Get to Know Us
Membership Secretary - Maria Hurley
Treasurer - Regina Downey
Dr. Regina Downey is the owner of Holistic Animal Healing Clinic in Exeter, NH. She has been practising Veterinary Medicine for 35 years. Her practice offers an integrative approach to veterinary medicine for dogs, cats and horses.
Regina is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the Massachusetts Quarter Horse Association (MAQHA), USEF, and the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA).
Regina is originally from the beautiful Jersey Shore and currently resides in New Hampshire. She started riding at age 50, offering herself a riding lesson for her birthday. The following year, bought Freckles Tivio Dancer, a AQHA registered mare, and barrel raced her for 7 years. Several years ago, she started riding dressage on Ruslan, their classically trained Russian warmblood, who reached Intermdiate Level. Her western dressage journey started in 2016 with Aspen Five Oh, a AQHA and ABRA registered mare, and has succesfully shown at the Basic level and Level 1. She rides at least one horse day!
With her endless energy, knowledge, positive can-do attitude, and love for the discipline, Regina is a fantastic addition to this board.
Board Member - Kristen Whittaker
Kristen Whittaker is the owner and trainer at Whit Acres Farm in Norwell, Massachusetts. Kristen strives to use good horsemanship and clear, effective communication to enrich her teaching, training, and competition in Western Dressage, Garrocha, and versatility/obstacle events.
At the 2017 WDAA World Show in Oklahoma, Kristen earned a Top 5 in Level 1 Open in 2016. She earned a Reserve Championship title and overall 4th Divisional Championship in Level 2 Open in 2017. Furthermore, Kristen has trained and coached Amateur and Junior level riders and their horses to WDAA World Divisional Championships and Reserve Championships in 2016 and 2017.
Kristen is dedicated to make this discipline a success in New England and we are lucky to have her on this dream team!
Chuck Patti owns and runs Chuck Patti Training Center in Merrimac, MA. Chuck has over 40 years of experience in both Western and English disciplines, training and showing from Classical Dressage to Western Trail, Ranch Riding and Western Dressage. He and his clients have shown successfully at a number of levels in Western Dressage.
Cathy Drumm has for over 30 years used Classical Dressage concepts to train her own horses, as well as her students and their mounts. Since 2010 she has focused on teaching Western Dressage—incorporating these very concepts. She has successfully shown her morgan mare, Asia, at Morgan and Open horse shows.
Anne's background encompasses many years of writing, photographing and publicizing all things equine, canine, and reporting on amateur and professional sports. The combination of her ability to pen compelling feature pieces and document those events in photographs led to a successful writing career for a variety of publications, including The Equine Journal and Warmbloods Today, as well as stints as a publicist. Her first experience on a horse was at age three years when she was put on the family's feisty Shetland pony. Some years later she graduated to a Palomino where she occasionally rode bareback. While she didn't ride or own a horse for many years, her love for horses and riding was rekindled in 2008 when she bought her first horse as an adult, a classically trained and, as she says, very forgiving Russian warmblood.
Anne is excited and honored to be part of the advisory board of the Western Dressage
Association of Massachusetts and looks forward to publicizing the only Western dressage club of its kind in New England using her years of experience to broaden the club's outreach and membership.
Board Member - Dana Pantano
Dr. Dana Pantano is a large animal/ equine vet of 27 years that became interested in Western Dressage after attending a clinic given by Jack Brainard 10 years ago. A former 4-H member who showed mostly western through high school, then polo player through college and veterinary school, she started riding and training English dressage with her draft cross in 1992. The western disciplines entered her life again when she was convinced to try team penning, which interested her two sons in riding. After purchasing a few quarter horses to chase cows and keep her sons riding, western dressage seemed the perfect answer to her interest in dressage and western riding. Dana and her family currently own 7 horses and reside in Eastern Massachusetts.
She currently competes with her 2006 quarter horse mare “Baron’s Dynamite” at Level 2. In 2016, she competed at Level 1 at the WDAA World Show and won one championship and came in 3rd overall as an Amateur. In 2017, with a change in tests, they again competed in Level 1 at the WDAA World Show, winning another Championship and finishing as overall Grand Champion Level 1 Amateur. Through her professional contacts, she has been instrumental in convincing local schooling shows to host western dressage classes and has worked hard to convince local trainers that western dressage is not a passing fad and a wonderful discipline and is delighted to see it flourish and grow in popularity.
We are delighted that Dana agreed to join us on the Board to continue to make Western Dressage a success in New England, we couldn't ask for a better cheerleader!