At age 16, she acquired her first horse, which she cared for daily and showed locally. In college at the University of Maryland, she taught weekly riding lessons to children and college students, and competed on the University of Maryland’s Equestrian Team in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. By her senior year, she was captain of the team. She also rode and groomed racehorses for Laurel and Pimlico racetracks. After graduating, she married and worked a corporate job (ExxonMobil) for 10 years, but also continued to instruct individuals in pleasure riding, specializing in young children. She also rode and trained horses. After the birth of her first child, Christine ran a busy home daycare business for 4 years in Great Falls, Virginia. In 2003, she purchased Red Gate Farm and has managed all aspects of the farm business, including planning, construction, boarding, sales, summer camps and teaching. She now fox hunts and competes her horse, Z Esmerelda, in dressage, jumpers and eventing.

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Judi Novak, Instructor

A rider and competitor since childhood and an instructor / trainer for 3 decades, Judi Novak has worked with students and horses in Loudoun County for 23 years. After graduating with a BA in Equestrian Studies from Lake Erie College in Ohio, Judi traveled to Ireland, where she studied under Iris Kellett in the British Horse Society AI program. Later in Michigan, Judi partnered with a friend to own and operate a boarding / lesson facility with 30 horses and 120 students. An opportunity to train with Olympic Gold Medalist Torrance Watkins prompted the move to Virginia, and after three years with Torrance, Judi went to work with Trip Hoffman in Chantilly, training and selling horses. The years subsequent to that of free-lance work with competitive event horses and riders led to a 7-year position teaching in the riding department at Foxcroft – a private girls high school in Middleburg. After the birth of their first child, Judi and her husband Mark moved the family to Purcellville from where she has worked part-time to coach both pleasure and competitive individuals for the last 20 years, 13 of which have been at Red Gate Farm.

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Rebecca Asevedo, Instructor

Riding since age 7, Rebecca showed equitation as a child. Attending the Southern Seminary College, she competed for her college team in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and in Hunters. She was a national champion in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association in 1991 and 1993 (and was 4th in Nation in 1992). Rebecca graduated with a degree in Equine Management and also earned her Riding Instructor Certification. She has taught hunt seat equitation and trained horses for the last 14 years in various barns in and around Northern Virginia. Red Gate Farm has been her home for the past 12 years. Specializing in private and semi-private lessons, Rebecca passes on her love for horses and the finer points of correct equitation.

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Pam Kunkel, Instructor

Pam began riding at an early age and showed in Equitation, Hunters and Eventers. She began teaching children and adults at Bay Ridge Equestrian Center in Clifton, and continued after the stable relocated to Centreville. When the opportunity presented itself, Pam purchased the business and managed all aspects of boarding, lesson program and summer camps. Bay Ridge managed 75 horses and over 300 students. Pam has coached hunter / jumper riders and event riders for 20 years, and currently coaches 11-18 year olds on the Bay Ridge Equitation Team in the National Capitol Equitation League. She has been teaching children and adults in Fairfax and Loudoun County for 30 years, including her students at Red Gate Farm for the last 12 years.

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Jeff Good, Instructor

Jeff grew up riding horses in Loudoun County. He joined the Loudoun Hunt Pony Club as a “D1” at an early age and eventually graduated from Pony Club with the “A” rating. He also enjoyed Fox Hunting and competed in Eventing Horse Trials at the Preliminary Level as well as hunter/jumper shows. He has several years of experience teaching dressage, cross country and show jumping as well as coaching Pony Club Rally teams. He served as an instructor for Pony Club camps both for riding and horse management. He really enjoys working with and teaching kids of all ages. He lives in Purcellville with his two children Cassandra and Matthew both of whom have learned to ride at Red Gate Farm!  Jeff has been teaching riding here for 5 years.

 

Erika Cook, Instructor

Erika  teaches private and semi-private lessons, and group lessons to all ages and abilites.   Her lessons focus  on eventing, and she is taking a team of riders to various jumper shows, cross country schoolings, combined tests, and events. She is professional and friendly, and works several days per week here at the farm.

Laurie Feickert, Instructor and Barn manager

Laurie manages the care of our herd of well-loved horses.  In addition, she teaches private and semi-private lessons, and group lessons to all ages and abilites.   She taught at Foxcroft for 19 years, and we are delighted to have her here at Red Gate.In addition, she will coach our new IEA team.