Meet Our Staff
A team of talented, experienced professionals and dedicated teacher-coaches leads Garrison Forest School’s equestrian program, which includes nationally ranked individuals and teams in riding and polo. From left: Virginia Shriver '06, Riding Instructor; Rick Harris, Director of Riding; Cindy Halle, Polo Coach; Karen Zinkhan, Riding INstructor; Kaycie Campbell, Assistant Polo Coach.
In addition to teaching the skills required to ride and play polo, each member of the team is deeply committed to the teaching of exceptional horsemanship. Working collaboratively with student-athletes, they foster a high level of confidence, competence and character in the ring, paddock or field—qualities which have long distinguished Garrison Forest’s century-old equestrian program.
Richard “Rick” Harris, Director of Riding
Nationally known for his expertise as a rider and trainer in the national Hunter/Jumper industry and for his barn and program management experience, Richard “Rick” Harris joined Garrison Forest as Director of Riding on August 1, 2016, following an extensive national search. A Richmond native who grew up catch riding ponies and horses, he competed successfully on the A show circuit, winning championships around the country. He also has won circuit championships in Ocala, Florida, Indio, California and Gulfport, Mississippi, as well as competing in and placing in numerous Grand Prix competitions.
From 2010 until taking the reins for the GFS program, Mr. Harris had his own business training, teaching and overseeing the care of client horses at City Park Stables in New Orleans. In addition, he organized all shows and handled vet and farrier appointments. Previous positions include eight years as head trainer at Hunter’s Bluff Farm in Covington, Louisiana and six years as a trainer and rider at St. Louis’ Kennedy Farms Equestrian Center. Among his many accomplishments are coaching young riders to several United States Equestrian Foundation Finals (USEF) national and zone top ten year-end awards, qualifying riders for USEF Medal Finals, ASPCA Maclay Finals, USEF Pony Finals, Young Rider’s championships and circuit championships in Indio and Gulfport, as well as top ribbons at indoor shows.
Virginia Shriver ’06, Riding Instructor
Virginia Shriver began riding well before she enrolled at Garrison Forest School in the 6th grade. By her senior year, she was Equitation Team Captain, leading Garrison Forest to its first national Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) championship in 2006. A member of the GFS Show Jumping and Eventing teams, Ms. Shriver also managed the Varsity Lacrosse team and was very active in the boarding community as a day student. After studying Spanish at the University of Redlands in California, Ms. Shriver returned to Baltimore, working part-time for Garrison Forest School in several capacities from the residential life program to teaching in the GFS Riding Pony Clinic summer program and caring for the GFS horses. In 2015, she returned to teaching Riding at GFS full-time and managed and taught in the 2015 summer programs. In addition to working with students at all levels and coaching the GFS IEA team, Ms. Shriver handles the administrative assistant duties for the barn operations, working closely with Director of Riding Rick Harris and the rest of the team on all aspects of operations.
Karen Zinkhan, Riding Instructor
Karen Zinkhan has over 25 years of experience in various aspects of the horse industry including breeding, showing, instruction and clinics. She owns and operates a private sales barn where young prospects are nurtured and groomed for the show and/or sales ring. At a young age, stock is shown in hand and then carefully broken and schooled to enter the hunter performance ring. Ms. Zinkhan provides instruction for every level rider from beginner through advanced with emphasis on horsemanship skills, competency and confidence, with a strong emphasis on hunt seat equitation and preparing all levels of riders for various competitions. Her extensive student base of adults and children compete each year on both local and rated circuits. She was a head coach for a JEL (Junior Equitation League) coed varsity team, has directed summer day camps and is a frequent show steward at IEA Zone 3 competitions and working student for Beverly Solter. Her accomplishments include multiple year-end championships on local show circuit, including high point horse and pony awards. Karen consistently has had the top three rider placings at local medal finals since 2005 including multiple wins. She has coached multiple Zone winners in Hunter Breeder divisions for past decade.