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Lauren is the Owner and Head Trainer of VanderZicht Stables, LLC and Founder of Golden Island Thoroughbred Rescue, Inc- She is a USHJA Certified instructor and USEF professional rider. Lauren started riding at the age of seven and now has 31 years of experience in riding and competing in the hunter/jumper industry. She went to Assumption College where she completed a B.A.  double majored in Business Management and Art. After college she did not waste anytime perusing her dream as a pro equestrian. She went professional at the age of 23 and worked with many top-notch trainers and businesses before opening her own farm in 2015. Her dream was to one day run and operate her own equestrian business and she did just that. She enjoys passing along the knowledge and excitement she has for the hunter/jumper industry to her students. She is passionate about teaching and coaching her students to become consistent, confident athletes. She teaches beginners through advanced riders of any age. Lauren enjoys taking students to compete in MA, RI, CT and NH state circuit finals along with working riders to qualify for Marshall and Sterling finals in Saugerties, NY. She also enjoys traveling the "A" circuit show path. Some of the typical yearly trips she takes are to Vermont, Saugerties, Ocala, Florida, Lake Placid, Saratoga and Kentucky Horse Park with a team of riders and her personal training horses. Aside from teaching and coaching Lauren enjoys creating competitive thoroughbreds. once they are retired from the racetrack she brings them along to be elite, competitive show horses. Lauren and her horses have earned multiple USHJA horse of the year champions in the 3' Thoroughbred hunters and 1.0 meter Jumpers along with multiple qualifications to the Take1 finals at the Kentucky National Horse Show. She has brought a few thoroughbreds along to be 3'3"/3'6" circuit performance hunters as well. she enjoys working with all breeds but mainly focuses on bringing along young thoroughbreds. While having a dream of running a farm Lauren is also raising three young children which she could not do without her loving husband and business partner, Keith VanderZicht. Keith maintains and managed this working farm everyday of the week so all of our riders can enjoy this beautiful facility.  Lauren enjoys teaching her three young children about the care and safety of horses and bringing them along to be avid equestrians themselves. She is also excited for the excuse to learn more about pony world since having her own family. She is passionate about her family, students, horses and rescue organization which is demonstrated by her successful businesses.


Michelle Drake is a trainer, coach and instructor at VanderZicht Stables. She comes seasoned with many years of experience training, teaching and coaching her own program prior to joining VanderZicht Stables in 2022. Michelle came in with knowledge, enthusiasm and a passion for both the horse and rider. Her students thrive off of her positive teaching skills which encourages them to progress and enjoy every minute of their ride and time around horses. Michelle also loves to travel on the road with Lauren to coach her students in the Connecticut circuit. She enjoys teaching and prepping students at home to be competitors in the show ring and at finals. She teaches beginner through advanced riders of any age and enjoys working with students one on one to accomplish their equestrian goals. Michelle has two daughters. Her youngest, Heidi, took after her passion and adores the horse world as well. Michelle enjoys teaching and coaching Heidi on their beloved competition horse Dirty Little Secret.  We are honored to have Michelle a part of our team!

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