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Our Team

All of Alborak Instructors are certified by the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), as well as have obtained their Instructor of Beginner's certification through Equestrian Canada and the Alberta Equestrian Federation.


We are a passionate team who cares deeply about our students and helping them achieve their goals. We seek to provide you a fun, educational, and safe experience. So whether it be from putting your foot in the stirrup for the first time, or jumping full courses, we are eager to be part of your journey and development.  

B.J. Desjardins

Instructor

Bj has been involved with horses since she was 12 years old. An active member  of the Sault Ste Marie Pony Club from ages 12-21. She acquired her C2 level and  began her teaching career then. Being a serious competitor in the Trillium  Circuit she had a love for the Hunter/ Jumper world.

 In 2007 she acquired her coaching level 2. She has been coaching at many  barns in the Southern Alberta region since then. BJ moved to Alborak in 2016  where she shares her Pony Club knowledge and her joys of coaching up and  coming riders.

Autumn Desjardins

Instructor

Autumn has been riding since she was 5 years old. She has been competing in  the Hunter/ Jumper/ Eventing world since she was 6. She has been a active  member in Canadian Pony Club since she was 10 years old. She has acquired  her C2 level in Pony Club. In 2016 Autumn successfully completed getting her  Instructor of Beginners Certification in flat and jumping. 


She has spent a great deal of time working with young horses and assisting  their riders on how to ride them. She loves to work the horses through tough  issues and teaching them how to become trusty companions.

Alex Nigg

Instructor

Alex has been riding since she was 10 years old. When she moved to Alborak Stable 4 years ago, she was introduced to the sport of eventing. Ever since then, she has been actively involved in competitive eventing. She currently owns her horse 'Kuna' which she events at the training level with hopes of competing in the upper levels. 
Alex recently became an NCCP certified Instructor of Beginners and began teaching in the beginner programs at Alborak. She loves working with her students and can't wait to share her knowledge and passion for riding.

Becky Staden

Program Coordinator

Becky Staden is an a recent graduate from the University of Calgary, who currently works full time in the horse industry as a coach and trainer at Alborak Stable under Olympic rider Sandra Donnelly. Becky has been riding her whole life, beginning at her uncle’s farm and progressing from recreational riding to competitive eventing which she has been involved in for the last twelve years. She has also been a working student for Rebecca Lee, as well as top United States rider, Stephen S Bradley in Virginia. 


While she actively trains and competes at the upper levels of eventing, she also has a love and affinity for developing young horses.

Becky is a certified NCCP and Equine Canada Instructor and plans to further her education. She also was a member of Springbank Pony Club​ from 2006-2012. Becky loves teaching and passing her knowledge onto the next generation of equestrians, on and off the horse. 

Currently Becky owns and campaigns her 2011 Thoroughbred mare, Belleza or ‘Cora’ at the preliminary and CCI** level. They recently finished 18th out of 45 in their first CCI**L in Ocala, Florida in April 2019. Becky also campaigns Sandra Donnelly's Imastar or 'Star' and excitedly looks forward to developing her up the levels as well.

Anne Marie Chapman

Administrative

A previous student of Sandra Donnelly, Anne-Marie and her horse Vesta moved to Alborak in December of 2018. She has followed her passion as an Adult Amature rider with an interest in 3 Day Eventing and Trail Riding in the beautiful Rockies.


Previously holding a weekend morning chores position, Anne-Marie jumped at the chance to take on the Administrative Support role for Alborak and the Riding School.


She currently works full time in Calgary managing 90 apartment rentals. The many years of administrative and client service background, combined with her equine knowledge, will make her a great asset to the Alborak Team.

Sandra Donnelly

Owner

Sandra Donnelly was born in Calgary, Alberta and began riding almost as soon as she could walk. At five her first partner was an 11hh Welsh pony named Pollyanna.  A year later the two of them started Pony Club. Sandra went on to get her A rating in Pony Club and throughout those years won many awards and championships, including Alberta Hunter Champion, Pony Champion at Northlands, 2nd individually at the National Pony Club Rally, and 1991 ASJA Modified Jumper Champion. In 1990 Sandra qualified two horses for NAYRC in both show jumping and eventing but was only permitted to take one. Following High School Sandra enrolled at U of C and obtained a Bachelor or Science in Mechanical Engineering, which led her to employment with TCPL.

After experiencing city life, Sandra decided to return to her passion and went to teach at Touchstone Farms in central Alberta for a winter before returning home to start her own business.

Sandra started out breaking colts, coaching, and training at the family property near Kananaskis. In 1997 she collaborated on building a new facility with a 100x200 ft indoor arena and 25 box stalls. Since that time her business, Alborak Stable Inc., has been slowly growing into a thriving equestrian center providing lessons, training and preparation for sales horses. She has also developed a broodmare herd and produces warmblood sport horses specifically for eventing and jumping.

Sandra Donnelly was the Top Canadian Eventing Athlete at 2008 Olympics.

 
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