Scott and Susan O’Connell- Owners
Sue and Scott O'Connell have taken their hobby of horseback riding from passion, through obsession, to start-up business.
Sue, who grew up with horses in Vermont, is thrilled to escape from her daily existence as President of a successful consulting firm, to the rigors of horsemanship and farm life during nights and weekends.
Daughter Katie is an avid rider who finds time for theater, music and cheerleading. Son Brandon prefers motorized horsepower and when not skateboarding can be found playing football or basketball.
Scott, who grew up riding horses on family vacations in upstate New York, spends time while not on horseback in courtrooms around the country trying cases for his clients. “Some believe that I shovel manure professionally and for fun!”
Scott and Sue were the managing members and owners of Fox Brook Farm in Amherst, NH. After the successful growth of the Fox Brook riding programs they had decided to move the riding program to a new facility. In the March of 2007 Mack Hill Riding Academy was established on the former site of Tempus Fugit in Amherst, NH. Scott and Sue are the owners and managing members of Mack Hill Riding Academy.
Mercy Carr Zaveri - Head instructor-Hunters, Equitation, Combined Training
Mercy has been involved with horses for over twenty-five years. She has ridden all types of mounts and taught all levels of students. Her emphasis is on a good foundation of balance, correctness, and effectiveness with grace. She promotes teamwork and horse and rider partnership in her students. In the saddle, Mercy welcomes horses’ input and tries to get them enjoy themselves while she encouraging suppleness and balance.
As a youth, she participated in 4-H where she earned many state titles. She was also a dedicated member of the United Stated Pony Club where she earned her ‘B’ rating and was individually recognized for her riding style at the USPC National Competition in Lexington, KY. She showed several hunter ponies at B and A rated shows before moving up to a large junior hunter that she competed at A rated shows where she won a Maclay qualifying medal.
Mercy’s driving experience comes from her work with Old South Carriage Company in Charleston SC. She was the head groom for the company that included tying tails and rolling manes, a lot of them. She drove and assisted in driving singles up to a hitch of six.
Having been an instructor for more than fifteen years, Mercy enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion with her students. Her enthusiasm and commitment are apparent in her teaching. Mercy is a mom of two young children who like to “help” in the barn. She has done a tour with the NH Air National Guard Counter Drug Task Force. She has also worked in theater and aviation. She has earned her BA in Human Services from Franklin Pierce College and is also a Certified Labor Doula.
Megan Carver – General Manager-Hunt Seat, Combined training
Megan started riding at a very young age; she grew up riding hunt seat at her mother’s barn. As a child she showed at local hunter shows and as she got a little older she joined the Groton Pony Club. As a pony clubber Megan began to event and received her C-3 rating. With her great Thoroughbred Arabian cross Spider Paws she competed at the novice level at GMHA, Groton House, Stoneleigh Burnham, UNH, and Kingsbury Hill. Megan later moved up and competed at the training level with Spider for one season before retiring him. After Spider she got a 4 year old registered quarter horse gelding and along with her mother’s help finished training him and later sold him.
During college Megan took some time off from riding and working with horses and received an Associate’s degree in Interior design, since Megan has returned to the hunter ring. Megan has worked for and rode with some great local trainers such as Alison Eastman, Amy Goodnow, Gretchen Anderson, Joyce Mersereau, and Tricia Moss. Now at Mack Hill Riding Academy she is the general manager of the farm where she exercises horses daily and teaches riding lessons.
Gabe Senter -Barn Manager- Western Pleasure, Horsemanship
Gabe is the Barn Manager and an instructor at the Mack Hill Riding Academy. She has been riding and working in the horse industry for over 30 years. She has been with Mack Hill and the O’Connell family since the start when they were located at Fox Brook Farm. Gabe oversees the daily care and health of the horses at Mack Hill. Growing up, she was an active 4-H youth show participant in Western Pleasure, Trail, Horsemanship and Gymkhana classes.
As an instructor, Gabe specializes in Western Pleasure riding for all levels of ability and English flatwork for beginners and intermediate riders. Gabe is a NARHA certified instructor, Mass licensed instructor and a CHA English and Western certified instructor. She earned her B.S. from Plymouth State University in Art Education. Gabe works well with many types of students from young children to adult riders of all sorts of levels.
- Western Pleasure