Meet the National Old People's Riding Club Board of Directors:

President : Shiela Haviland

This position will be up for re-election in Jan. 2025 (Job Description)

National President from 2008 -2013 & 2017 - Present
Membership Coordinator from 2006 - 2007
Webmaster from 2006 - 2009 & 2014 - Present
Ratings Coordinator from 2014 - 2023

Vice President : Sue Berry

This position will be up for re-election in Jan. 2027 (Job Description)

As a kid, I grew up in suburban Virginia as a horse crazy tomboy. I took lessons and would ride with several friends, but never had my own horse until many years later. I am currently enjoying that first horse now! For the last seven years, I have had the amazing pleasure to share a relationship with a really fun gelding named appropriately sometimes Rebel! I have gained many wonderful human friends and quite an education in the process!
I have been blessed in this life to have overcome challenges, have a wonderful family, and experienced many different things and places. My husband and I have built a great little farmette that we share with our dogs, cats, goats and the horse. We are anxiously awaiting the birth of our second Grandchild in the spring of 2012.
Over the last couple of years, several of my friends and I had talked about getting together to do things and ride. It seemed we could never get the whole group out at the same time. Then one of my friends suggested we attend a meeting of a group called the Old Peoples Riding Club in nearby Southern Maryland. We attended a few meetings and were ready to join, but decided to begin our own chapter in Virginia. The Still Hot To Trot OPRC was established in January of 2011, with Shiela Haviland as our fabulous mentor. I willingly accepted the nomination to be the President of the group. I must say that I am proud of our first year! Our membership has grown tremendously and we have had several very successful events! We are now planning events for the coming year and making the commitment as a group to get out and do those things we never thought we would! We are looking forward to another fun, educational and busy year! I am really happy and honored to be part of an organization that so strongly promotes and supports the education of its members in all things equine.

Secretary : Theresa (Terry) Barcus

This position will be up for re-election in Jan. 2025 (Job Description)

My dad said that I hit the ground being crazy about fact, he said that the first word I ever said was "horse". Every Christmas morning, I got up praying that Santa had finally brought me my pony or horse. Well, that never happened, but now I have a wonderful Quarter Horse that I do dressage with. He was bred to be a halter horse, but didn't cut it when it came to the perfect conformation, so I ended up with a wonderful willing partner to learn dressage with. Currently, we're doing First Level Tests. I board him at a barn about 20 minutes from my house. I realized a long time ago, that I'm also a social rider. I know that it's not necessarily safe to ride alone, and I love having people around me that I can chat about horses and horse care.
When I saw an ad in our local paper in 2002 about OPRC, I called a friend about starting a chapter. We started the Mane Event Chapter soon after. (Both of my sons are Eagle Scouts, and I have long been involved in training the adults to work with the Scouts. The biggest lesson I learned from the scouts is that you don't have to be an expert in everything, you just need to know where your experts are.) My friend was the expert at seeing what needed to be done first, second, third etc. The Mane Event Chapter has been active for 14 years. The Mane Event Chapter has monthly unmounted meetings and seminars and usually have experts in horse health care, tack care, trail riding opportunities, breeds and representatives from various feed manufacturers come to talk to us and to share their opinions. I am the Vice President of the Mane Event Chapter and have been the President and Treasurer. It's been a blast to be a member. I've met so many interesting people through the chapter meetings and rides.
While I ride dressage in the ring, my horse, Marshall and I also enjoy trail riding and doing some obstacle work.

Treasurer : Paula Leavitt

This position will be up for re-election in Jan. 2026 (Job Description)

I grew up in northern Maine, almost in Canada. Our town was so small it still had a one room schoolhouse complete with eight grades, an outhouse and one teacher who taught all subjects with excellence. About half of the students there spoke only French when they came to first grade.
There I met my French speaking best friend whose father had a team of horses 'Chub' a Clydesdale look alike and 'Tom' probably a Percheron. I often spent the night at her house and we would get up early and go to the woods with the men and team. When the horses had done their days work, we got boosted up onto the harness and were allowed to ride them home which was about seven miles. We always tried to get them to canter and sometimes would fall off. They always stopped and allowed us to either climb up using the harness or mount from a rock or stump. Somehow we managed to live through all that and hence began my love for draft horses.
Finally after many years of begging, my father brought home a retired Standardbred. I rode almost every day, summer, winter, twenty degrees below zero on all kinds of footing.
Eventually I started taking lessons and did a little ‘very low level’ eventing. My husband, David, and I moved to our farm in Troy, Maine in 1983. There are miles of discontinued roads accessible right from the barn and I take advantage of them often. As our four children moved from horses to other interests I found myself with no one to play with so I started driving a half Arab who had been trained to drive. Driving became one of my most favorite pastimes and I decided to buy a carriage and offer rides for weddings and other occasions. I soon learned that the demand was for vehicles which could transport a number of people. I found two older Percherons with forgiving hearts and my husband built a wagon and off we went picking the brains of any teamster we met. In 2009 I accepted a job at Acadia National Park driving a team doing tours on the parks famous and beautiful carriage roads. That was a once in a lifetime experience but very hard work.
Today I ride an Arab/Saddlebred cross named Pennys from Heaven. She is a great trail horse but doesn’t like ringwork. I have three gray Percheron mares, a black and white Shetland pony (I plan to downsize) and two aged half Arab geldings.

Board Member At Large : Joanne McAlpin

This position will be up for re-election in Jan. 2025

Membership Coordinator : Kelly M. Smith

This position will be up for re-election in Jan. 2025

Kelly Smith has been a member of the Freedom OPRC in southern Maryland since 2005. She immediately jumped in with both feet and was instrumental in keeping the chapter alive. She has served as Vice President since 2006 and hasn't stopped contributing since. She has now agreed to be the Region 2 membership coordinator and we are so happy she joined us. She grew up riding anything that would stand still long enough for her to get on its back. Her parents thought this "Horse Thing" was just a phase. Kelly rode (and still does ride) those horses that nobody else believes in. Kelly's passion is to rescue horses whose future is at risk and teach them all they need to know to be someone's beloved animal, then she finds them their "forever" home and kisses them good-bye. Above you see Kelly riding her Percheron paint cross, Nicky. Nicky came to her as a baby that was barely able to stand, because he was so malnourished. When she first brought him home, she wasn't sure what breeding he may have been, but it soon became apparent that he was going to be something BIG. And big he is. Nicky is a gentle giant and, with Sky and Irish (both OTTBs), has found his forever home with Kelly.