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Stable Life of Ave Maria Offers Full Range of Equestrian Activities

drill2Katie O'Hare grew up on a ranch in southwest Colorado, and coming to Ave Maria University in 2005 left her somewhat homesick for life on the range - particularly her passion for horses.

Once the Ave Maria University campus moved to wide-open spaces, she saw an opportunity to do something about it and, in her senior year at AMU, started the Stable Life of Ave Maria equestrian center.

Stable Life has grown steadily, and Katie now has about 125 people each month coming for riding lessons, recreational riding or to practice with the Southwest Silverados Drill Team. Right, drill team members Eliza Scarnecchia (in purple) and Carolynne MacDonald practice as Miss O'Hare watches.

"I'm really excited about where we've been, and really excited about doing more," Miss O'Hare said.

One of the new things she is undertaking is to coach the Ave Maria University Equestrian Team, which is being formed for the 2011-2012 academic year.

equestrian1The most public face of Stable Life is the Silverados drill team, which participated in the Naples St. Patrick's parade last year and will do so again in the 2011 parade on March 12. The team also plans to take part in the Immokalee Harvest Festival parade April 16 and at intermissions at rodeos in southwest Florida. Left, the team poses before the Naples St. Patrick's parade last year.

Miss O'Hare says her steadily-growing business at Stable Life comes mainly from AMU students, town residents, and students at the Donahue Academy, but she also has people coming from Immokalee and the Naples area.

She keeps four of her own horses at the Stable Life barn and also has one horse boarding there, but is looking for other mounts for the coming university equestrian team.

drill3The Stable Life operates seven days a week, offering  lessons in English equitation, hunter/jumper, Western pleasure, reining, barrel racing and pole bending, from beginner to advanced., in addition to the Southwest Silverados drill team.

More information is available at the stable's website here.

Right, a drill practice. Below, drill team members (l-r) Annie Guida, Carolynne MacDonald, Alexandra Clark and Eliza Scarnecchia. Not pictured are drill team members Francesca Galleher, Julianna Kimbell, Madison Vasquez, Ashley Clark, Mercedez Gonzales, Hillary Horner and AnnaMarie Allen.

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