Coaching Staff

Vanessa Bartsch

Vanessa Bartsch, Head Coach

Vanessa returned to Stanford during the 2004-05 season to lead the renovation and reopening of the Red Barn under the management of Stanford Athletics. As the Executive Director of Equestrian and Head Coach of the Equestrian Team, Vanessa has led the team to ten consecutive Regional Championships, Zone Championships, and nine Top-Ten National Championship Finishes, including 17 individual National Championships and Res. Championships. Vanessa was awarded the IHSA Coaches Award in 2006.

Vanessa began riding at the age of 4. At Stanford she served as Team Captain, and competed at the Regional, Zone and National level in Hunt Seat and Western. In 2004 Vanessa (along with Gwyn Gordon and Jana Cain) crafted the business plan for the Red Barn Student Equestrian Center at the request of Stanford. Vanessa enjoys coaching Stanford’s hard working students and the challenge of helping them learn how to ride and maintain a diverse stable of horses.

Cindy Brooks

Cindy Brooks, Clinician

Besides operating her training program, Northern Run, out of the Stanford Red Barn, Cindy Brooks generously coaches the members of the Stanford Equestrian Team. Her career highlights include riding hunter Just for Fun to Hall of Fame and National Horse of the Year honors. She was awarded the Don Tipton Award for the P.C.H.A.’s professional high point rider 6 consecutive years, rode in the International Hunter Futurity West Coast Regionals 8 consecutive years, and has competed the International Hunter Futurity finals at Washington International. Cindy captured championships with horses “Vested”, “Trinity”, and “Just For Fun”at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Washington International, and The National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York – the “Triple Crown”of shows in equestrian sports.

Vanessa & Buddy Brown

Vanessa Tuss & Allie Qutub, Clinicians

Noted hunter rider Vanessa Tuss & assistant trainer Allie Qutub runs the full-service hunter/jumper training stable Derby Hill out of the Stanford Red Barn. The Stanford Equestrian Team has been lucky to be able to benefit from the expert knowledge of these accomplished trainers with a broad range of experiences.

Gwyn Gordon

Gwyn Gordon, Clinician

Gwyn helped start the Equestrian Team in 1985 with Lisa Yanney & Cheryl House. After earning her degree at Stanford, Gwynworked for Patty Ball, Constance Kilmartin, Lucie Wharton, and Steve & Jenny Newell. After a stint galloping racehorses in England, Gwyn was asked to return to Stanford and serve as the Head Coach in the 90′s, a volunteer position at the time.

Gwyn started her own business, Cardinal Farms in 1993. In 1999, she took a sabbatical to work for Grand Prix rider and World Cup Veteran Richard Spooner. Gwyn, Jana Cain and Vanessa Bartsch led the efforts to renovate the barn, as she lent her professional experience to the process of revamping the facility and the riding programs. She currently serves on the Red Barn Advisory Board.

Jana Cain

Jana Cain, Western Coach

A former Stanford Equestrian Team Horse Manager and competitor for the Stanford Equestrian Team, Jana brings her passion for creating a recognized Western Team to Stanford after working with Gwyn Gordon and Vanessa Bartsch to create the business model for the new Stanford Red Barn Equestrian Center. Jana has had a life-long love of horses and spent many years in the barn working with her own horse (Slowly But Shirley, a feisty QH mare who is a competitive eventer) and those of others. Jana came to Stanford and quickly became a fierce competitor for the Western Team, with a show career that culminated with a 3rd place finish at Nationals in ’98.

After earning her MBA Jana returned to Stanford to work at the Graduate School of Business and resume her role coaching the Western Team. Jana is an avid Stanford Football fan and can be found at every game when not traveling with the Equestrian Team.

Jim Hagman

Jim Hagman, Clinician

Jim is the founder of Elvenstar Riding Academy and Show Stables, one of the most successful riding academies and prominent show stables in the United States. Many of Elvenstar’s students have achieved regional, as well as national awards, including at the Metropolitan National Horse Show held in New York at Madison Square Garden.

Jim partnered with Stanford during the initial concept phase of the barn’s redevelopment using his vast experience to help provide a vision of the new facility. After recognizing his many talents, Stanford asked Jim to work with the Stanford Team as a Clinician. He makes the trip up to Palo Alto as often as he can around Elvenstar’s busy show schedule to do intensive clinics with the team. Jim works with all levels on their riding and presentation in the show arena and the team appreciates Jim’s focus, energy and never-ending sense of humor.

Anne Gomez, Western Coach

Anne’s lifelong love of horses has taken her from riding at a hunter/jumper barn, to competing for Stanford, to training trail horses in rural Ecuador. Anne competed for the Stanford Equestrian Team, serving as Western Captain her senior year, the same year she placed 4th at the 2009 IHSA National Finals. Anne returned as a volunteer coach for Stanford in 2010, working to improve the students’ horsemanship both in and out of the show ring. Outside of the barn, Anne works for the Wikimedia Foundation on the Fundraising team..

Amanda Vinson

Amanda Vinson, Western Coach

Amanda is a former Stanford Western Team Captain and has been riding and competitively showing horses for over 20 years. She campaigned her horse High-Y Summer Storm to numerous championships in western and hunt, earning five national and world titles at the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show.

Amanda has had a varied show career that includes competition in western, hunt, saddle seat, driving and the Open Equitation and Open Reining Divisions of IHSA. She trained for over a decade with Susie Morgan of Triton Morgan Horses and is currently riding with JL Dixon Stables at the Menlo Circus Club. Amanda graduated from the University of Southern California Law School in 2006 and from Stanford University in 2002.

Rachel Williamson

Rachel Williamson, Dressage Clinician

Rachel Williamson is USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist. She is currently working on earning her USDF Gold Medal and is a current USDF “L” program participant. Rachel was the 2010 SFP CDS Open Intermediare I and II Annual Rider award recipient. She has trained with Heidi Gaian & Pam Nelson of Villa Rosa Dressage for the last 20 years. Rachel was instrumental in founding the Stanford Dressage Team and has tirelessly dedicated herself to coaching team members. In addition to coaching the Team’s dressage riders, Rachel often coaches the team’s equitation riders. Her unfailing ability to help a rider get the best out of her horse makes her an invaluable set of eyes on the ground for riders in both disciplines.


Avery Brown
Program Director
Kate Douglas
Dressage Coach
Katie Crowley
Dressage Coach
 Jane Sunde
Volunteer Clinician
Don Hughes
Weight Trainer
Dr. Wayne Browning
Dr. Natalie Zdimal
Lise’ Quintero
Clinician Emeritus