Get to know a little more about our instructors.

Jane Cherry

Senior Instructor/Centre Manager



National Pony Society Stud Assistant Certificate
British Horse Society Assistant Instructor    BHS AI
British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor    BHS I I
Riding for the Disabled Instructor RDA I
NVQ Assessor - Level 3 (D32 D33)
Health & Safety - First Aid at Work
Child Protection Certificate

I started my career with horses training on the Rosslyn Stud (Show ponies) in Scotland.  Here I gained experience in general horse care and specialised experience in handling stallions and brood mares, young stock, breeding, foaling, breaking and schooling. 

My employer Mrs Runcie was a very successful show pony producer and I had great opportunities to show young stock in hand at such shows as the Royal Highland, Great Yorkshire Show etc.

After two years I returned to the North east and trained for my BHS AI. with Mrs Barass at the Barton Stud and School of Equitation.  This was my first taste of giving instruction.  I can't say that I enjoyed it at the start but the more I developed my skills and saw the outcomes the more I enjoyed it.

My passion is 'the horse' and if I can train people to have a greater understanding when riding and handling then this is all to the good. I suppose this led me to training people to work in the industry through BHS Stages 1, 2, & 3 and NVQ 1,2, & 3.

After achieving my BHS AI I got a job at Washington Riding Centre as an instructor/trainer. This developed over the years to Centre Manager. As well as being the chief instructor I also train and assess our NVQ students, organise liveries, promote courses, lessons, organise the vet and farrier, purchase feed and bedding. Basically the day to day running of the yard and overseeing the health and well being of the 30 horses at the Centre.

I continued my training and took the next step on the ladder to become a British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor. This involves 2 exams, the BHS Stage 4 and the Intermediate Teaching Exam.

I also have a great interest in the RDA and sat the RDA Instructors exam in 2004. This means I can instruct at any RDA centre in the UK, unlike the RDA GI which only allows them to teach in one particular centre. The highlight for me every year is taking RDA riders to the National Dressage Championships in Gloucester. We always have a fabulous weekend and come away with lots of rosettes!

These days I don't seem to have much time to compete myself but I do enjoy the occasional dressage competition or one day event. I encourage riders and liveries at the WRC to compete and like to go with them to offer advice and support. I gain as much enjoyment by watching the young people I have trained being successful as I do taking part myself. I feel very proud of them and their horses when they do well. I am looking forward to the coming season as we have some great horses and riders with huge potential in both RDA and AB competitions.


Tracy Steel

Education Support Worker



BA (Hons) Degree
Dip SW 
UKCC Level 2 
Regional Education Co-ordinator for the North

My involvement with the WRC and RDA started when I was 15 years old. Having a disability myself the WRC seemed the most obvious place to go.

I would ride weekly every Sat afternoon. After a while I started to volunteer helping out on the yard and with the lessons. I wanted to know more about horses and I loved working with and helping people with special needs.

At 18 I went away to university in Hull to do a degree in Applied Social Science. I didn't stop horse riding. I was an active member of the university's equestrian club.

After 3 years away I came back to the North East and to Teeside University to do a Diploma in Social Work. While at Teeside I started volunteering back at the WRC helping on the yard and in lessons. In June 2000 I started teaching on Saturday afternoons, and in 2001 I began working towards and passed my RDA I exam.

In 2003 I competed in my 1st National RDA Dressage Championship on my horse, Ringo. This was a wonderful experience and one I have had the opportunity to experience every year since, coming away with rosettes every time!

After qualifying as a Social Worker I worked for Social Services for 4 years (still teaching and volunteering at weekends at WRC) before moving to the WRC to work full time as the Education Support Officer. I work with local schools and community groups to develop educational programmes to fit in with the National Curriculum.

This is a new role to the Centre and having not done anything like this before it was a new challenge for me. I had to make the role my own, learning every step of the way. I was now involved in designing and delivering our new education programme, working with a range of young people with a range of special needs.

In 2008 I started a new education project the CVQ (Community Volunteering Qualification). This, again was something very new. It is aimed at our volunteers giving them recognition and a qualification for the great work they do at the Centre.

I really enjoy this role as I get to combine working with my favourite animal - the horse, whilst gaining the rewards of working with individuals with special needs. I really gain a lot of enjoyment from seeing my riders gaining and developing, seeing them achieve things they thought they could never do, both on and off the horse.

I still ride and love the discipline of dressage. I have two horses which I compete on. I enjoy going to dressage competitions, shows and hacking out. I am hoping to have another successful year and make it to the RDA National Championship again.


Lorna Watson

Instructor / Assistant Yard Manager



National Diploma in Equine Studies
Fd. Sc. Business & Equitation
P.T.T. Teaching Qualification
Riding for the Disabled Instructor RDA GI
Health & Safety - First Aid at Work


I have had a horse since I was a child and I always knew I wanted a career with horses.

When I left school I went to Kirkley Hall College and did a National Diploma in Equine Studies. This was a two year course and I completed it with a 'Merit'

After leaving college I took a job at the Chronicle & Journal offices in Newcastle as a customer service agent and worked there for two years. I knew this wasn't the career for me but it was a means to save money to go to University.

In 2007 I started a degree course at Bishop Burton College in Science, Business and Equitation.  I left in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science qualification.

While I was at Bishop Burton I did work in the holidays at Bishop Auckland working for Lesley Cameron breaking Wels Section D's and also did some freelance teaching.

I started working at the Washington Riding Centre straight from University as Assistant Yard Manager but my interest in teaching really developed at that time as I was enjoying my own lessons with Jane Cherry so much.  I am working towards my BHS Stage III at the moment and have recently passed my P.T.T. teaching qualification.

My own horse started to improve as well when I was practising all the techniques I was learning.  I like flat work but I really love to jump.  Where I used to keep my horse Ciska there was not an arena so schooling was difficult, but now I keep her at the Washington Riding Centre and I hope to start competing with her next year.


Admin Assistant & RDA Group Coach




UKCC Level 2
NVQ I Stable
Management and Horse Care
Stable Management and Horse Care


I have always loved horses, but until several years ago, I didn't have the chance to be as involved with them as I would have liked.

I started volunteering at WRC in May 2008, helping with general yard duties and leading in RDA rides on a Wednesday. By the end of the year I had started to ride and then the real passion kicked in.

I wanted to learn more though so in 2011 I completed my NVQ I in stable management and horse care. This was followed up in 2013 with my EQL II in stable management and horse care.

I still wanted to give more back to the centre, and in 2012 I was lucky enough to be allowed to start coaching RDA riders, taking 2 regular sessions a week. Over time I started helping with more sessions, covering for other coaches where needed. In 2013 I further developed my coaching skills and gained my RDA Group Coach qualification, continuing my Coaching training I gained my UKCC Level 2 qualification in June 2016.

In 2013 I attended my first RDA National Championships as an assistant coach, it was great to be a part of, and a very humbling experience, when you can see so many people achieve their dreams. I have attended two other Championships since, this time as coach to riders. 2016 was a highlight, with the rider gaining two third place rosettes. Hopefully this will long continue.

Riding and horses are a passion, and over the years I have become more and more involved with them, some might even say I'm part of the furnishings now. I enjoy having lessons myself, and I also take part in Dressage competitions on a regular basis.




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