Launch Equestrian

Henderson-2830Virginia (Ginger) Henderson,
Associate Professor and Chair of the Equestrian Department

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 434-791-5642
Office: Danville Hall 101

“Most of the students who come to our equine program,” says Professor Ginger Henderson, “are addicted to riding.” And yet, she adds, most of the good jobs are in the allied professions.  “Of course we’re happy to get good riders,” she says, “but we’re also looking for students who simply want to work in the industry.”

According to Henderson, Averett Equestrian students have, indeed, gone on to great jobs in related fields.  “We have graduates who are editors for equine journals, who work for equine insurance agencies, who are with equine marketing companies and who are professional trainers. Some work in equine nutrition, some go to vet school. It’s a long list.”

Henderson also points out that many Averett students double major, adding a second area of interest to Equestrian Studies. “We have a lot who also major in Business, many also in Biology, in Communications … we even have a good number who add a Criminal Justice major, going on to work as mounted police officers.”

Although riding and working with horses is, for most, rewarding enough, Henderson places a strong emphasis on careers after graduation, with internships playing a major role. “Internships are mandatory for the Equestrian majors. They formally learn about the various careers that exist, and then they spend time researching internships to find one that is suitable for them, one that is directly related to what they want to do after graduation. They serve the internship usually in the summer following their sophomore or junior year.”

Henderson understands firsthand the special nature of a life with horses. She lives on a farm with 10 horses of her own, and she admits that her love for the animals began early. “I was 6 years old when I took everything out of my closet so I could turn it into my horse room,” she says with a laugh. “I moved in a little table and chair so I could sit in there and cut out pictures of horses. Then I stuck those on the closet walls to make horsy wallpaper.”  And yes, she is addicted to riding.

Master of Education, Agency Counseling, Lynchburg College

Postgraduate courses in Counseling, Longwood College

Bachelor of Science, Human Resource Development, Averett College

Associate of Applied Science, Horse Management and Production, Ohio State University

Certified as an ARIA level III dressage and level I eventing instructor

Certified as both a mental health and equine specialist through EAGALA, the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Coach of the Intercollegiate Dressage Team

Currently serves on the IDA national board of directors and holds the position of regional representative for Region I

Cricket Morris,
Equestrian Associate

Email: [email protected] 
Office: Equestrian Center
Phone: 336-388-5950

Cricket Morris has been an equine professional for over 25 years. She began her career on the horse show circuit, traveling all over the eastern United States competing at the countries largest shows. Under her guidance, horses won classes at the top shows and end of year high score awards from the United States Equestrian Federation.

Cricket’s interests moved to the education area in the early ’90s when she joined the staff at St. Andrew’s University in Laurinburg, NC, and later at Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, VA. There her students won regional, zone, and national championships in IHSA competition, and she assisted the ANRC National Championship teams in 1996 and 1997.

Cricket moved to Chatham Hall in 1999 to take over the program as Director of Riding. Her students at Chatham Hall won championships at all the major horse shows on the east coast, as well as National Championships at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association final competitions.

She is an accomplished rider winning multiple year end awards on a variety of horses, as well as ribbons at the IHSA National Championships as a student at Skidmore College.

In addition to teaching, Cricket is the coach of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team which has been awarded reserve regional championship honors, and the coach of American National Riding Commission team.

markburkeMark Burke,
Adjunct Professor, Equestrian Studies

Email:[email protected]

Mark Burke teaches the Equine Reproduction course. Burke has 20 plus years in the equine reproduction field, having spent a great deal of his career in Texas working with Arabians.

Burke, with his wife Deb, currently owns and operates Amethyst Acres Equine Center, a full service reproduction center. Located in Buchannan VA, their farm specializes in standing competition stallions during the breeding season, artificial insemination, stallion rehabilitation and foaling of mares.

Burke holds a Bachelors degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M.


Bailey Cook,
Adjunct Instructor

email: [email protected]

Bailey Cook serves as an Adjunct Instructor, working with several classes including lunging and the dressage competition courses. Cook is a USDF Certified Instructor Training through Fourth Level, and a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist.   She is also a faculty member for the USDF Instructor Certification Program. Cook is currently competing Foreigner, who she has owned since he was 2 1/2 yr. old, at the FEI level. Her most recent venture is training and showing sport ponies. Cook resides in Durham, NC with her husband Dave.


stinsonDr. Rebecca Stinston

Email:[email protected]

Dr. Rebecca Stinson began riding horses at the age of 8 and has competed in 4-H, Virginia Arabian Horse Association and Dressage shows.  Dr. Stinson graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Dr. Stinson’s veterinary interests include equine lameness and performance medicine, ophthalmology, and complimentary medicine including acupuncture.

Dr. Stinson completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society certification class in 2006 and enjoys using acupuncture and herbal therapy to enhance the response to traditional western medicine.

Dr. Stinson is also very active in the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association where she is the chair of the Large Animal Medicine Committee, and has served on many committees and councils of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Stinson has a small farm which she shares with her husband, son, two dogs, two cats and her Oldenburg cross, Reno. Dr. Stinson and Reno look forward to the day when they can spend more time together.


wallaceDr. Mark A. Wallace,
Adjunct Professor

Email: [email protected]

Dr. Mark Wallace teaches courses in Lameness and Disease, and Nutrition, and is the faculty sponsor of the Pre-Vet Club. Dr. Wallace completed his veterinary degree at the University of Prince Edward Island and in 1997 he became board certified in large animal internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr. Wallace has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals relating to various aspects of large animal medicine.  His special veterinary interests include equine lameness, colic and neurologic conditions, but he practices and enjoys all areas of equine medicine.

Dr. Wallace performs consultation work for a number of pharmaceutical companies and has participated in clinical trials for a variety of new equine drugs that are currently on the market. He also finds the time to speak at a number of meetings including the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association annual convention.  Mark and his wife Samantha live in Reidsville, NC where they have several horses including a new foal they bred, “Grand Tourino”.


shannon_stoneShannon Stone
Graduate Intern

Email: [email protected]

Shannon Stone is a second year Graduate Intern at Averett University’s Equestrian Center. She graduated from Averett Cum Laude in 2014, with a B.S. in Equine Management.  Shannon found her passion in horses at age 11 after countless bareback rides on her friends ponies. Now, as an avid dressage rider and trainer, her main focus is on strong basics and a solid foundation. During her time as an Averett student, Shannon competed on the IDA team as an Upper Training and First Level rider, as well as riding for the team at multiple National Championships.

In the future, she plans to branch out and continue her education in Sports Psychology and hopes to one day become a certified consultant catering to riders of all levels. She hopes to combine training with the unique psychological aspects of riding to create stronger riders and competitors.