Trainers, Teachers, Managers, Grooms
Michele is the owner and head trainer at Well-A-Way Farm. In addition to being a USHJA certified trainer, she is a USEF/USHJA “r” Judge Licensed Official. “I am available to judge several times over the year. Please call or text me at 860.306.2762.”
My history: “I began my riding career at age four upon two, docile draft horses called Bonnie and Raison. Early on I competed in Western Equitation (stock seat) and Pony Club (three-day eventing). It was not until later in my junior years at boarding school I discovered my true love for the Hunter horse and Hunt Seat Equitation. This occurred under Purnell School’s riding director and coach, Donna Martin.”
Current: Michele developed her riding, coaching, and teaching skills by seeking out other successful instructors and professionals with whom to work. After making a name for herself by winning and riding in many horses shows all over the east coast, qualifying riders for several national finals, and coaching many of them to ribbons and wins, it came time for Michele to create her own business concept: Well-A-Way Farm, LLC. She advanced her business education by studying in an accelerated adult program at Teikio Post University working towards a degree in sports management. Finally, after a long search, the quaint, rustic farm on 120 Terry’s Plain Road in Simsbury, CT, now known as Well-A-Way Farm became available for sale. It is currently a prospering horse show stable. Michele trains and directs riders to national and local finals as well as state and zone year-end awards. Michele spent time in France for a portion of her senior year in high school and continues to travel to several areas in Europe and the UK to help select horses that fit well in her program and with her riders. Michele’s primarily self-taught riding history, help, and direction from many top mentors and trainers have helped her to encompass many venues. Her drive, talent, continuous education, and understanding of nature are the elements that have created this truly successful trainer.
Michele is certified in CPR and First Aid. She is a member of the CT Farm Bureau, a USHJA Certified Trainer, a member of the USEF, National Horseshow Association (Maclay), and the PHA. Michele is also a lifetime member of the CHJA.
Professional Rider, Instructor, WAWF Show Secretary And Manager
Erin McNamara re-joined Well-A-Way Farm’s staff as a pro-rider and Riding Academy and Boarder Instructor in September of 2017. She started riding as a community rider at Armand and Martha’s Windcrest Farm when she was eight years old and spent the next 19 years training there. Under the Chenelle’s guidance, Erin achieved success in the equitation ring, qualifying for Maclay Regionals (on an OTTB she brought along herself) and as an adult, winning the 2006 CHJA Adult Medal Final and placing 5th in 2008 23-25 NEEC Adult Final aboard Lan’Dina, a horse imported by Michele Goodrich.
As a professional, Erin has helped bring along young horses and sale horses, showing them on the Vermont and Florida circuits. Students she’s co-trained with Michele Goodrich and Cara Chapel have won the 2011 CHJA Children’s Medal Final, 2011 HITS Non-Pro Hunter Division at Marshall & Sterling Finals, and the 2014 CHJA Children’s Hunter Pony Classic.
In addition to working on the hunter-jumper circuit, Erin coached Yale University’s Equestrian Team from 2009-2013. She also brings with her six year’s experience teaching high school English and a familiarity with students of varying learning styles. Erin has a BA in American Studies & Creative Writing from Skidmore College.
Cara’s beginning in the equestrian world was accidental and slightly later than most riders. At 13 she began taking riding lessons after a slightly embarrassing experience on a cousin’s horse. She immediately was all in doing anything she could for opportunities to ride.
Eventually, Cara got her first horse, a four-year-old Thoroughbred! After a start that involved some time in the dirt the pair worked up the ranks to compete and the junior and later success in the amateur-owner division. Later an experienced jumper joined the team and gave Cara the thrill of competing in the amateur-owner jumper division.
After graduating from the University of Hartford with a BA in Business Management. Cara went to work briefly in the IT services department at Combustion Engineering. Quickly finding indoor work unappealing she took a job running the riding school and riding sales horses at Folly Farm. A group of students was game to do more and there was quickly a large group of show riders. In 2002 Cara leased the property from the owners and started her own business. Riders trained by her and her team won many year-end awards and qualified for state, regional, and nation finals. The farm competed up and down the east coast and as far west as Kentucky. Riders were consistently in the top ribbons in large classes. A highlight was a junior rider that started with Cara in short stirrup scoring a 92 in the 3’6″ medal final at the prestigious Capital Challenge Horse Show.
While now spending more time pursuing her two passions of tennis and adventure travel with her husband, Cara is thrilled to be back working with Michele as part of the Well-A-Way team. Cara has participated in the USHJA training program, is Safe Sport certified, and has first aid training.
Professional Rider, Barn Manager, Road Manager
Stacie Ferolano has been a staple on the Connecticut horse show scene for over 20 years. Growing up in Windsor, Stacie started riding ponies at 4 years old and continued through a successful junior and adult career on the northeast “A” circuit. As a professional, Stacie’s breadth of experience has included working with top-level hunter/jumper operation Grazing Fields Farm and traveling with their elite team to Wellington – as well as managing and training at show barns in the Farmington Valley where she has taught all ages – from short stirrup to junior equitation and adult hunter divisions. Stacie believes competitions should always be a positive experience and takes pride in getting horse and rider ultra ready for the show ring. Stacie has a keen eye for a proper turnout of horse and rider and takes much pride in that.
Stacie also excels with the details needed for managing and organizing a top-level show facility. Her calm, cool demeanor has been key in preparing teams for success on the local circuit, CHJA Finals, NEHC Finals, and HITS Saugerties and Ocala. Stacie worked for WAWF from 2006-2012 and then took a few years off to raise her two young children, Stacie is very excited to be back at WAWF and working at her passion.
Assistant travel show manager
Groom and weekend manager.
(Named After Winky Wright)