Kristi Filipiak Airgood
As a third-generation equestrian, Kristi has spent over 25 years loving, riding, and showing horses. Her patience and belief in mental conditioning have proven very successful in taking both horse and rider to the winner’s circle. Kristi believes in a positive re-enforcement approach to teaching students, helping each student capitalize on his or her accomplishments.
She uses a hands-on technique to introduce each student to horse safety, proper grooming, proper terminology for the tack and the horse, and how to properly tack and un-tack your horse.
Kristi spent her children’s and junior years not only riding with but also as a working student for Amy Reistrup at AYR Show Stables in Lexington, Virginia. While training with Amy, Kristi traveled the USEF national circuit competing on her horses Alaska and Polux. Among the many awards they received, Alaska was 2002 Small Hunter Champion at The Upperville Colt and Horse Show, in Upperville, Virginia. Polux was 2004 Southwest Virginia Regular Working Hunter Champion and Kristi competed in the Southwest Virginia Medal Finals, in Lexington, Virginia.
Kristi also trained with several other distinguished professionals. Paul Matthews, in Somerset, Virginia, Harold Chopping, Canadian Olympic Rider in Southern Pines, North Carolina and Barbie Bancroft, in Allison Park, Pennsylvania.
Kristi has taken several horses and students to many local and national championships, including having the 15th overall Large Pony at 2016 USEF Pony Finals in Lexington, KY. Many of her riders receive year-end awards with both the Western Pennsylvania Professional Horsemen’s Association, The Mountaineer Hunter Jumper Association, and the USEF Zone 2 Year End Awards. Working with students and horses is a passion that is expressed with every ride, every lesson and every competition.
“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” -Winston Churchill
Lauren Prisuta has been working with horses her entire life. She started riding as a young girl on her family’s farm in Glenmoore, PA. She continued riding while attending the University of Pittsburgh. During her time at Pitt, Lauren rode on its IHSA team and worked for Becki Bloom.
For the past 13 years, she has been a riding instructor and professional rider for Culver Training Stables.
She is a passionate educator at heart. She completed the Master of the Arts in Teaching program through the University of Pittsburgh in 2005 and was an elementary education teacher from 2005-2013. In 2013, Lauren and her husband welcomed their daughter, and she chose to focus on her equine career and left the classroom. Her love of horses and background as a teacher and mother has given Lauren the tools to create a successful teaching program. She loves being a part of students’ journeys and watching them grow through their participation in the sport.
One of the organizations that has driven her lesson program is the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. In IEA, riders are assigned horses at random draw. They are then judged on their equitation and effectiveness with that draw. This program allows all levels of riders access to horse showing and has opened up the sport to many. Lauren has been an IEA coach since 2006 and has had much success. Each year, she has had riders and teams qualify for the regional, zone, and some years national finals. In 2019, Lauren was named IEA Coach of the Year and Show Host of the Year.
In addition to her love of instructing and IEA, she also loves taking care of horses and seeing them rise to their potential through correct training. Lauren has learned a lot over her 35 years of riding horses and is always happy to share her knowledge. I am incredibly excited to start the next chapter of my career with Willowbrook Stables. Thank you for welcoming Lauren on board!